Time Management Tips: Scheduling

Time Management Tips: Scheduling
Instructor: Dave Crenshaw
Released: 10/29/2019Course Details
Skills Covered
Time Management
Course Link
Professional Certifications and Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Project Management Institute – PDUs: 0.75 hour
National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASABA) – CPE: 1.4
Get bite-sized tips for mastering your work schedule. In this installment of the Time Management Tips series, productive leadership author and speaker Dave Crenshaw shares practical strategies for scheduling everything from meetings to learning opportunities. Dave begins by explaining why calendars are generally more effective than to-do lists. He then covers how to efficiently set up appointments, help others keep appointments with you, and handle canceled meetings. Plus, learn how to accurately determine how long a task will take (and how to process it), how to create quarterly plans, and even how to schedule time to relax and establish a nightly ritual for sleep.

Learning objectives
– List one recommended tip to help schedule appointments more efficiently.
– Explain the benefits of delegating repetitive tasks.
– Identify how to estimate the length of a task.
– Recall a useful way to help focus your weekly planning.

Source: LinkedIN Learning
Scheduling Tips

Replace to-do lists with a schedule

To Do
List of things you want to accomplish.

To do lists creates switches, task switching.

  1. Establish a calendar
  2. Calendar time to process to-do
  3. Replace to do list with a notepad
  4. Consistently process the list
  5. Create a to don’t list

What, When, Where Processing
The act of deciding what the next step is, when you’re going to do it, and where its home is.

Efficiently setting appointments with others

  1. No tentative appointments
  2. Never double schedule
  3. Build buffer room
  4. Use an online schedule tool
  5. Get an assistant
  6. Send reminders

Setting achievable expectations

Underpromise and over deliver.   Estimate how long it will take and add 10%.  Use the “latest” question.  What is the latest you need this?   Then schedule to complete the work a few days/hours before it’s due.   Focus on progress, not perfection.

Plan projects with many steps

  1. Work one step at a time, focus only on the next step.   Ask yourself “what is the next action step required to move this forward?”
  2. Divide and conquer your work.  What is the midway point between now and the due date?

Planning to free up time

  1. Is there anything repetitive I can delegate?
  2. Am I the bottleneck?
  3. Can work be done in the background?  (Online campaign, article, blog)
  4. What will make the most value per hour?

Estimating task length

  1. Estimating time is like a muscle, needs some practice
  2. Overestimate – estimate an extra 50%
  3. Add buffer space
  4. If you run out of time, stop
  5. Reprocess 

How to schedule a meeting

  1. Schedule quick meetings (55 or 25 minutes)
  2. Share schedule
  3. Provide multiple time options
  4. Use a third party app

How to help others keep appointments with you

Imagine yourself in their situation.

  1. Ensure your appointment appears on their schedule.
  2. Send an appointment reminder

What to do when appointments are canceled

It’s more productive to keep most meetings than to reschedule them.

Canceled Meeting Categories

  • Conflict – meeting conflicts with other projects/meetings
  • Commitment – person sees no value in the meeting

Ask if they believe this meeting is a priority.

Plan quarterly to improve productivity

Target: Something you want to accomplish

  1. Review targets for the quarter
  2. Set new targets – both personally and for your career
  3. Add “what is the next step?”
  4. Gather

Make time to have fun

Find something fun to do three times a day.  This will leave you more focused, creative and healthy.  Having fun should be a top priority.  Choose an activity that you find enjoyable.  Schedule 15-20 minutes every day for that activity.   Afterwards determine your attitude about life and your career?

Create a nightly ritual for sleep

You need between 6 to 10 hours of sleep.  Try different lengths to determine your optimal sleep number.  Build a schedule around your sleep number.  Consistent sleep patterns are best for productivity.

Prioritize learning opportunities

What results are you trying to achieve?  Determine how many learning opportunities you can give attention to.  Determine what you’ll be able to take action on.

Explore the weekly planning session

  • Double check your schedule
  • “What’s the most important result I will accomplish this week?”
  • “Are there relationships I want to pay more attention to?”
  • Coordinate personal schedules

Yearly planning to support goals

“What’s one result I want this year that I’m not getting now”?   Use the divide and conquer approach to break up the task by midpoint over and over again until you get to the next action step.

What to do when major life events occur

Dealing with Life Events

  • Stop and process
  • Reset your expectations
  • Delegate work
  • Decline opportunities
To experience the full benefit of this guide, I highly recommend you watch the full training session.

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