From Faffing Around to Getting Stuff Done

We all know that feeling when there is just so much stuff.

There are days when all the best organised plans just don’t work.

Picture the scene. I am in the office in my nursery with my Deputy Managers. It’s Monday at 10:30 – our senior meeting. We do this every week. It’s important time for us to catch up, reflect, evaluate, plan and move things forward.

We have the agenda ready, we get our drinks (coffee for me, infused water for Leanne, tea for Jo). We close the door, put up the “Meeting in Progress” sign on the office door, check that there is someone in charge of answering the front door, and someone in charge of answering the phone. We’re ready.

Then the phone rings. And keeps ringing – wasn’t Karen supposed to be answering it?

And the front door bell rings. Three long rings with barely a second in between. Then whoever this person is at the front door ignores the sign to be patient, because we are looking after children, and decides to start knocking really loudly.

And someone knocks on the office door, even though there is a sign telling them not to.

And the walkie-talkie squawks that a child has fallen over in the garden. She is OK, but needs the magic cold compress (for those of you who don’t work in Early Years, this is a wet folded up paper towel).

And the person at the front door is someone who was just passing and would love to look around.

And the person knocking on the office door is wanting to go home, but Jo is blocking in their car in the car park.

And it’s my Mum on the phone, reminding me that I need to pick my daughter up from her house in the next 15 minutes.

And then the doorbell goes again and it’s Sainsbury’s delivering our weekly groceries.


Sometimes, things all just happen at once.

These are obvious calls on your time and attention.

But there are many more demands on your time and attention, that your staff team, your nursery parents and families and your own family at home don’t often see.

  • staff hours to add up and send to payroll
  • facebook page to update
  • invoices to be sent out to parents
  • playdough to make
  • water bill to pay
  • parent newsletter to write
  • lunch numbers to send to caterer
  • emails to answer
  • enquiries and showarounds to follow up
  • receipts to send
  • supervisions to do
  • training to organise
  • snack to prepare
  • Self Evaluation Form for Ofsted to update
  • staff contracts to organise for new starters
  • inductions for newest member of staff
  • wages to be paid
  • return to work meetings – two today!
  • planning and observations to check
  • absent children to phone
  • broken toy wheel barrow to fix
  • online learning journals to be published
  • a child’s parent to phone about a missing sock
  • parent survey to analyse

and about three hundred million other things that I know that you have muddling around in your brain, just like I do in mine.

I also have a personal life with another four gazillion things to do in that…

It’s a wonder that I can even string a sentence together sometimes 🙂

SO then, why is it that when I have so much to do, that I end up doing so little?

One of my favourite ways to waste time is to “check emails”. Before I know it. two hours have passed. And my “To Do” list is even bigger than when I started.

So Here is the first in my Top Tips to help you to GET STUFF DONE.

List all of your tasks.

Work out if they are URGENT:

Do they have a desperate, non-movable, fixed deadline, coming up in the immediate future?

If the answer is yes, then it is URGENT. If no, then Not URGENT.

Work out if they are IMPORTANT:

If you do this task, will it make a massive positive difference for you or your team, or your customers? If you don’t do it. will it have a massive negative impact?

If the answer is yes, then it is IMPORTANT. If no, then Not IMPORTANT.

So you can weed out the “nice to do” jobs that we all fall back on. You can move the non-urgent jobs back to a time when you can deal with them properly. You can bring forward the stuff you aren’t keen, on, but really should do.

And you can Get Stuff Done that will feel like you are getting somewhere, and are in control, like the Fabulous Manager that you know you are 🙂

*** I’ve made a FREE print out worksheet for you to organise your tasks.

Just click on the picture to download.***

getting stuff done

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