It's Time to Surrender Your Calendar


Many goal-oriented achievers tend to overcommit — and thus abandon their personal needs, such as health, family, friends, and fun. And because they are stretched so thin, they can’t give their best selves to those they promised to spend time with, whether it’s their clients or loved ones.

Their professional calendar is often the culprit.

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • You have difficulty saying no when a client or prospect wants a last-minute meeting.

  • You don’t block out enough time to prepare and feel confident for client meetings.

  • You let your “me” time — such as fun or fitness — fall by the wayside because you feel guilty prioritizing it when you have other pressing matters at work.

  • You stay late at the office, work at home after leaving the office, and continue to work on weekends because the work keeps piling up. It’s time for a change.

If you want to stop trying to fit “life” into work and instead fit work into life, here are a few tips:

  • Block out your personal time and vacations two, three, or even four quarters in advance.

  • Choose the “calendar master” (a member of your team, a fellow employee, etc.) to whom you’ll entrust your calendar and surrender.

  • Provide your calendar master with specific parameters and preferences.

  • Never get in-between your calendar master and the calendar.

  • Stop answering your phone and delegate. Have someone you trust to handle calls, redirect calls, or schedule follow-up calls or appointments.

You should also set calendar parameters for client and prospect meetings. Here are some boundaries you should set:

  • Pick specific times during the week that you’ll prepare for client meetings.

  • Have designated days and hours for these meetings to take place.

  • Determine how much time you will spend on specific categories of meetings (e.g. prospect, implementation, review). Reinforce that time frame at the beginning of every meeting.

  • Let clients know that meetings must be set “X” days in advance.

  • Choose what days and hours that you’ll focus on Qii (quadrant 2) — the important yet not urgent tasks.

  • Carve out time in your schedule for spontaneous exploration, true emergencies, breaks from intense focus, and relaxation.

  • Set up dedicated time for team collaboration.

In summary:

Be clear on where you are willing to be flexible. Be clear on the circumstances when you want to be consulted when there is a calendar conflict. And when you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else. Get strategic and let someone else say no!

Want more tips on guarding your energy and time? Get in touch with us today.

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