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Don’t Forget Downtime

Don’t Forget Downtime

Time management is also about making room for the non-work things you love and those that allow you to recharge.

Think about what recharges your batteries: It might be nature, exercise, friends, art, baking, or anything else you enjoy. And make time for it.

Take Stock and Track Your Time

Take Stock and Track Your Time

You can’t really clean up your schedule if you don’t know what’s in it—and that includes all the things on your literal and official calendar and all the things that aren’t. 

Pretend Future You Is Present You

Pretend Future You Is Present You

We tend to overestimate our time and energy in the future and so we fill our calendars with tasks we think we'll be able to complete.

When you’re thinking about something in the future, ask yourself if you’d do it tomorrow. You know how much energy you have now and presume it’ll be pretty similar tomorrow. That allows you to be a little more judicious.

Purge Recurring Meetings and Tasks

Purge Recurring Meetings and Tasks

Once you know what’s on your calendar, ask yourself: “What is the purpose of each thing on here? Are we accomplishing that or does something need to change?” 

Question each task. Start with recurring meetings, which can very easily build up and take over your calendar.

Create Blocks

Create Blocks

Part of cleaning up your schedule is finding strategies to prevent it from getting cluttered again.

Block chunks of time on your calendar when you won’t be available to answer emails or phone calls or to attend meetings. This will prevent other things from accumulating and occupying the time you need.

Sort Things By Importance and Urgency

... and put them in one of four quadrants:

  • Quadrant I: Important, Urgent (crises, last-minute meetings for important deadlines)
  • Quadrant II: Important, Not Urgent (strategic planning, long-term goal setting)
  • Quadrant III: Not Important, Urgent (certain emails, phone calls, meetings, and events)
  • Quadrant IV: Not Important, Not Urgent (scrolling mindlessly through social media, binge-watching TV you don’t really care about).

Minimize or Outsource

Minimize or Outsource

Is there a task at work that you could delegate or outsource? Delegate or partner up with someone to ease your job.

If you can’t pass off certain tasks to others wholesale, try to minimize the time and effort they require. 

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