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047: Carving out time for what's important

In this episode I discuss techniques you can use to make time for the activities that are critically important. As a leader, you need to be spending a good proportion of your time on the strategically important activities on your to-do list. With this in mind, this week I present one deceptively simple time management tip and I then suggest ways to help you turn it into a habit and to stick to it.

Firstly, I talk about my time management tip: diary blocking. This is the process of blocking sections of an hour to ninety minutes in your diary and assigning the critically important activities to those sections. This seems obvious, but it's surprisingly hard to stick to!

Secondly, I suggest strategies that will help you stick to diary blocking as a way of carving out time for strategically important activities. These include tips on setting the system up, such as finding a time of day most suited for you to focus on one task, making it the same time each week and blocking out time to align with the rest of your team.

Finally, I look at the importance of making diary blocking a habit and to have the discipline of sticking to the dates and times you have blocked out.

Episode highlights

  • The importance of time (01:09)

  • Diary blocking (04:19)

  • Sticking to the system (05:01)

References and resources

Download your copy of the free eBook ‘The Strategic Independent School Leader’ at

Catch up on previous episodes at


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