Do you manage your calendar or does it manage you? At the end of most days do you have a feeling of accomplishment or frustration?
Calendar management is just another form of balance in your life. Finding the time to accomplish all of the things that we need to do and all of the things that we want to do in a reasonable period while minimizing the stress.
Try this simple approach for the next 30 days and see if it works for you.
Start each day with a 5-minute review of your plan for the day.
On your calendar, schedule planned time to work each day with no interruptions, door closed (or sign outside your cubicle), phone in airplane mode, e-mail silenced so it doesn’t alert you when a new one shows up. If someone does show up, let them know that you are busy right now but will be happy to meet with them later in the day.
Schedule three 45-minute work sessions per day. This is only a little more than two hours per day to work on your priorities and tasks. It still leaves plenty of time for all of the less critical activities of your job.
Break your job accountabilities and quarterly priorities down into bite sized 45-minute tasks and schedule them on your calendar.
Schedule a morning and an afternoon window when you will handle e-mail and make phone calls.
The only way to take on more responsibility accomplish more without increasing the number of hours spent at work is to work more effectively. The best way to do this is to become better at the art of delegating.
Delegation is not about giving assignments to other people. It is about training others to become capable of taking on more responsibility and higher-level tasks at a high level of performance so that you are then free to do the same.
End each day with a 10-minute session reviewing today’s accomplishments and planning tomorrow.
If you really want to eliminate a lot of wasted time do not attend a meeting without first receiving an agenda in advance that includes:
- Meeting purpose, expected outcomes or decisions to be made
- Agenda timeline
- List of attendees
- Pre-reading materials
These four simple bullet points will allow you to say “no thank you” to a lot of meeting invitations
It will also make the meetings that you do attend much more productive. If you see other members of your team on the attendee list for a meeting decide who and how many members really should be in attendance.
If you develop a few new habits they will provide you with an amazing amount of freedom on your daily calendar. It may feel a little rigid at first, but when you start leaving at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment and less stress than in the past, it won’t feel rigid, it will feel like freedom.
Do you want to be in charge of your calendar?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives that have a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com
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