Educational administration scholars have long argued that principals should serve as the instructional leaders in their schools, but relatively few studies have attempted to link specific instructional leadership behaviors in schools to school performance empirically. This study draws on in-person observations of principals collected over full school days over two different school years in a large, urban district to investigate how principals allocate their time across different instructional leadership tasks, and how instructional time use is associated with school effectiveness. We find that overall instructional time use does not predict school effectiveness, but that some specific instructional activities do. In particular, time spent coaching teachers about their instructional practice and evaluating teachers or curriculum predict greater school effectiveness and increases in school effectiveness. In contrast, time spent conducting brief classroom walkthroughs is associated with less effective schools and decreases in school effectiveness. Negative associations are larger when principals report that classroom walkthroughs are not seen as professional development opportunities.