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Getting Organised in 2012

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by MrMusic, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. MrMusic

    MrMusic New commenter

    My new years resolutions was to become more organised. I'm frustrated with constantly losing pieces of paper, watching deadlines fly passed me and missing out on opportunities for my department to develop... Seriously, I want to be a touch more organised.
    I'd welcome any tips/advice/guidance any of you would like to share?

  2. Two things I always do - I am one of those mega annoying organised people
    I keep a list of jobs that need doing - no matter how long or short term they are in a small notebook I always have with me at work. That way I can very easily see what is a priority or what can wait a month etc
    Secondly any bits of paper you are given deal with them immediately - 90% of it can be done taking no more than 15 mins. Then it can be passed back to whoever and it isn't your problem any more.
    I also keep any paperwork I need to deal with pretty much promptly tucked in the front of my planner.
    For other things I have a tray on my desk.
    Anything else file it where it needs to be filed as soon as you get it - it takes 2 minutes - but how long do you take looking for it later!!!!

  3. I am terrible with paper, but LOVE my filing cabinets. If I get a piece it goes in there. It might be messy, but I don't have to look at more than 20 pieces of paper to find what I need. For example exam entries in a hanging folder, exam results, lesson obs, textbook catalogues, CPD courses, science magazies, stand alone HSW materials, admin letters that have been sent home, then the next three draws are year 7, 8, 9 and the other filing cabinet has 10-13 in it. The hanging folders have a topic in each one.
  4. An ex colleague of mine shared a v useful piece of advice from her husband - only touch each piece of paper once. ie read, deal with it and file away. I try to use this and it does work.
    Also, I have a very (anally) organised planner which has everything I need including assess dates and markschemes (all glued in). I never go aywhere without this and it keeps me organised
  5. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I like using outlook to keep on top of deadlines. I check my emails at least twice a day so it's easy to set reminders of things like reports etc. Otherwise I agree with what's been said here: do it immediately or stick it on your to do list (I have it in a word document on my usb so I don't need to find the bit of paper).
  6. Karvol, how do you do this? I have had the luxury of a school laptop in my current school that I take between school and home but am moving to a new school, which is completely PC based. I'd love to know how to sync up my school computer with my home one!
  7. Mrs Grumpy

    Mrs Grumpy New commenter

    Karvol, wish I was as organised re laptops and home pcs!
    More general organisation is really as leviosa said, get things done and passed on asap. If you're a Head of Dept. or Faculty Leader, you owe it to your staff, especially younger / newer ones, to set an example. You will KNOW all the deadlines, and what needs to be done when. If you're disorganised and at the last minute, what message does that give them? Also, how can you chew them out, if you're guilty yourself. Sooner or later, someone will really take advantage of your weakness. Yoiu got the job because someone thought you could do it - don't prove them wrong. The Powers that Be will be after you, too, if you're always late on deadlines!!
    I keep a small clipboard with separate sheets of paper with me, especially at briefings, etc when things are mentioned. Written down - they have to be dealt with. A wall-planner helps, provided you USe it - things don't write themselves up there. Try setting yourself fake deadlines - earlier than the real ones, so you can be smug and on time.Putting things in filing cabinets often seems efficient, but can also mean you're hiding them away! And in any case, the filing cabinets need "weeding" - another job - from time to time. Mind you, if you have a technician available, they can be good and ruthless at that. Encourage people to nag you, as well - and take it the right way when they do!
    We can't muddle through today - it's getting harder and harder to do the job, we all need to be mega-organised to have time to breathe in and out when we need to. Good luck, Mr Music, at least you've realised it needs to be done. It can be hell working for a H of D who doesn't, you all end up sinking into the swamp together that way, I once nearly did.

    EDCMWILK1 New commenter

    I just wanted to say i feel really inspired after reading this, i've recently become HOD fairly quickly in my career and have been feeling really snowed under recently. I have a mountain of paperwork for various things i'm leading across school and have been struggling to find time to get ahead of myself. You guys have some great words of advice and i'm glad i stumbled across this post!!

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