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4 Time Management Myths You Don’t Want to Fall For

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Time Management Myths Don't Fall For

Your time is extremely valuable. You need to treat it as such. Unfortunately, there are several time management myths that might cause you to use your time poorly despite your best intentions.

There’s no universal time management method that everyone will agree with, but there are some pitfalls you should be aware of. These common myths can actually do more harm than good if you’re not aware of the fallacies they present. Here are four time management myths you’d do best to turn aside:

1. Your Self-Worth Is Determined by Your Productivity

There are many people who will let you know your worth as a person is determined by how much you get done in a day’s time. While it’s good to try to be productive every day, this statement is too extreme. You shouldn’t beat yourself up just because one day isn’t as productive as the last.

Not every single day in your calendar needs to be jam-packed with to-do list items and deadlines for you to feel like the day was a success. There will always be something to do every day that you won’t have time for, so pushing yourself to achieve the last few items you weren’t able to complete is not worth the mental strain. They can be added to tomorrow’s to-do list, and you should pat yourself on the back for the things you were able to accomplish today.

Another dangerous aspect of this mindset concerns self-care. If you’re placing value solely on the number of boxes you can check on a to-do list, you’re not going to be doing a good job maintaining your mental and physical health. Don’t be afraid to slow things down every once in a while to avoid burnout and keep your spirits high during the long trek of life.

2. There’s No Such Thing as Work-Life Balance

Saying that work-life balance doesn’t exist is a false statement, plain and simple. Work-life balance is not only possible to achieve, but should also be encouraged. People who tell you otherwise are probably approaching time management — life, even — incorrectly.

The secret to work-life balance is to create definite boundaries between your job and your personal life. When you’re at work, you should devote all of your time and attention there. When you’re at home, you should shift gears and focus entirely on your family and yourself. Trying to constantly mix the two simultaneously can get messy.

You can set boundaries and stick to them by planning your time more intentionally. By using an online calendar you can add time slots for a range of activities, from “conference call” to “date night” and even some “me time.” Stick to the designated time slots each day and ask others to respect your time. This will make it easier to create the work-life balance you seek.

3. This Time Management Technique Always Works

There are many different time management techniques crafted by very intelligent people. The problem comes not in trying someone else’s technique, but in assuming the same approach to time management will work just as well for you. Time management isn’t as amenable to copy-paste solutions as some people might lead you to believe.

For example, many productivity gurus will recommend that you start each day by “eating the frog.” By this, they mean that you should choose your hardest, most important task and knock that one out first. They claim that this will ensure you get your critical work done at a time when — they assume — you’re mentally freshest.

But maybe you’re not a morning person. Perhaps starting off with an arduous, complex task will cause you to stall out, leaving you discouraged and unable to move forward with your other work. In that case, you might be better off starting with a “quick win” instead. Accomplishing a worthwhile but less daunting assignment may give you the boost you need to fly through the rest of your day’s responsibilities — frog and all.

Don’t be afraid to try multiple time management techniques to see what works best for you. If time blocking doesn’t fit your time management style, it’s not a hopeless endeavor. You might find success with the Pomodoro technique, the Eisenhower Matrix, or a combination of several time management tactics that fits your specific needs.

4. Multitasking Helps You Get More Done

The ability to multitask is often seen as a strength. However, multitasking can actually be an ineffective way to approach time management. You might not even get more accomplished by multitasking, despite what many tend to believe.

The problem with multitasking is that it divides your attention between projects. This may cause the quality of your work to go down for every task you’re working on. Multitaskers are more prone to mistakes that take time to correct, completely eliminating any headway they achieved in the first place.

It’s almost always better to approach each of your tasks individually. Your focused effort will allow you to complete each one faster and more effectively. Quality is typically valued over quantity, especially when tasks are done right the first time.

Whenever you read or receive time management advice, be sure to think it over thoroughly, taking into account your own temperament and needs. By identifying the time management practices that truly work for you — not just those that are supposed to work — you’ll be able to use your limited time more wisely.

Image Credit: Anete Lusina; Pexels; Thank you!

Reasons to Stop Planning Too Much — Live in the Now.

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Reasons Stop Planning So Much Live Now

It seems easy enough, yet we humans struggle to appreciate the present. Why? We frequently speak only of our future plans — but what about building your now? You hear, “Know your why.” Start thinking, “Know your now.”

Some people think we lose out on fantastic moments because we are too busy rehashing previous events or preparing for the future. We seldom pause to smell the flowers. We don’t enjoy the moment. Keep the destructive process from becoming the precedent.

It’s sad not to be in your own personal time zone — since we don’t know how many more moments we’ll have. Meditation and many of the healthy habits we work to learn are all about living in the now.

Go ahead and plan your life in detail.

This is not suggesting we spend less time planning. To leave out the planning is terrible counsel. Setting goals is critical to our personal and professional happiness. Setting and achieving realistic objectives fosters personal accountability. Careful planning is a kind of goal-setting that gives significance to our lives since it requires devotion, hard effort, and tenacity to achieve.

Some people feel our culture has gotten obsessed with planning. We frequently speak about constructing for the future, but what about building the now? We all want true pleasure, and to experience it, we must live in the now. Focusing only on the future causes tension and negative thoughts and even uncertainty to enter our thought processes.

Why should you concentrate on living now instead of preparing too far ahead?

1. Right now is the only moment you can control.

No matter how much you plan, you can never predict how life will unfold. You will only know when you are there.

The only moment you can control is this one right now. You may either appreciate or despise the situation. And of course, you may also choose to squander the moment by ignoring it, but the choice is yours.

Planning won’t get you out of the moment. It may help you achieve your objectives, but it will not enhance your current quality of life. Planning for the future won’t ensure a desirable result, so why not focus on the now?

2. Enjoy every minute in the now.

Nobody knows how many moments you will get to experience. This is vital to understand. Nobody knows when their next moment will be gone. Your next moment isn’t specific, so why not make the most of it?

You can’t have this perspective if you’re always planning your next level. You can only feel this excitement for life by living in the now. It’s trite and impractical, but it’s true.

Don’t waste time. Plan when needed, but not at the price of enjoying the moment. Life is brief, so enjoy it while you can.

3. Being present reduces stress.

Too much future and past thinking generate stress. Some of the stress that comes from not living now may be harmful to one’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Yes, your thinking takes a controlled effort to remain within a balanced life — but the effort will be worth it.

The over-planners hinder themselves from living in the present and cause unneeded tension in their life. Invigorate your life with present-focused living practices.

You certainly don’t have time to meditate for five hours a day and not make plans for the future, but making tiny adjustments will help decrease stressors and help you be able to get a jump on the inevitable problems that come up in life.

Observe when your mind starts focusing on the future instead of the current moment. Ask yourself whether this is required. Being conscious of your thoughts can help you be more present.

4. Plans seldom come to fruition as expected, so live in the now.

Know that you have planned the best you know-how, and expect that things don’t always turn out as your plan dictates whether you like it or not. How often have you attempted to plan something that didn’t work out? What happened? Did you become offended, or did you accept and comprehend the situation, do something else, or move forward?

Plans go awry. You fail a lot as an imperfect species. It is inevitable.

Trying to plan every stage of your life is tricky and unhealthy. Plan for the best — but be determined that you will not be annoyed or disturbed when those plans don’t work out.

You don’t have to prepare for the worst — just have contingency plans here and there in your life — then, just let life happen and be.

Make preparations if that helps you, but don’t lose sight of the moment. If your plans don’t work out, try to accept them.

5. Being present makes you happy now and in the future

Some people don’t like using the term “makes you happier” since nothing makes you happier than yourself. With that in mind, living in the now is one of the surest ways to achieve true joy in your life. But, yes, happiness is a choice most of the time.

Without going into all the statistics and studies, it is clear that living in the now is one of the most important keys to happiness. Too much long-term planning will keep you from enjoying the moment.

Take a moment each day and observe how living in the now has made you feel? How can you make a better plan? How can you remain in the present if your plans take a dive off the planned course? Plan when necessary, but keep an eye on the present.

Strike a balance between spontaneity and forethought. You can only control the present moment.

You’ve heard it before if you’ve worked on mindfulness at all — this moment is a gift. Try to believe that and be okay with the statement. Enjoying the present reduces stress. Recognize that plans don’t always go as planned. Accept the moment and be joyful.

Plan as you see fit. Save for a family and a home — then invest in yourself. Set and achieve objectives. As you plan, put yourself first and don’t lose sight of where you are now.

Reasons to Stop Planning Too Much — Live in the Now was originally published on Calendar by

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5 Ways to Streamline Your Schedule So You Don’t Miss Anything

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Streamline Schedule Don't Miss Anything

How you use your time each day is extremely important. If you want to be as productive as possible within an 8-hour workday, you need to learn how to best allocate your time. By following a proper schedule, you can get a lot more done in the same time period.

Slapping events and projects onto a calendar is only the start. Once you’ve got a schedule laid out, you need to maximize it. A few simple adjustments will get your schedule firing on all cylinders, streamlining your personal workflow without missing any important details or activities.

1. Use Collaborative Scheduling

Team calendars are a great way to optimize not only your own time, but that of everyone in the office. In a collaborative workplace, a lot of your schedule will be dependent on the people you work with. Meeting times, hybrid work schedules, deadlines, and more need to be coordinated throughout the entire organization without missing a beat.

With a shared team calendar, all of this information can be found in one place. This way, everyone knows what’s going on and can check each other’s schedule before booking meetings or appointments with one another. This will keep you in the loop even during a busy week where keeping track of all of these events seems impossible.

2. Take Advantage of Event Reminders

You can’t always rely on your memory, even if you have a mind like a steel trap. Reminders will provide a failsafe for every event and appointment you book so that even if you do forget about one, you’ll be able to jog your memory in time.

Consider the best event reminder strategy for each meeting and appointment. Instead of accepting the 10 minutes prior default, you may need to set some reminders a couple of hours in advance. That will give you time to prepare for the meeting beforehand and still arrive on time. Reminders set the night before an event might remind you not to overbook your schedule for the upcoming day. In some cases, you might even benefit from multiple reminders to help you through every stage of the process.

3. Avoid Overbooking

Whatever type of time management or scheduling software you use, make sure that it has a feature that prevents you from scheduling events that conflict. If your program of choice doesn’t alert you to potential overbooking, you may inadvertently stack events together and get yourself into quite a predicament. It won’t be until your events collide in real time that you realize the mistake you’ve made.

The right software will ensure you don’t actively have to think about overbooking. While you’re making plans, it will stop you from scheduling too much. This will allow you to shift events around or reschedule various commitments so everything works out. If you’re not getting any alerts from a program with this capability, it means you’re good to go.

4. Set Up a Scheduling Link

One way to streamline your schedule is to get other people to organize it for you. This might sound like an abdication of responsibility, but it’s actually quite practical. All you need to do is set up a scheduling link for yourself.

This link will be connected to your online calendar software. You can attach it at the end of emails or on a website for others to access. By using the link, coworkers, clients, and others can see your availability and schedule a time to meet with you. This eliminates the seemingly endless back-and-forths that occur when two parties try to coordinate schedules.

You can update your scheduling link to only allow certain times of day to be made available to others. This way no one will book a time slot where you’re at the gym or taking a lunch break. If every day follows a different routine, you can adjust your scheduling link accordingly.

5. Don’t Overdo It

If you don’t want to miss anything on your schedule, stop overpacking it. If your schedule is constantly at its breaking point with meetings, phone calls, deadlines, and events, you’ll run a higher risk of missing something important. This could create a catastrophic domino effect — or at the very least be incredibly stressful to handle.

Cutting back can be easier said than done, especially for busy professionals. Instead of hoping that your schedule will magically develop breathing room, try a new approach. For example, you can force yourself to include 10 minutes of buffer in between each commitment. This will ensure that you always have time to make it to your next appointment or prepare for back-to-back meetings.

Another thing you can do is track your time. Certain calendar apps will monitor how you’re spending your time, which can help you plan more efficiently in the future. By tracking your schedule, you may realize that you’re spending too much time in meetings and can take steps to cut down the number or duration of those you schedule.

To improve your time management, try to review your schedule at least once a month. Make some slight adjustments and continue pressing forward. By year’s end, you’ll have the most streamlined schedule possible.

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5 Unique Time Management Hacks That Have Been Proven to Work

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Unique Time Management Hacks Proven Work

Modern reliance on technology by most companies today means that the same devices that we use for work are also where we get our distractions. Some say it’s not your fault if you often fall victim to technology — many of us have. But come on, you are in charge of yourself, even if the nature of the technology is a constant connection.

While it may seem like the only solution to manage your time is to spend it away from your devices (which does help, of course), that’s not always possible or even necessary.

Find the productivity you need with some of these hacks for time management that have been proven to work.

1. Stop Letting Tech Suck You In

The truth is that one reason technology distracts us so strongly is because it offers a comfortable, relatively predictable escape from our tasks. If you’re tired from being hard at work for a few hours, why not take a second to look at Instagram? One second can lead to an hour away from your responsibilities — and a lot of the time, it’s not because you’re distracted but rather because you want to relax. And as long as you’re fulfilling your responsibilities, don’t be afraid to enjoy what you enjoy on social.

Not letting tech suck you in can be done in many ways: cutting off work communications as soon as the day ends, working and relaxing in different rooms, etc. The most important thing is that after hours, you are giving yourself fully to your relaxation needs. When it’s time to return you’ll feel refreshed, alert, and much more able to focus because your needs have already been tended to.

2. Utilize Timers for Each Task

Realistically, the duration of any given task can vary in uniformity and length. But setting a timer creates a new psychological environment, one in which you are present for this amount of time and this amount only, regardless of how long it is. When the timer ends, you are free. Believe it or not, setting a timer requires focus, even if you aren’t sure about the length of time a task will take. However, your timer will help you focus and work faster and makes it easier to stay on task by providing this target of freedom.

Say you have a short story transcript to be edited by the end of the day. You don’t know how long it will take and are avoiding the task out of dread. Instead of scrambling at the last minute, set a timer for one hour, clear your mind of anything but the task (including the deadline), and begin. You’ll find the task to be a little easier when you know better how long it will take — and give a concentrated push to be finished.

3. Create an Environment for Focus

Alongside your timer, try to adapt your surroundings to the task at hand. Keep an open mind at this point because even the smallest change can make a difference for you. You can move a pen that you keep hitting with your arm or move all electronics out of your sight. Part of creating this environment can be put into action in advance as well, even just by outlining a plan for the day and setting the kinds of rules for yourself as mentioned in this article by Calendar.

To continue the previous example, let’s say you’re doing your transcript editing at home. To craft the ideal environment, you can turn off your electronics, dress comfortably, make a cup of tea, put on a sound generator in some sound-dampening headphones, and close everything on your computer but the transcript. Whatever makes you feel focused in your space will work best.

4. Steer Clear of Your Unique Distractions

Read up on distractions and take some notes about the ones that affect your time management. Here is a great list of distractions such as this one you can put far away from yourself. Your needs will likely be different from anyone else’s. Chances are, you have particular things that distract you uniquely more than others. It’s easy to forget these distractions are even there, or to get used to them in the space, without being freed from their influence. Take a moment to sit in your space and note everything that draws your attention in a distracting way.

These distractions can take the form of imagery to be changed, like a decoration on the wall, or a bright light shining through your window. Maybe you’ve found that your emotions are distracting you the most, in which case you can take a break to do some mindfulness exercises. You should do everything that you need to make this your space of focus, even if it seems strange or unconventional.

5. Experiment With Your Time Management System

Above all, managing your time is just that — managing your time for the sake of your own productivity. It’s easy to try different methods that many people use, but it can be difficult to stick with them because they aren’t tailored for you. You might find that what works best for you may even be the opposite of what you’ve heard (like letting yourself get distracted so you can come back with fuller focus). In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as it helps you achieve your time management goals.

Remember, the objective is not to implement time-saving methods, but rather, succinctly, to save time itself. Try not to get caught up in common methods that aren’t helping just because they might down the line. The concept of a method that will always help everyone is one of many time-saving myths. Just sit down, look around, and do what you need to do to manage your time.

5 Unique Time Management Hacks That Have Been Proven to Work was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie.

Image Credit: Ono Kosuki; Pexels; Thank you!

Maintaining a Schedule Can Help You Live Longer

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Maintaining Schedule Help Live Longer

Some may go on and on about how a schedule of activities or routines inhibits creativity or spontaneity. Of course, there may be a situation or two where that would be true — however, there are other situations in which this is not the case. Maintaining a schedule frees up time for your creative ventures.

People who do not adhere to a schedule, are more likely to skip appointments, postpone necessary work, live or work in an unorganized environment, and haphazardly finish projects if they finish at all.

It’s a recipe for catastrophe in every sense of the word. So how do you plan for uncertain times?

If you want to be successful, you must recognize the importance of having a schedule – one that sets dates and times that will allow you to arrive on time, finish the duties at hand, and prepare for extra successes.

The Best Way to Get Started With a Schedule

So, what is the best way to get started with a schedule? One of the most important things you can do is ask crucial questions. It is to ensure that you fully comprehend the timetable given to you.

For some individuals, keeping a timetable is as easy as checking off the items on a to-do list as they come across them on their computer. On the other hand, others may find that more specifics allow them to simplify a timetable or completely integrate a calendar into other parts of their lives.

Asking which activities on the schedule are the top priorities or which items on the plan may be postponed or swapped with other things are examples of questions you would ask.

Track Your Time — do Some Research

After completing your research, you may find that you need to change certain aspects of your life. You may find there is no link to your work or school schedule. As you would expect, not all of these activities are time-suckers; instead, they merely need a reorganization of your time.

Taking a two-hour lunch break, for example, may need to be shortened to one hour or half an hour to complete other tasks on your to-do list within that period.

If your goal is to spend the early Saturday morning hours with research at the library it may be necessary to shift your shopping habits to Sunday nights if you have been used to doing it on Saturday mornings. And remember that not all timetables are etched in stone. For example, you may change your schedule to accommodate new jobs or projects that need more or less time to complete than initially planned.

Following your experience, a few well-placed questions, and some minor rearranging, you will have a timetable that you can safely follow—knowing that your new schedule will lead you to achieve the essential tasks vital to your life. Much less effort has to be expended when you make a reasonable plan for your essential work.

The times, they are a-changin.’

Yes, the times change. Our schedules reflect this volatility — or they should. But sometimes, we keep our heads in the sand. Like the ostrich, we do not wish to see what’s happening around us, and we may try to duck out on reality. With careful observation, you’ll be able to see what types of procrastination are interrupting your schedule. Don’t be one that refuses to schedule in needed changes in your life. Go ahead and admit that your time management skills need a little refurbishing and just do it.

Being Flexible is Not the Same as Being Careless

When scheduling conflicts arise, as they will, a quick response is usually best. However, hemming, hawing, and beating around the bush is an excellent way of alienating others. Instead, be decisive with what commitments you say you will make, then stick with your decision. Opportunity melts like frost, and, especially as an entrepreneur — you have to take the reins and move quickly.

The most significant fatality to time management success is being noncommittal and deciding not to decide. After all, who looks back with pride at all the appointments they didn’t keep — and the decisions that were put off? There never seems like enough time, but actions that were never planned won’t be something you are proud of in the future.

It’s all in the timing

Professional comics say it’s all in the timing and point to the times to speed up and when to slow down. When the comedians hold a pause or stomp the punchline at the right moment — it’s magical. Timing can basically be applied in the same way for business leaders and organization managers. Timing is everything.

The Bible intones “there is a time and season for everything.’” So it is in business — there’s a time to start — and a time to end. A time to let go. A time to meet — and a time to lock the door and go over the audit yourself.

The trick is to know when to do what. And that trick is simple. Psychology Today has a great time management test. IF you follow basic time management principles, you can adapt to your particular circumstances. And IF you take advantage of the latest time management technology and theory, you will be a lot further ahead than if you don’t.

Basics of Time Management and Living Longer and Peacefully

Every MBA course offers dozens of classes on how to untangle the basics of time management.

Nobody has an easy schedule. Nobody. Not the janitor. Or the CEO. Not even the poet in her ivory tower. But once you learn to dance to the tune that time plays for you, life becomes more bearable and more your own.

Some say that minutes are hard cider, hours champagne, and days become flagons of the finest mead. Just ask those who seem to have nothing to do. An accident? Nope. They have come to grips with their time and they wrestle it to the ground.

If you plan correctly and make time yours — you’ll come out on top. You shouldn’t dream of doing anything less!

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In 2022, Time Management in the Workplace will be Critical.

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2022 Time Management Workplace Critical

Working professionals can’t get enough of the All You Wanted To Know About Time movement. So let’s go over the significance of workplace time management.

How much scheduling software do you use? Or want to use? Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, you’ll always need an extra hour to complete your to-do list. It’s tough to keep track of every minute of your day, mainly when there are so many distractions. Since childhood, our parents and instructors have taught us to budget our time and money.

Let’s have a look at what time management is before we get into its importance:

First, what is the definition of time management?

Work smarter rather than harder. Time management is the activity of planning and exerting deliberate control over the time spent on specific tasks. It’s a balancing act of several factors that help boost productivity and achieve a better work-life balance.

Improving your work time management helps you improve your performance and reach your objectives with less effort and more effective tactics. Failure to manage time or poor time management abilities at work, on the other hand, may lead to:

  • Appointments and deadlines that you did not meet.
  • Lack of attention and procrastination.
  • Professionalism is lacking.
  • Workflow inefficiency and poor job quality
  • Unwanted anxiety
  • Professional reputation is poor.
  • Strained workplace interactions
  • Financial repercussions
  • Unbalanced work and personal life

Workplace advantages of time management

There are several benefits to being able to manage your time well. Time management may help you in your work life in the following ways:

Complete projects on schedule with proper time management

It is more probable that workers will do tasks on schedule if you give them a certain amount of time to finish them. It also helps you handle your job in the most effective manner possible.

As a result of completing activities within a certain period, you train your brain to adhere to a framework and finish the tasks within that time limit. Therefore, if you have successfully managed your time, you will complete your job on schedule.

Produce high-quality work with good time management

You are required to offer work of a specific quality and level as a devoted employee. One may deliver a higher quality of work by properly using time and prioritizing duties. Prioritization aids in focusing on critical tasks by placing them at the top of the priority list, allowing you to devote your whole attention and concentration to them. As a result, the work’s quality has improved.

More efficiency and productivity are earmarks of proper time management

As a working professional, it’s no secret that good time management skills help you be more productive and efficient. These abilities may assist you in completing chores as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

When you’re focusing on unnecessary things, your total productivity suffers. In other words, strong time management skills allow you to complete both vital and urgent jobs on time.

Manage your time well, and you’ll be one of your team’s most productive members.

There will be a lot less procrastinating with time management working for you

“I’ll do it later” is an excuse that we’ve all used at some point. However, time management isn’t only about getting more done in less time; it’s also about reducing the desire to put off and procrastinate on vital chores.

As a creator, leader, or employee, you may work smarter rather than harder by using appropriate time management techniques. It immediately prevents procrastination by ensuring that you know the things added to your to-do list. You also know when you want to complete them.

Less worry and stress

Employees might get overwhelmed when they have too much work on their plates. This might hurt your productivity as well as your general health. Excessive stress and hypertension may cause heart disease, depression, obesity, and other health problems. We can eliminate unneeded stress and anxiety in our lives if we know what to do.

A higher standard of living

Practical time management skills may enhance your life outside the workplace and your working life. When you have your business life under control, you have more time to concentrate on your personal life and relationships.

Knowing that your responsibilities and activities are on schedule can help you relax in your personal life. As a result, your quality of life increases instantly, as you feel calmer and less worried.

More prospects and advancement in your career

Being on time with your job will help you be more productive. Consequently, it will help you build a positive reputation at work. Managers and supervisors love to see that you consistently finish things on schedule. It may open the door to more excellent prospects for advancement at work.

More leisure and recreation time

When was the last time you took some time for yourself and did something you enjoyed?

Fortunately, proper time management allows you to have more free time throughout the day. As a result, you are free to engage in the leisure and recreational activities that bring you joy.

Finally, by working bright all day and receiving a reward of your choosing, you may achieve the ideal balance. Remember, for every tick; there must be a tock.

Image Credit: Ono Kosuki; Pexels; Thank you!

Is There an Ideal Meeting Time?

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Ideal Meeting Time

Are you encountering meeting mortification? There are ways to tweak your meeting time to make a meeting marvelous — or at least productive and bearable.

When it comes to efficiency and productivity — time is everything.

When it comes to meetings, the one thing you’ll want in every meeting is efficiency. Of course, it’s necessary to handle your meetings in a professional manner, but the time you hold it is almost as crucial to success.

When is the optimum time to schedule a meeting?

Let’s look into the ideal time and day for a meeting for your company. The general consensus is that the best time of day for meetings in business is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

If a typical workday lasts from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the day is divided into two halves. The schedule is basically the same in every office.

Earlier in the day, 9 –10 a.m.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Lunchtime; 12–1 p.m. – Lunch break

Afternoon; 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Afternoon/Evening — late afternoon/early evening; 4 p.m. and forward

This leaves you with five-time periods to choose from.

So, seeing this schedule at a glance — what are the advantages and disadvantages of each timeframe?

The early bird

Early in the A.M. — Having a meeting first thing at first light might be beneficial if you want to be quick. Power people and very busy CEOs often want this time for their meetings. A fast 15-minute stand-up meeting or a quick check-in is best done early in the morning.

On the other hand, early morning meetings should be avoided for some types of employees, such as graveyard employees, since those workers may still be tired. In addition, you don’t want to spend time repeating yourself or waiting for someone to return from the coffee machine.

Teach your employees to prepare the day before

Meetings at the start of the day require employees to prepare the day before or arrive early. As most tech businesses get going early — you can teach your employees to better navigate this world by showing them how to set plans and goals — prepare the night before.

If you have given leeway during covid for your staff to start at various times of the day, getting everyone in the same room at the same time to start the meeting might be challenging. Get everyone back on the same schedule, if you can, for success.

Many employers have found that mid-morning meetings are more productive since the change from home to the office. In addition, if you use mid-morning meetings, often employees have had time to settle in, and they aren’t in the flow yet. In this case — mid-morning meetings tend to be more productive. Around 10 or 11 a.m., flexibility also seems to increase.

Some workers don’t want to spend time in a meeting shortly before lunch because they believe you will drag on and they’ll be late for lunch plans. So always start and end meetings on time.

How about a lunch meeting?

Lunchtime/Lunch break: Meeting timings are often influenced by mealtimes, so grabbing and paying for your employees’ lunch can be a great week to connect. If you’re holding a conference during a meal, plan on supplying the food — and let that be known.

Employees will feel more productive and invigorated if they are given some beverages or little snacks, even if it isn’t a full dinner. Still, a lunch meeting with great food can also go under the team-building budget for your dollars. In addition, these meetings bring your team closer together as they talk with each other before and after the meeting.

Afternoon: Employees are generally lethargic soon after lunch, but by three p.m., the energy picks up. I used to have a boss that always said, “Every person caffeinated, and we’ll meet in the conference room in twenty minutes.”

The vote by workers is that they are far more inclined to accept meetings after three p.m. than early morning. As a result, they’ll be more enthusiastic and have had more time to think about and prepare for the pow-wow.

A three p.m. meeting allows you and your colleagues more breathing space than a nine a.m. conference, which you must attend as soon as you get to work. Note though that for your three p.m. meetings — most of the day is passed, so your participants leave straight after the meeting.

This meeting is not for you if you have a team that works late and gets a lot done.

Never too late for a meeting

Late Afternoon/Evening Meetings: During late afternoon or evening conferences, workers may watch the clock tick and wonder when the day will conclude. If the purpose of your meeting is to increase employee passion for something, the enthusiasm will fade as the person approaches the conclusion of their workday.

Following an examination of the five time blocks in a research done by Keith Harris of WhenIsGood.com, — he said that he discovered the ideal time for a conference seemed to be about three p.m. (afternoon), even if you live in the metaverse.

By three p.m., employees have completed most of their tasks, had a meal, and regained their energy.

Three p.m. is break time. Everyone knows that. So offer snacks and beverages if you’re meeting at that time. Otherwise, food is a distraction.

Monday is the best day of the week for a conference type meeting

Let’s move on to the best day of the week to have a meeting now that we’ve discussed the optimum time. Because workers may utilize personal or vacation days to have a three-day weekend, Mondays and Fridays are typically the least productive days for holding meetings.

On Monday, employees are often still in a weekend mood and ready to leave the workplace on Friday. Yet, you must consider that sometimes your Monday meetings get your team all there and revved up for work. If planned correctly (not last-minute role call), this MO can be motivational and productive.

Days and daze

Some offices claim that conferences should be held in the middle three days of the workweek to maximize productivity and participation. However, the most significant days for conferences are the middle three of the week, and the afternoon is the optimum time for a meeting.

So, when is the best time to conduct a conference throughout the week?

According to a recent survey conducted by the meeting scheduling service WhenIsGood — the optimal time for most of their workers and respondents is Tuesday at three p.m.

While Tuesday was the favorite day in that study — it may not be for you. So if you have a real go-getter team that isn’t afraid to talk meetings and productivity — send out a survey.

Choose the day that resonates most with you and your staff, no matter what your preconceived notions turn out to be.

Image Credit: Christina Morillo; Pexels; Thank you!

Is There an Ideal Meeting Time? was originally published on Calendar by Choncé Maddox.

A Beginner’s Guide to Intuitive Calendar Management

By | Time Management | No Comments
Calendar Management

Entrepreneurs and business professionals have a lot on their plates. There are forms to sign, meetings to attend, and a work-life balance that’s always teetering on edge. But, while the focus of business is almost always money at the end of the day, the real currency for businesspersons is time. The adage “time is money” is more true today than ever before.

If you can genuinely harness your time, there’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish. However, mastering time management is easier said than done. A lot of effort is required to manage time effectively, as well as a solid desire to structure your life and business with extra precision.

To satisfy the time management needs of every person possible, the calendar in its physical and digital forms was made. By learning better calendar management, you can make huge strides forward in your personal time management. Here is a beginner’s guide to help you get started:

Aim for Purpose and Results

When it comes to time management, everything you do should be intentional. Don’t just fill your calendar for the sake of looking busy. You will find a lot more success by aiming for a specific purpose and focusing on results.

One way to ensure that your scheduling remains intentional is to follow a tried-and-true planning method from a time management expert. For example, the Rapid Planning Method from renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins is crafted with intentional time management in mind.

Use an Organizational System

Once you have a good idea of how you want to use your calendar to improve time management, you need to keep it nice. If you purchase a three-ring binder but fail to follow an organizational pattern, you’re not going to get much value out of it. However, if you’re utilizing a system by using things such as tabs and dividers, you’ll find the binder to be quite useful.

Your online calendar of choice will have various options and features you can use to stay organized. One of the most common and effective options available is color-coding. This will change how your events appear based on how you want to organize them. For example, you can match work events with your company’s logo to easily differentiate them from the rest of your schedule.

The great thing about online calendars is that they are highly flexible. You can use your own combination of color-coding and organize in a way that works specifically for you. Key points to remember are not doing too much and using a practical and memorable system. Too many colors can be challenging to keep track of.

Take Advantage of Recurring Events

As you’re setting up your calendar, note any repeat events you see. For example, you might have a team huddle every Monday morning or attend a spin class on Friday nights. Instead of manually inputting every single one of these events into your calendar, you can take advantage of recurring events.

When you set a recurring event, it pops up in your calendar at an automatic interval. This can be done for monthly, weekly, or even daily activities. This will save you a lot of time when planning out your schedule, as you don’t have to input the same event over and over again manually. This also will ensure that you never accidentally miss an event because you didn’t happen to add it to your calendar once.

Recurring events are also helpful for scheduling routines. You don’t always need to put a morning routine into your calendar, but doing so for a few weeks can help you adapt to a new schedule. For instance, if you’re moving from day shifts to night shifts, you might want to plan out the specifics in your calendar with recurring events until you’re used to the new schedule.

Learn How to Batch

At this point, you should have most of your calendar squared away. You can now start working on fine-tuning your calendar to make it work even better for you. One such thing you can learn to tune up your calendar is how to batch tasks. This will condense your calendar, making it appear less cluttered while still getting just as much done.

Most people batch tasks by starting with a to-do list. This is separate from the schedule that ends up in their calendar. Once you create a to-do list, you can organize each task by function and priority. This will give you batches of tasks that can be added to larger time blocks in your calendar instead of individual pieces that have you bouncing all over the place.

Don’t Forget Buffer Time

If you’re still concerned about how to fit everything into your busy schedule without overlapping, be sure not to forget about buffer time. Adding buffer time to all of your events can be a daily life saver. More often than not, you’ll be glad you included buffer time even if you didn’t need it.

Always leave some amount of time in between your meetings and events. For example, if you have back-to-back meetings, you might try and schedule them on the hour to fit them nicely into your calendar. Including 15 minutes of buffer time in between meetings will protect you if one meeting happens to run long and threatens to make you late for the next.

If you don’t need to use the buffer time, you can always have a backup plan for how you can use that time. For example, you can do some bonus prep as you move on to your next meeting, take care of some emails, or outline your next blog post. Of course, none of these tasks are urgent, but you might as well take advantage of any opportunities you find.

Who knew that something as simple as a Calendar could be used for so much. Simply using a calendar regularly is already a step in the right direction. Add these details along the way, and time management will begin to come naturally to you, and there won’t be anything you can’t achieve.

Image Credit: cottonbro; Pexels; Thank you! 

Get More Done with the DRY Principle

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Get More Done Dry Principle

Take a minute and think about your everyday tasks. I’m sure that many of them are likely to be repetitive and time-consuming — whether you’re working in an office or from home. But, is there a way to reduce this workload to get more done so that you’ll be productive instead of being busy?

Thankfully, there are several strategies you can try in order to get more done. Examples include the Eisenhower Matrix or the Pareto Principle. But, have you tried the DRY Principle?

What is DRY, and How Does it Work?

Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas, in their book The Pragmatic Programmer, coined the phrase “don’t repeat yourself” in 1999. They describe DRY as “Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.”

In software engineering, DRY is a technique for reducing repetition in code. Coders streamline coding using a single, reusable source, aka “snippet,” whenever appropriate. Hence, the name, don’t repeat yourself.

As well as saving time, writing the same thing multiple times means that there is less room for human error. After all, if you make a mistake once, you’ll probably make it twice. Plus, if you decide to make any changes, you only have to do this one time.

The bottom line is that less code is good. It saves time and energy. It’s much easier to maintain. And, it also reduces the likelihood of bugs.

While the DRY Principle originally applied to software development, it can be adopted into other facets in order to get more done. For example, on a daily basis, how many emails do you send and receive? Essentially, you’re recreating the same structure with slightly different wording with each email. And, when you’re calendar is already booked, this can be very tedious.

DRY requires that you take note of all your actions throughout the day, one at a time. You can include tasks that are within the following categories in order to meet this requirement:

  • Unplanned events, such as a phone call from a client or urgent text from a colleague.
  • Monthly and yearly obligations, like annual reports and one-on-one meetings with team members.
  • Everyday routines and your top priorities.

Once you’ve compiled this list, you can determine which ones apply to the DRY Principle. From there, take note of how repetitive, time-consuming, and intimidating each one is, and mark them down. If the top candidates are DRY Principle qualifiers, you can automate as many of these as possible.

In some cases, you will not be able to automate all the duties. However, you can streamline certain parts to help you get more done.

Where Are You Repeating Yourself?

Have you ever used a system like Getting Things Done (GTD)? If so, the DRY Principle should be easy to understand as both follow a similar process. DRY, however, aims to avoid redundant processes.

To get started, keep a daily journal for at least a week. Then, you should track your time for a more accurate picture for a month or so. This allows you to take note of your routine tasks. But, this should also help you identify less frequent occurrences as well.

Here are some pointers you can use while tracking your time.

  • Add unplanned or unscheduled tasks, like responding to a client’s email.
  • Keep track of monthly and annual tasks. Examples of these are quarterly reports, audits, invoicing, and tech maintenance.
  • Ask others what their routine tasks are to fill in any gaps.

Hopefully, you now have a bird’s-eye view of your tasks. Next, you need to decide which tasks are best suited to DRY.

You can do this using whatever tools you rely on to track your tasks. For example, you can create tags or labels for each category in your to-do list or time-tracking app. The categories can then be added as columns in a spreadsheet. Or, you can go old school and write them down with a pen and paper.

To make this process easier, hone in on the corresponding categories;

  • Pain points. These would be the activities that you dread so much that they cause you to procrastinate
  • Bottlenecks. Which tasks are bogging down the rest of your day?
  • Tasks that require a lot of time. Review your time-tracking results and determine which tasks consume most of your time.
  • Work that repeats itself. Which tasks do you find yourself doing over and over?

As a result of categorizing your tasks, you can now identify which tasks are suitable for DRY. DRY is most likely to benefit tasks with a repetitive nature. You can eliminate repetitive tasks from your list if they aren’t essential so that you can focus on what’s important.

Create Templates

After discovering where you’re repeating yourself, you can now find ways to eliminate them so you can get more done. And, perhaps the most accessible place to start is through templates.

In most cases, templates are blank documents that need to be filled in. You can either create one from scratch or download a premade online. Regardless, templates will save you time since you’re no longer constantly creating emails, invoices, or calendars every day.

Generally speaking, templates are most needed in the following areas:

  • Emails. Office workers receive an average of 121 emails each day. As a result, there’s a possibility you’re sending the same emails repeatedly. You can create your own template by removing all the personal information and saving it for later use.
  • Internal communications. Examine your most recent communications and search for patterns. Even a minimal template can ease your stress and save you time.
  • External documents. Contracts, proposals, invoices all seem to look the same. However, when you remove the information specific to your clients and partners, you’ll have a template to use, and you can customize it as needed.
  • Presentations. Prepare a presentation template if you deliver more than one presentation a year. Then, regardless of how different each presentation appears, the basic structure can remain the same.

One more thing with templates. You should consider them as non-static documents. You should, therefore, update the template if you notice that you’re always making the same changes.

Automate Routine Tasks

During the course of your workday, you perform several repetitive tasks. But, what business tasks should you consider automating?

For starters, scheduling appointments. It’s easy to schedule appointments with calendar apps. You can send your calendar via email or link it to your website. You can now show others your availability so they can select a time and date that works for them. Once chosen, the event will be automatically added to schedules for all attendees.

Sorting and responding to emails, posting to social media, and filling out online forms can also be automated. This is also true for proposals, invoicing, customer service, and data backup.

You may only have to spend a couple of minutes on each task. But they add up quickly and divert your attention.

Follow the 30x Rule

Until now, we’ve only discussed the many ways you can leverage tools and messages to save time. However, DRY can also be useful in your daily activities.

“Most managers would think it’s crazy to spend 2.5 hours training someone to do a 5-minute task because they think ‘it would just be faster to do it myself,” notes Management consultant Rory Vaden. “That is because most managers are stuck in classic ‘urgency’ thinking of only evaluating their tasks inside of the construct of one day.”

“In which case, it never makes sense to spend 2.5 hours training someone to do a task that they could do themselves in just 5 minutes,” says Vaden.

According to Vaden, you should allocate 30X that amount of time to train others for any task that can be delegated and repeated. For example, a five-minute task delegated and trained for 2.5 hours will save you 1100 minutes (over 18 hours! ), according to the 30-X rule.

Mathematically speaking, it’s Total Task Time (5 minutes 250 working days) – Training Time (5 minutes).

It’s All About Staying DRY

Because all these processes are getting done in the background, you will have more free time because you won’t need to perform repetitive tasks manually. So when it comes to time management, the DRY Principle is an effective tool to experiment with.

By maximizing your output now, you will have more time to spend on the things that matter most in the future. And, to get started, take a look at your current workload, and see if there is anything you can automate under the DRY Principle.

Image Credit: Enikő Tóth; Pexels; Thanks!

5 Easy Ways to Be on Schedule for Your Appointments in the Winter

By | Appointment, Scheduling | No Comments
Appointments in the Winter

Planning and scheduling your appointments in the winter can be a distinct challenge. It can be hard to stay motivated when all you want to do is curl up by the fire. Travel may also be difficult. Road conditions can certainly throw a wrench into your plans by extending travel time or even causing events to be canceled.

Some people live in areas that rarely see snow or even freezing temperatures. Life goes on as normal for this demographic. But if you’re among those who have to brave the cold each winter, there are a few extra things you’ll have to do to make your schedule work. To ensure you’re always on time for your planned appointments during the harshest of winters, use these five strategies:

1. Connect an Online Calendar

If you struggle with being tardy to appointments, you need to log onto an online calendar. You can use a simple app on your phone that will forever change how you look at time management. In many cases, you can even connect this online calendar with your appointment bookings for instant synchronization.

With your appointment booking in your calendar, you can plan more strategically to make it to your events on time. If you have a meeting or obligation that ends right before your appointment is supposed to start, you’re more likely to end up running late.

2. Opt for Appointment Reminders

If the business in question offers appointment reminders, you should seriously consider signing up for them. Rain, snow, or shine, appointment reminders are a great way to make sure you arrive at your appointments on schedule. Businesses using online appointment software can send you reminders in a variety of ways.

For starters, online appointment software enables automated reminders that can be sent at the most optimal times for every booking. You can receive these reminders in an email, over text, or even with a robocall. You can often select how to receive your reminders according to your personal preference.

3. Check the Weather

Staying on top of the weather forecast will help you stay on time for your winter appointments. By checking the weather for the upcoming week, you can plan short-range appointments for the sunniest days when the roads are most likely to be clear.

Sometimes all it takes is looking at the 24-hour forecast to pick the right appointment time. It might snow one night, but be warm and sunny the next day, which will melt all the snow and ice away by mid-afternoon. Plan ahead to account for possible weather delays, especially if you don’t want to drive in rain or snow. Booking on good-weather days can help you remain punctual for appointments in the winter.

4. Prepare Your Transportation in Advance

On a day when winter conditions aren’t in your favor, the best course of action is to prepare your method of transportation well in advance. Whether you’ll be taking a car or public transportation to your next appointment, you can plan for it ahead of time. If you are taking a bus, subway, or train, check the departure and arrival schedules beforehand, as they are subject to change. Additionally, if you’re using a rideshare, pay attention to times when surge pricing is in effect so you can avoid those times.

If you are driving, start your car early on the day of your appointment. Letting it run for five minutes or so will warm up the interior so you’re not miserable. It will also get the inner workings of your car running smoothly for safe travels. This is especially important if you park outdoors. The heat from a warmed car will help melt any snow and ice that might obscure your vision while driving, making it easier to scrape off.

You should engage in other forms of preparation even earlier. For example, shop early for good snow tires. They will help you travel safely to your appointments in the winter, even during moderate snowfall. If you wait until the peak of winter to make the switch, you run the risk of getting stuck in the snow at an inopportune time. You could even spend a bunch of additional money if winter tire prices increase due to heightened demand.

5. Call Ahead on Snow Days

If the snow piled up the night before your appointment, give the business a call as soon as they open. This gives you an opportunity to ask whether they still plan on being open and serving customers that day. If they’re closed due to weather, you can reschedule your appointment. If the business has confirmed that it will be open, you can take advantage of your early travel preparations to get there safely.

Another possible scenario is that the business has decided to remain open but will allow customers to reschedule their appointments free of charge. If you’re concerned about traveling in snowy conditions, you can change your own booking without incurring the normal cancellation fee.

Alternatively, you might brave the snow if the bookings before and after yours have been canceled or rescheduled. You’ll have the comfort of knowing you can take your time traveling to the appointment without causing your service provider to get off track.

If you stay on top of things, no winter can slow you down. You’ll be able to stay on schedule during one of the most challenging times of the year.

Image Credit: SHVETS Production; Pexels; Thanks!

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