Recently, I read an article about the importance of leaving the office on time. The article emphasized the value of being present for special moments with your family and friends, while reminding readers that work can be a never-ending process. So how can you efficiently utilize your work time in order to get home at a decent time to your loved ones?
I rely on my Outlook calendar and Quip to manage my time at work, keep me on task, and get me out the door at the end of the day.
Below are a few tips I to help you do the same:
7 Tips to Manage Your Calendar
1. Block time in between meetings. Did you schedule five back-to-back meetings in a row? Be realistic with your time. Remember that meetings tend to start and end late. Blocking a half hour on your calendar before and after each scheduled meeting allows buffer time in case a meeting runs late. It also provides you an opportunity to mentally prepare for each meeting.
2. Account for travel time. When scheduling a meeting or running an errand, be sure to put travel time on your calendar. This will help give you a visual of how much time you actually have available and booked. It will also help remind you when to leave.
3. Hold dates. When trying to schedule a meeting with someone, don’t forget to hold all potential meeting dates that you offered on your calendar. You don’t want to double book yourself or forget that you offered that date later on. After a meeting is confirmed, go back and delete all of the other dates that you held.
4. Be protective of your time. When planning a meeting it is important to provide options to others, but not too many options. If you have too many holds on your calendar it makes it difficult to plan other tasks and meetings. As a general rule when trying to schedule a meeting with someone, offer no more than three dates and times. (A good resource to use when planning a meeting or event that involves multiple people is Doodle.)
5. Identify priorities. Identify tasks that you have to get done this week. Try to estimate how long the tasks may take and put important tasks on your calendar.
6. Schedule your hardest task at the peak of your day. What time do you feel most energized and ready to tackle tasks? For me it’s usually between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Try to schedule your most difficult task at the time you are feeling most awake and energized.
7. Take time to breath. Remember not to overbook yourself. Sometimes you may just want to block "focus time" time on your calendar to breathe, de-stress, and catch up.
By using some of these tips, hopefully you will be able to plan and use your work time more efficiently allowing you to get home to your loved ones.
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