We’ve all been there. Competing priorities, last-minute events and need-it-yesterday requests – school marketers have a LOT of demands on their time and skills.

The issue of “Can you just…?” comes up again and again at our regular weekly check-ins with marketing and admissions staff enrolled on our 6 Week online Marketing & Admissions course. So how can you better manage your time, and the expectations of others, in a busy school environment?

• Go granular

Set up a timesheet and try to record your activities, whether responding to emails, giving parent tours, updating the website or taking photos of Year 2 in the Forest School. Note down in just a few words what you did and how long it took you (in minutes). After a week or so you’ll have a great record of where you are spending your time and can evaluate if that is really the best use of your skills. Delegate some tasks (if you can) or use your record to focus on the resourcing and prioritising of the core marketing activities that will make the most difference to the success of your school.

• Block it out 

Carve out protected time. Block out your calendar for one or two periods of time per week – it could be a couple of hours or a whole morning or afternoon. Stick a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your office door, work in another part of school or perhaps start a conversation about the possibility of home-working for a few hours each week.

• Learn to prioritise 

Use the Eisenhower Matrix. Haven’t heard of it? It’s a decision-making and productivity tool created by President Dwight Eisenhower (so it’s been around a while) and it can help you to prioritise tasks based on urgency and importance. See the visual below.

Remember, you don’t have to be available to everyone, all of the time. Tackling someone’s last-minute request will inevitably mean delaying somebody else’s priority task. The knock on effect of every ‘can you just’ request can be HUGE. Be part of the solution not the problem. 

Your colleagues will thank you for it.


The Stickman team help school leaders, bursars, and marketing and admissions managers to boost revenue via powerful and simple marketing strategies.

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