Many people use some kind of planner. But what is your routine in managing your calendar? I’m amazed how many people don’t look at their calendar as nothing more than a sophisticated “to-do” list. A list may have no thought as to what is the most productive order to complete the tasks. I find this when I make a grocery list. Sometimes I go down the list getting everything I need, but I’m wandering back and forth in the grocery store. If I spend a few minutes organizing the list, I’d get out of the grocery store faster.
Here are some suggestions for increasing productivity (yes, this is my routine):
Friday afternoon look at the upcoming work week.
What meetings are scheduled? If there’s no agenda for a meeting, make sure you need to be at the meeting. Make a list for what you need to do to prepare for meetings.
Plan your “Empty Time”.
Empty time is the time where there’s no meeting. This is the time you could:
- Use to prepare for upcoming meetings – read any documentation, previous meeting notes
- Type up meeting notes
- Respond to email
- Think, yes think about the problems you are trying to tackle. Be determine to add value to your work environment and any meeting you attend.
Don’t let anyone add to your schedule for the upcoming week!
There are only two people I allow to add to my work schedule at the last minute and they are several pay grades higher than me. If someone wants a meeting request that the meeting be scheduled a week out. Most meetings I attend are the ones I schedule, I prefer to give people at least 2 weeks to prepare. But with the way work goes, one week is usually the best I can do. I expect the same in return.
Every morning look at your calendar and To-do list.
Make any adjustments if necessary. I look at the previous day and carry-over any to-do items that were undone.
One of my engineering professors once shared that we should know the value of our time and never waste it. The value of your time isn’t only what you make per hour on the job. You determine the value of your time. Respect it and the value of other peoples’ time.