Maximize Your Margin: How to Live and Lead on Your Terms

Session notes from “Maximize Your Margin: How to Live and Lead on Your Terms,” led by Danny Bauer.

What were the speaker’s main messages?

In order to lead effectively and to sustain that leadership over time, leaders have to get clear on what matters most to them and intentionally create (and safeguard) space in our days to use our time in alignment with our values.

What was the speaker’s best quote?

“A+ effort is only reserved for meaningful work. You have permission to do C- or D-level work on busy work, especially if it’s something no one is even checking up on.”

What were the top ideas from the session?

  • Stop complaining about time and not having enough of it. Take ownership of your time.
  • Schedule yourself first. What gives you energy? Then schedule your family/connection time.
  • The time a task takes will expand to the time you allow for it. Challenge yourself by scheduling your meetings for half the amount of time and see that things will be more efficient and will still all get tackled.

What is one idea you’d like to learn more about? 

Utilize the “focus funnel” from Procrastinate on Purpose by Roy Vaden. Thinking of the many tasks on your list, what can you: eliminate, automate, delegate, or concentrate on now? Procrastinate on purpose those tasks that are priorities but can be put off for later.

What is one strategy that you will implement immediately?

Turn off notifications on your phone/devices. Those create distractions and the illusion that you can multitask, which is not possible and adds to stress and isn’t an efficient time use.

What is one strategy that will help you with instructional leadership?

Be sure to schedule time for deep work where no one can interrupt you. Ditch the open door policy. 

What are resources you will check out?

I can’t wait to tell my teachers about this idea:

Learning to say no to things that are energy vampires and time sucks and shutting the office door to do the deep work uninterrupted is important to all of us for setting boundaries and leveling up.

Notes by Jess Hutchison, principal of Avoca West School, Glenview, Illinois.