How to Properly Respect Your Schedule

Man smiling with his arms folded across his body

Do you want to better respect your time and energy?

Are you wondering how you can properly respect your schedule in today’s busy day and age?

While this might seem like a silly question to ask, there’s actually a lot more at stake.

Respecting your schedule means taking care of yourself, first, and foremost.             

It means taking time for yourself, so you have time for others.

What’s more, it’s about taking enough time for yourself. You don’t want to feel as if you were short-changed in your schedule.   

In this post, you’ll find several tips to help you manage your time for the better.

And remember, when it comes to managing your schedule, you’re the one who is in charge!

Be choosy when accepting invitations to appointments, meetings, and events.

Do you automatically say “yes” to invitations as soon as you receive them? If you do, you may be sabotaging your own personal time without even realizing it.

Just because you were invited to a function does not mean you have to attend. That’s why it’s called an invitation.      

As an invitee, you always have two choices: to attend the function or not. This is certainly worth bearing in mind. 

You are not obligated to say “yes,” any more than you are obligated to say “no.” It really comes down to your personal choice.

What if you receive an invitation for an event that conflicts with personal time you’ve scheduled for yourself?

You’ll want to take extra care in deciding whether or not you are willing to devote your personal time for someone else’s cause.

Streamline time spent with others.

Streamlining time spent with others isn’t about ignoring other people, Rather, it’s about making the most of your time together. It’s the quality of time spent together that matters.

When you follow this approach, you’ll naturally have more time for yourself because you’ve shown respect for both their time, and yours.

Case in point: a well-organized meeting will be more productive than one that is not.  

In what ways can you make your meetings with other people more efficient?

Is it necessary to cross town in order to briefly meet with someone or could you hold your meeting via video or conference call?

How about preparing a few agenda items in advance so you could minimize the length of the meeting?

Don’t over-commit or over-promise your time.

Are you giving away more time than you can afford? Do you say you can spend three hours working on a volunteer project when in fact you can only commit one hour of your time?

No matter the cause or situation, it’s important for you to be honest about your time. Giving away time you don’t have only sets you up for time management troubles at a later date.

You may find it helpful to treat your time as if it were money. If you give away time you don’t have, what happens? You’ll end up being in debt…to yourself.

It really is quite simple: if you feel you can’t give someone a certain amount of time, then don’t. Remember, it is your time.

Avoid the “should” syndrome.

Freely using the word “should” in your vocabulary can be a hindrance when it comes to managing your time. The word itself is filled with potential that is rarely realized.

The more time you spend “shoulding” a situation, the more valuable time you lose. This can manifest itself in phrases such as: “I should run that errand to the pharmacy,” or “I should make that hair appointment.”

What’s the cure to the dreaded “should” syndrome? Remove the word “should” from your vocabulary.

Choose to either perform a task, or not. If for some reason you cannot or choose not to work on a task at a particular moment, make a note of it in your calendar so you can complete it at a later date.

Make a point to put yourself first.

Life’s way too short to ignore your own schedule. This is by no means the easy route, but you duly have to protect yourself and your time.

You are important. And so is your time. You might not think much of it, but you are as deserving of your own time as anyone else is. Don’t shy away from carving out time for yourself.

If need be, make an appointment with yourself to sit quietly, soak in the tub, or work out at the gym.

You could shop for clothes, play ball with your dog, watch your favorite TV show, or read a book.

Put a priority on doing whatever it is that makes you happy and keeps you healthy.

No one else will value your time as much as you will. Do yourself the favor of putting yourself first in your schedule.

How about you? How do you carve out personal time for yourself in any given day? What time frame are you most protective of? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

How to Properly Respect Your Schedule

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About the Author


Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based productivity consultant who helps entrepreneurs manage their time and energy so they can reduce stress, work less, and make more money in their businesses. She has been featured in Fast Company, NBC News, The Washington Post, Business Insider, NPR, Huff Post, Fox Business, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.


  1. Kiri

    Excellent and relevant post!

    • Rashelle

      Thanks! I’m happy to hear you liked it.


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