Manage Your Calendar: I Manage My Calendar like I Play Tetris

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Stop Playing Tetris With Your Calendar

So, we’re all at home, working that is. What would have taken companies 10 years to slowly convince us and themselves that working from home was a good idea, a microscopic entity achieved in a year. From ‘Oh, you’re at home – have a nice day off’, quickly became, ‘How the hell do I juggle the kids, and balance working at home with home?!’. And now the biggest problem is back-to-back calls. Sometimes 10 in a day.

We seem to be managing our calendars like the game Tetris – plugging every last gap until our week is fully blocked. As one client said to me last week, ‘If I’m in back-to-back calls all day when do I do the work?’. Sound familiar?

It’s a tough one. Let’s start with the home truth…some people like being busy and want to be seen to busy. Most of us want some of that. The feeling of belonging, being wanted and making a difference. The place we need to get our minds to, is that being in your inbox or in a call/meeting is not the only way to be busy (By the way busy = job), and we need to ask ourselves – how & where do we make the biggest difference?

The answer is unlikely to be in our inbox all day or in back-to-back meetings. Yes, I know you are in demand and you have to attend many meetings and reply to many emails, but to use an old phrase – ‘Time flies. The good news is that you’re the pilot!’.

Do You Want to Change?

What I’m really saying is that you have to want to change. Change is hard. It is very easy to be busy. Much harder to work on the things that make the biggest difference. I believe that the most successful people are two things; 1. The ones with the emptiest heads – they get it all out into a system, even if that is just paper, and 2. They have the ability to ignore distractions – Yes, I suggest turning off all email pop-up notifications.

A Better Way to Manage Your Calendar

Hourglass with blue sand next to bordered calendar
Its’ time to move away from the Tetris calendar management


My top tips to managing your calendar as the precious resource that it is – your time:

  1. Outlook defaults to 30-minutes or 1-hour. Make your 1-hour meetings 45 minutes.
  2. Book time with yourself to get the big stuff done. Then no one else can book that time.
  3. Convert some weekly meetings to 20-minutes. See what you can get done in that time.

This article on How to Manage Your Calendar was written by Darren A. Smith for The Grocer.

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