When you run a nursery, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. Like most managers, you probably have a to-do list for your to-do list! And then something happens which you hadn’t planned for, such as your computer breaking down or someone calling in sick. How on earth are you expected to get anything done?
Help is at hand! If you long to say goodbye to those unnecessary distractions and pack more into your working day, read our 7 step guide to help you manage your time more effectively:
- Hold a daily scrum
Having a 5 minute scrum (a meeting where you stand up) with your room leaders first thing will enable you to discuss everyone’s priorities for the day. Regular scrumming also enables colleagues to share and support each other on the day’s tasks. The result? Everyone knows what’s expected of them and they’re less likely to call on you unless they really need your help.
2. Allocate time to respond to emails
Check your inbox at set intervals throughout the day, for instance: first thing in the morning, again at lunch, and last thing before you leave. It’s a good idea to flag any important emails in the morning and come back to them over lunch, so you can spend time putting together your reply without being rushed.
3. Prioritise your top 3 tasks every day
Most managers have a to-do list as long as their arm, and as a result, it can be difficult to know which activities to prioritise. To stop yourself from getting overwhelmed, pick your top 3 most urgent tasks and focus on completing these first. Once these have been done, pick another 3 and so on.
4. Document your procedures
If you always get called upon whenever the phone rings for something simple like booking a showround – it’s time to get your procedures down on paper. Offer to take staff through how to do things like this once, then tell them you expect them to take on the responsibility next time around. Give all your staff members a printed copy of your procedures that they can refer to when they get stuck.
5. Use nursery management software
Sometimes it’s not about how hard you work, it’s about how smart you work. For instance, you could set aside an hour or two every weekend to draw up staff rotas by hand…or you could use management software to plan where each member of staff needs to be (by session and room) each day, within a matter of minutes. Then press print. Easy!
6. Get a childcare website
Not many nursery managers have time to write a marketing plan and come up with ways to keep occupancy rate high throughout the year. Rather than worrying out how you’re going to fill spaces, why not invest in a childcare website? This is the single most effective thing you can do to bring in those new parents with the least effort possible.
7. Have a lunch break
It sounds counter-productive, but for you to work at your best, you need to make sure you put your needs first. If you decide to skip lunch, your blood sugar levels start to drop and your attitude to your team can take a nose dive, along with your concentration. Take care of yourself so you’re in a better position to take care of others!
Find out more about how nursery management software can help you save time during the week