Defend Your Calendar, Define Your Life

Clients I work with come to because they want to grow their business, but something is holding them back. Like their sales isn’t keeping up with operations & service, or operations isn’t keeping up with the sales & marketing. They can do the work but don’t have it, or they have lots of work but can’t execute it.

They’re busier than a one-armed paper hanger trying to wallpaper two different rooms at once. They stagger out of the office at the end of the long day, not sure what they got done but certain that things aren’t going to be much different tomorrow. How do we make sure that we can spend some time, any time, making the changes that need to be made?

One of my clients has taken to blocking time in his own calendar. This will usually work, unless you live in a culture where co-workers ignore what’s already in your calendar, or the closed office door, because naturally whatever they’re working on is the most important thing right now.

My advice to him, and a technique I’ve used: hide. If you’re office is empty people assume you’re in a meeting anyway, and you are. A meeting of one.

If this sounds a little much, try de-fragmenting or batching your schedule. Just like we don’t wash every shirt as it hits the laundry basket, why would we stop what we’re doing every time an e-mail pops into our in-basket? This video from Fast Company explains:

Work Smart: Defrag Your Calendar by Batching Tasks

In order to move your business, life, or job forward 1)  be clear on what your priorities are, 2) have a clear action plan (who does what by when with which resources) for those priorities, and 3) take control of your calendar.

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