The benefits of a workplace DNA – it’s not what you think!

A few years ago, my headteacher schedule was crammed to bursting with things I needed to do and meetings with people I had to speak with. Of course, being in a school setting, the frequent need to fire-fight issues meant the schedule was always off-course. The meetings would need to be rescheduled and shoe-horned into tiny spaces between all the other meetings; jobs would need to rollover.

The inevitable always happened. Time would run out. They would be no more space to shoehorn anything in – and this is where “holidays” became vital. A chance to catch-up: no, not sleep, rest and recover – work, work, and work. A race against the clock to get on top of workload before the new term started.

My schedule has very little in it now. This is not because I don’t work as hard as a life, leadership and career coach; it is because I am able to work differently.

The only fixed things in my schedule are DNAs. These are blocked out periods of time every week where I protect with “Do No Action” work-free zones.

It has profound impact.

Not only do I get to do the things that matter most outside of work – nursery collection, daddy adventures, bedtime stories with my son, downtime to ski on a Tuesday afternoon – it also facilitates quality of work and productivity during the non-DNA times. I get more accomplished by ensuring I do less time.

For employers who have initiated a 4-day working week, they have seen productivity and motivation of their workforce increase.

Which brings me back to schools….

How a DNA would benefit education

I am not suggesting we try to implement a 4-day week in the education system as the knock-on impact on other industries would be significant. We know that school systems are not purely for educational purposes – schools facilitate a childcare service which enables parents to work.

But the question of workload has been circulating for at least 20 years. If we want greater productivity and impact, teachers and school leaders must be provided with the opportunity to have DNAs. And to achieve this, the expectations must change beyond a system that began in 1870 and simply gets added to every term.

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I first worked with Will whilst I was a junior member of a teaching team. I worked closely with him for around three years and he became a true mentor to me. During this time Will helped encourage me to discover my own leadership style and he mapped out what it takes to be successful. I highly recommend Will for life and career coaching.

Will is a professional, natural leader who manages to make you feel at ease. He manages to be both emphatic and encouraging, whilst also managing to challenge you to find your own answers. Will’s approach is totally non-judgmental and the sessions are really focused on you and on what you want to achieve. Working with Will has allowed me to address challenges I was facing and he brought a wealth of resources and practical tools to help me set goals, clarify my values, and explore avenues right away. Even though I left teaching 5 years ago, I still seek out Will for his help and guidance and I appreciate his versatility as a thought partner, ally, and coach. Our sessions are always productive and efficiently run, which is perfect for someone who is juggling many priorities! Will brings great communication, professionalism and quality to his work and I highly recommend him as a life/business coach.
- Jamie T (Leadership Coaching)

Highly recommended

I am so glad I found Mapleleaf Vision! Will has been super supportive and understood exactly what I needed to help me to redirect my focus. I now have fresh enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
- Greg M (Life Coaching)


Will at Mapleleaf vision fitted me in for a last minute decision-making session that I needed to make ASAP re. a job offer / career change. He was friendly, professional, and really knew his stuff! He unpicked things that I could never have done on my own. I’m so grateful to him & will be highly recommending him to everyone! Where there is a ‘Will’, there’s a way! Thank you, Will. You truly have a gift.
- Cat K (Career Coaching)