Do you just throw your entire schedule to the wind or is there a bit more skill and finesse involved?
In this post I offer a few ways to help you carve out some time for those unexpected moments and events.
Consolidate tasks and actions.
Is your day unnecessarily peppered with phone calls, answering emails, running errands throughout? Maybe you process invoices and bills or read bits of magazine articles and blogs here and there.
That’s a lot of time and energy spent doing one task, then rapidly switching to another and another.
Where could you consolidate different tasks throughout the day?
Even if a task or action is not physically listed on your calendar, do you find yourself constantly jumping from one thing to another?
Where in your day, or even in a specific project, can you focus on bundling similar tasks together?
Delegate work to someone else.
When it comes to freeing up time in your schedule, why not pass along tasks or items to a capable party? What items do you have on your plate right now that could easily be accomplished by someone else? Can you delegate some basic research, general filing, checkup phone calls, fact checking, ingredient or materials purchasing to someone else? Now, it does take time to prepare to delegate work to others, but if you appropriately prepare your materials and choose your worker wisely, the return on your investment might be quite large…the work might be finished faster than if you did it yourself!
Cut out wasteful time.
Just as important as the time you spend doing the things you need to get done is the time you spend not doing these things. Be honest with yourself, where are there chunks of time in your day that are just plain wasted? Are you spending too much time traveling by car or train for a low-priority meeting, putting in lots of hours on social media or taking extra long coffee breaks? Where can you trim the fat and reclaim some time for yourself?
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CALENDAR.
The Order Expert’s Guide to Time Management is a hands-on workbook that provides practical solutions to common, everyday time management problems.
Review and reschedule your calendar.
Sometimes the only way to make time for something is to physically move something else out-of-the-way. Take an objective look at your schedule. Go for low hanging fruit and take a look at what meetings or appointments can easily be moved to another date. These types of calendar items will probably involve only a couple of meeting participants or those who have more flexible schedules. After all, you don’t want to unnecessarily spend your precious time trying to move a meeting that can’t be moved, or whose participants don’t want to change the meeting in the first place!
How about you? How do you go about making time for a last-minute appointment or meeting? Which tip are you most interested in using right away? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!