Are you looking to get a better handle on your calendar?
Do you want to arrive on time to your appointments and meetings?
Travel time is no different from any other time in our schedule.
The minutes and hours pass whether we are walking down a busy street, taking a train, or sitting on an airplane or bus.
Unfortunately, travel time often gets the short end of the stick and is deemed insignificant or unworthy of our attention.
In this post, I offer three solid reasons as to why you should add travel time to your calendar.
If you’ve never included travel time in your schedule, you may want to do so after reading this post!
You can better manage your schedule overall.
Have you ever wondered exactly how much time you spend in transit during the day? While we don’t always think about the time we spend hopping on a subway, or taking a walk around the block to run an errand, all those little minutes in transit can quickly add up.
Having your travel time etched into your calendar gives you tangible information about your daily routine. There’s no guessing as to how many hours per week you’re spending in the office, or how many hours you’re spending driving, walking, or taking the train or bus.
Once you have a clear idea about how many hours of your day are actually spent traveling, you can take steps to better manage and edit your schedule. Maybe you’ll realize you’re fed up with the time you spend going back and forth to appointments, or commuting every day to work. You may choose to reduce your travel time by scheduling meetings in the same location or opting to work remotely from home a few days a month.
You can better appreciate the time it takes to complete tasks.
When you add travel time to your calendar, it suddenly gives your regular tasks and activities an interesting new context. No longer are you simply going out to run an errand at the post office or grocery store. You are made aware of the fact that it takes several minutes (or more!) of your valuable time to stop what you’re doing, pack up your belongings, start on your travels, take care of the errand, and travel back to your current location.
Having an appreciation for the time it tasks to complete tasks will help you make more strategic time management decisions. For example, you may ask yourself is it worth your time to drop an assignment that’s due today at 5 P.M. in order to run a non-urgent errand? Perhaps it would make more sense to finish your assignment, and complete the errand later in the week. Another good solution would be to delegate the task to someone else, an assistant, colleague, or friend, who has some time to spare.
You avoid double-booking yourself.
Accidentally double-booking appointments or meetings in your schedule is a horrible, gut wrenching feeling. Wouldn’t you agree? Not only can you not be in two places at once, but you have to make an immediate decision as to which appointment you’ll keep, and which you’ll reschedule. In some cases, your double-booked schedule may even prevent you from keeping other appointments later in the day.
When you place travel time in your calendar, it’s fairly difficult to double-book yourself. You’ve made a clear and bold travel “appointment” with yourself. There’s no guessing as to whether that time is free or busy, or whether you can squeeze in another meeting at the last-minute. As an added bonus, having travel time in your schedule signals to others when you are unavailable for meetings or appointments. With this information in mind, where in your calendar could you add travel time in order to prevent double-bookings?