Calendars are vital in an organization. Without them, the office could quite possibly collapse. Conference rooms would get overbooked. Meetings would be missed or forgotten about entirely…and twenty other things all equally cringe-worthy. We rely on our calendars for good reason, but sometimes they can be both helpful…and harmful.
What’s the Leader’s Calendar?
Leaders often use calendars as their own personal work schedule. Because they get interrupted so often, they block out chunks of time to work on specific things that require intense focus. At Nexecute, we applaud this way of thinking. By scheduling and managing your time, you are creating a To Do list that will ensure you stick to this schedule and focus on the right priorities. It also lets you devote your time to one singular task rather than giving in to distraction. Think of it another way: when you get interrupted, how difficult is it to refocus back on the task that you were working on? It’s a pain! You have to remember where you were and pick up where you left off. It’s annoying and sometimes takes twice as long.
Perhaps the only real downside of organizing your calendar in this way is that it cuts you off from the rest of the team. If team members view your calendar and see you are slammed with colored blocks of time, they will neglect to come to you with something incredibly important, maybe even related to one of the initiatives you’re working on.
While it’s important to limit yourself to distractions and interruptions, you still need to have your pulse on what is happening in the organization.
Communicating to Your Team Your Priorities
When you schedule your time, we urge you to communicate to your team what your priorities are and how it impacts them. Conversations would go something like this…
- “I am working on the plan for employee professional development this week, but my schedule is open in these times: __________. Let me know if you have something we need to discuss, and I can shift things in my calendar.”
- “I have open times on these days: _________, but these other items are very important for me to knock out. Please respect my schedule but if something crucial comes up, let me know.”
- “This week, I’d like everyone to focus on _________ and ___________. My schedule is devoted to making sure these happen, so if I can help you in any way on getting these items accomplished, let me know!”
Notice how all of these have “let me know” in them. Communication is critical. Time management for a leader is not a solo activity because you might be needed by so many people. Bring those team members into the fold, if they understand the priorities of the organization, their time management can align with yours. And that’s when magic happens.
While we hope this blog series was helpful, if you need more Time Management training, Nexecute is here to take your skills to the next level! Contact us today and get started!