Here’s a great way to improve your time management: take time at the end of every day to “right-size your calendar”. What does this mean?
Simply put, you “right-size your calendar” by looking back at your day and adjusting the appointments or the time blocks in your calendar to accurately reflect what you actually did that day.
Perhaps you had planned to spend an hour in a meeting with your team, but the meeting ran overtime and took two hours. You would adjust the time blocked in your calendar for the team meeting from one hour to two hours during the specific time frame that the meeting took.
Or maybe you planned to spend time reviewing your expense reports, but got caught scrolling your social media accounts and didn’t even look at your expense reports. In this case you might re-plan the time for your expense report review to a future day and update your calendar appointments to reflect the time that you spent browsing social media that day.
Or maybe you planned to take an hour for lunch with your spouse at a local restaurant and in fact everything went as planned and you had a great time. In this case, you don’t have to adjust anything since you did what you planned in the amount of time you planned.
Why should you take time at the end of each day to “right-size your calendar”?
- It gives you an accurate record of where you actually spent your time – this gives you the ability to look back to the previous week / month / year and to see what you actually did each day.
- It allows you to see how things might have changed on daily basis from how you planned – this enables you observe how much of your planning is accurate, take time to re-plan things that were bumped or require more time, and recognize what you were able to accomplish that day.
- It enables you to identify time wasters – as you review the daily use of your time, by honestly documenting how you spent your time, you may be able to see instances and/or patterns where you are wasting time in activities or distractions that aren’t what you are intended to do.
- It builds your future planning intuition – as you pay more attention to how long things actually take, how accurate your planning is relative to your execution, how many interruptions or unexpected events are impacting your time management, etc. you will instinctively be able to better estimate how long things will take when you so you take your future weekly planning time.
So if you want to significantly improve your time management, take time at the end of every day to “right-size your calendar.” It takes only a few minutes and when done consistently, it will transform your effectiveness.
Are you willing to try it out this week?