Take a look at your calendar. How full is it?
Maybe there is too much on it. It may be full of things that others have scheduled for you.
Perhaps, you are guilty of letting others steal your time.
On the other hand, maybe your calendar is blank.
Just waiting (and wanting) to be filled up.
On the surface, it appears that you have plenty of free time.
However, an empty calendar can also be a productivity danger sign.
The Empty Calendar
What are you going to do today?
If your calendar is empty, you may think that you can do whatever your want. (Free day!)
There are some people that like the “take as it comes” approach.
(Many of these are the ones that I reference as driftwood on the river of life.)
Usually, a blank calendar means that you haven’t planned anything. You are unsure (and unaware) of what you need to be doing and when.
“I believe that a good plan beats no plan… any day of the week.”
On the flip side, too many meetings can be destructive and there are many reasons why you should skip that meeting.
Most meetings are a waste of time. No agenda, no purpose, and no follow-up.
However, when a meeting is with your work… that is another thing.
When More Meetings is Productive
Over-scheduling can be a bad thing. However, most people tend to under-schedule.
This is especially true when it comes to themselves.
“Most individuals let others schedule them all over the place
…but don’t take the initiative to schedule time for themselves.”
It is important to be take command of your calendar.
Here a few tips to help you better schedule your time:
- Call a Meeting with Yourself – Yes, with yourself. Everyone else calls meetings with you, why shouldn’t you also do so? Schedule time for yourself. The important thing is to do it in advance of others getting ahold of your time. I usually block out personal time 1-2 weeks in advance on my calendar.
- Let Your Calendar Help Your Todo List – Tasks need appointments, too. Let your calendar support your todo list by scheduling time to accomplish specific projects or work. This is a powerful technique that lets your tasks take priority over many of the daily timewasters.
- Don’t Leave Yourself Open – Leaving your time open only lets others think they can take it. For example, you are planning on using Thursday afternoon to work on an important report you need to write. What happens? By the time you reach Thursday, your Outlook calendar is peppered with meetings that your colleagues scheduled because they thought “you were open.”
- Don’t Be Afraid of Your Calendar – Don’t be afraid to put things on your calendar, even if they are placeholders. Most people are hesitant to add things to their calendar that are not definite. Be quick to put tentative plans on your calendar. It will prevent other things from taking their place.
- Defend Your Time – Be ruthless in defending your time. We don’t let others take our money, yet we are often careless in letting others steal our time. Money can be replaced, time cannot.
Call A Meeting With Your Work
Many meetings are a waste of time.
However, sometimes more meetings can be a good thing.
So, make sure that you schedule time for yourself.
Maybe it is time to call a meeting with your work.
What does your calendar look like? Is it covered with wasteful meetings or it full of scheduled time with your work?