There are a couple different ways you can approach your day.
You could just go with the flow and do what shows up.
You could plan everything out – schedule all your tasks and meetings – and stick to it as much as possible.
The reality is that once you have more commitments than you can complete, you want to start thinking about a hybrid solution that allows you to still get the critical things done but also be open and flexible for what might show up.
Time-blocking is a great way to manage this.
- Helps you manage requests for your time.
The reality is that we have many demands on our time that simply can’t be put on a calendar. Phone calls, adhoc colleagues coming over, unplanned issues that arise, and so forth.
Having a calendar where you have blocked out what you are doing to focus on during that time slot allows you to be able to triage an interruption with one glance to your calendar.
This way, when you get that call to review and approve a requisition order you can glance at your calendar, see that you’re 2 hours away for an @open slot, and ask the person to come back then.
- Helps inform people when best to contact you
For a while I’ve been thinking enviably about how to replicate those office hours our professors used to set.
Isn’t it interesting how we actually used to remember those office hours and rarely tried to ‘drop by’ our professors offices when they weren’t there?
Why don’t we do that more often?
Well, using time blocks you can.
But setting time blocks and making that information available, you might well find that the people who need to get in touch with you will start to align to those time blocks.
This is not to say that emergencies don’t happen to disrupt your schedule, but once people have a visible schedule and they know the slot where you are open and available … they tend to gravitate to contacting you during those slots, if it can wait.
- Allows you to focus.
Setting a time block is like setting a meeting with yourself … which if managed well can allow you to focus more on what you have to get done.
Additionally, knowing that you’ve blocked out your day or week in such a way that it covers your must-do’s and be-ready-to-do’s, gives you the confidence to focus on what you are doing in that moment instead of responding to the adrenaline that surges from not having that surety you can get it all covered.