Today we’re up to strategy #17 in our ongoing video series on getting stuff done, tools to make leaders more productive in the limited time we seem to have. Today’s tip is to block your schedule.
Block your schedule
Blocking your schedule can result in getting stuff done and being more efficient in two specific areas.
Schedule strategic projects
Let’s look at the first one. Remember back in Strategy #2, I explained how to prioritize your endless to-do list by using a simple two-by-two matrix. One of the quadrants in this two-by-two matrix was the high impact but hard to implement box. I called it “strategic projects”. These are the tasks that are usually well-worth doing, but they require further study and planning. Because these are hard to implement, they are the ones most people procrastinate on, which means that the only way to get them done is to schedule them into your calendar. So block off time in your schedule, not a lot, even 1 hour a day, or 2 hours twice a week will result in you getting stuff done and off your to-do list.
Establish office hours
There is a second way to become more efficient by blocking your schedule. Establish office hours. Now I know this might sound odd, but stay with me. Do you remember when you went to university or college and your professors would set office hours? Specific times during the week when you would be guaranteed to find the professor in his/her office and available to talk to you. Same idea. If you are constantly interrupted by others, particularly your staff, block office hours in your calendar – specific times during the week when your employees know that you are available to them and they will get you “live” either in person or over the telephone. Once your employees and others you work with realize that you have time blocked off for them, they are less likely to interrupt you at other times. There is a “learning curve” associated with this, but once you “train” people to abide by your office hours, you’ll be able to use the remaining non-interruptible time for getting stuff done.
Since the start of the year, I’ve been sharing a variety of tools specifically to help leaders in getting stuff done. Here are links to some of my recent posts:
- Trouble overcoming procrastination? Use “the salami technique”
- The zenith of productivity tools – voice recognition software!
- Or just access the whole series here: Productivity tools for leaders video series