Time is thought by many to be even more valuable than money. It’s certainly true that while we can make more money we can’t make more time. Everyone gets the same 24 hours, or 86,400 seconds, in each day.
However, it seems that some people can’t get enough time in their day to get everything done. They complain about having too much work, too many meetings, or too few hours.
When time seems to be in short supply and the task list is long it’s not easy to keep up. Additionally, it can make people tired, irritable, and hard to work with.
If you find this a familiar scenario, there are solutions. Here’s what to do when your calendar is too full.
Preschedule Routine Events
When your calendar is too full you need to start prescheduling routine events. For instance, reserve time on your calendar for meetings that are held at the same time and day each week or month.
By scheduling recurring meetings ahead of time you ensure that you don’t put something else in that time slot. This avoids overbooking your calendar and spreading yourself too thin.
Schedule Vacation Time Early
Time away from work is important for everyone. When your calendar is too full you should schedule vacation time as early as possible. Otherwise, it could be tricky to schedule if you wait until the last minute.
To guarantee you still get vacation time when you need it schedule it as early as you possibly can. This is especially true if other people have access to schedule items on your calendar.
Review Your Calendar Periodically
If you find that your calendar is continually full it might help to review it at least a day or two in advance. By starting this practice you may eliminate double bookings or unnecessary events.
Block Free Time
Another tactic when your calendar is too full is to block out some free time in advance. This helps if meetings routinely go over their allotted time. It can also allow time for you to catch up on other work.
Add Agendas to Your Meetings
Adding agendas to your meetings can help when your calendar is too full. It keeps meetings on track and moving along and allows everyone to know the issues that will be covered.
You and any others can arrive to meetings prepared when agendas are used. Also, agendas make certain all important topics are covered.
If you are not in control of the meetings you attend, suggest agenda use to others for these reasons.
When your calendar is too full it helps to use a little strategy in meetings. Rather than routinely allowing meetings to go over simply schedule another one when it’s clearly needed.
This action can avert irritation among others who may be waiting for you to arrive at the next meeting or appointment. It also keeps your schedule from becoming backed up for the rest of the day.
Just Say “No”
Sometimes it is necessary to say not to invitations, meetings, appointments, or other events. As much as you may try to be superhuman you can’t be everywhere and do everything.
Part of being successful is knowing when and when not to just say “no”. When your calendar is too full your time is of great value. Remember that you don’t owe your time to anyone.
Time is a precious commodity and it is finite. When your calendar is too full use these ideas to regain control of it.