Know Your Current Commitments
Block out time for ALL your known commitments
Are you guilty of over committing yourself constantly?
Do you know the full extent of your known commitments?
When you look at your Calendar or Diary, does it include all the things you have to do?
Quite often I find people will only put scheduled meetings and perhaps a few reminders into their Calendars but they neglect to commit time for all the other things they know they need to do. This can easily create a false impression of how committed they actually are at any given time and makes it difficult to manage your time effectively.
My suggestion to improve your personal productivity is to identify ALL your existing commitments and plan your time more effectively by inserting them into your Calendar. It is easy to over-commit yourself if you have no idea of the the things you have already committed to do.
So what types of things should you be putting into your Calendar.
- All your known meetings
- Private appointments (and mark them private)
- Time for meeting preparation or planning
- Travel time between appointments
- Regular tasks you have to do (i.e. Weekly/Monthly Reports, Daily Back-Ups etc)
- Phone calls you have to make
- Long emails you need to respond to
- Schedule time to think and plan
- Known holidays/RDO’s etc
By inserting all this time into your diary/calendar, you get a far clearer idea of your current commitments making it easier to manage your time and just as importantly, to manage the expectations of others around you. You may even be able to say NO to requests by others or at least be in a position to negotiate deadlines with them. Doing this also minimises the amount of surprises in your day.
Don’t forget to create recurring appointments in your electronic calendar if appropriate.
So what do you think? What would happen if you inserted all your commitments into your Calendar. How busy would it look? If you saw how busy it looked, would this be helpful? Could this suggestion help you manage your time more effectively?
I am keen to hear your feedback as always.
Lingford Consulting – The Productivity Specialists