How to use your calendar to maximize your effectiveness
This simple practice will help you accomplish your goals.
I’ve combined knowledge from several amazing books (The Effective Executive, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Getting Things Done) plus my 12 years of experience running companies, into one simple practice that has improved my effectiveness and productivity massively.
- List the top five high-level goals I need to work on.
- Decide what percentage of my time should be allocated to each one.
- Create recurring calendar blocks that map to those things.
It might look something like this …
Controlling the external thrash
One of the challenges we all have is managing external interruptions or meetings. The way I deal with this is allocating a certain percentage of my time to meetings and then creating Google Calendar Appointment Slots that recur (see the “Meeting with Ryan” appointments above). Then if I agree to meet with someone, I simply email them an link and they can book any of those slots that are open. I just say “Please grab an appointment that works for you!” This way I’m not allowing external meetings to eat away the prioritized blocks of time that I’ve created.
Getting to the nitty gritty
I hate being tied down to details ahead of time (I’m a massive “P” for your Myers-Briggs folks) so I simply take the first five minutes of each time block to decide what tasks I’d like to accomplish during that time block, write them down and as I accomplish them, I check them off (I happen to use Asana for my tasks, but anything will do).
I often set a timer on my watch to the amount of time for the current block and try to shut down everything else while I focus. Once I feel my watch vibrate, I know my time for that time block is over and I can wrap it up.
The key is being purposeful about what you focus on and how much time you’re going to devote to each focus area.
Then you just have to do it. There’s no shortcut on that one :)