Make Your Calendar Less Overwhelming With These Tips

If you panic every time you look at your schedule, you are not alone. The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced new stressors. Juggling professional responsibilities has become more challenging for some who find themselves working in the same rooms they sleep, eat, exercise and care for loved ones. Experts on time management and productivity offer a few tips on how to take back control of your calendar when it gets to be overwhelming.

1. Schedule yourself some “me time.”

If you are already used to scheduling back-to-back meetings, brainstorms and coffee chats, then slotting personal blocks of time into your calendar will be a breeze. Try scheduling in a half-hour for lunch—away from your desk, an afternoon run, morning meditation or quality time with your children. During these slots, it is best to give priority to physical well-being, such exercise and eating, emotional well-being, such as sleep and vacation days, and pauses between meetings to reset your brain, says Laurie Ruettimann, a Raleigh, N.C.-based executive coach and author of “Betting on You.”

2. Lighten your workload.

Figure out what you can diminish, delegate, delete, or delay. Be ruthless to protect your time: Do you have meetings scheduled that could be emails instead? At the end of each day, check your calendar for the next day to see if there are any meetings that could be rescheduled or canceled, recommends Ruettimann. Take the approach of making a recommendation and offering an alternative. Analyze your to-do list. What items can you hand off to co-workers, family or friends? If you have tasks to go over with a partner or colleague, consolidate them into one sitting rather than spreading them throughout the day or week, suggests Jesse Itzler, an Atlanta entrepreneur who runs a calendar-coaching and goal-setting program called Build Your Life Resume.

3. Get comfortable with letting go.

Give priority to what really matters. There is a difference between tasks that are important—meaning if you don’t do them, there is going to be a major long-term impact—versus just urgent, meaning they need to be done fast. Whittle down your to-do list by thinking about what you can diminish, delegate, delete or delay, says Julie Morgenstern, author of time-management books including “Time to Parent.” Sometimes, it is best to just let go of the tasks, chores, or meetings on your list that you can’t seem to get done. Kim Scott, a Silicon Valley CEO coach and author of the forthcoming book, “Just Work,” recommends running the things you choose to get rid of by a trusted co-worker or friend first to make sure they aren’t vital.

Read the original article by Rachel Feintzeig here.

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