4 time-saving tips for school business managers

We’ve just been plunged into another national lockdown, and with short notice, school management turned on its head once again. As a SBM, your job was already pretty chaotic before the pandemic; you’re tasked with the enormous job of managing your school’s finances, which means budget control and cost-saving.

But, COVID is relentless, and although there’s hopefully an end in sight, you still have to deal with the present issues.

In recent months, SBMs have sacrificed a lot of their work-life balance while trying to get to grips with implementing government health and safety policies, and premises management for Coronavirus. In a July 2020 survey, 40% of SBMs said they worked between 5 and 11 hours extra per week. But wellbeing shouldn’t have to take a back seat, after all, if you’re burnt out, you won’t do the best job you can do, and tasks will spiral out of control.

With budgets overstretched and unpaid overtime in abundance, we’re sharing four time-saving tips for school business managers so you can hopefully regain a little bit more balance in your work life.


1. Let go of things you can’t control

Easier said than done. But consistently practising this is important. Wasting energy and time on elements you can’t control is pointless.

You can’t control when this virus comes to an end, so try and focus on those tasks you can control. 

Making a simple to-do list can help you visualise your tasks for the day –and ticking each task off feels great, doesn’t it?!

2. Tackle email stress

The average person receives up to 126 emails a day, which sounds like a lot. But when you add it up over your working day, it’s believable. Think about all the parental issues you have to deal with and the numerous staff questions about new government policies you have to respond to.

For effective email management, use Microsoft’s 4D model for email management:

  • Delete it
  • Do it
  • Delegate it
  • Defer it

Spend the first portion of your day, if you can, going through your emails and colour coding them or separating them into these four sections.

3. Quality over quantity

You need to remember to focus on quality, not quantity. You want to do an excellent job on every task you undertake, but sometimes that means stopping a task when you’re no longer productive and moving onto another.

Poor time management is a huge stressor, and rushing through things won’t deliver the desired results faster. If you rush tasks, you might end up having to revisit them and amend or even re-do them. Instead, take a deep breath and focus your energy on one task at a time. It’s a much more peaceful and practical approach to managing your time.

Just remember that you are only one human being with a limited amount of hours in a day. 

4. Take time to learn new things

When the pandemic hit everyone panicked, what did this virus mean for the future of education? How will we manage premises from an off-site location? Over the last few months, different industries have had to combat various issues. But for SBMs, it’s highlighted the need for improved health and safety management. 

The SBM role is so vast that health and safety management only played a small part in the duties. So although taking the time to learn the different aspects of the SBM job in depth seems more time-consuming than time-saving, it means you feel more confident tackling new issues as they arise in the future. Which means it’s a long-game time-saving tip.


How much could you save your school? Find out with our quick and easy FREE savings calculator.