Plan Margin

The last few weeks have been quite intense for me. Appointments over and over, traveling, starting my writing challenge, challenging myself even a bit more…

I experienced days where I thought that’s it, here is the limit. I cannot push myself any further. But instead of giving up on my challenge, I did another thing; adding margin and doing that in advance.

Know your schedule

You got a calendar? Great! Then this should be a fairly easy task for you.

Every Sunday I am sitting down and keep a look at my calendar. After knowing what’s in there, I got a pretty good glimpse of what will be going on the next week.

As people like to have me in meetings, there also can be days where I need to spend 4 hours or more in a meeting. If I am seeing such a day in my calendar, I like to block the rest of the day in my calendar. If I wouldn’t do that, the chances are high, that someone would throw other meetings in there and I wouldn’t come to any meaningful work.

Be aware what is happening in your calendar and defend your time. In most companies it is way too easy to shit into someone else calendar and fill it up with pointless meetings.

Plan even more time with and for yourself

Last Wednesday I had a day full of workshops and actually I had a few other things to take care off. And it worked out perfectly.

I even could go for a beer and spend additional three hours in the beer-garden with our consultant and it was a great time. The day was packed with 4 hours of workshops, at least 2 hours commuting, a 1 hour meeting, the usual work and my writing time. And I didn’t remember feeling exhausted on that day. How did that work? Margin.

For every appointment on this day, I intentionally added margin. Let’s look at the workshop, they were announced with 1.5 hours, I planned them with 2 hours. The planned commute with lunch in between could be done in about 1 hour. Again I planned two. I can continue, my writing usually takes about 30 minutes. Here I overdid and planned 2 hours for writing.

The writing was planned like this by purpose. I wanted to have this time from 10 – 12 PM to be able to dig down into writing and really have and feel the space that I have there.

And by having all this extra minutes and hours scheduled in your calendar you will feel less stressed and even have time for some beer with a stranger 😉

Conclusion

Plan your week ahead. Then it’s easy to identify full days and do something against that. Don’t be that guy that walks into the office on Monday and get punched in the face by it’s calendar.

Take these days and block out the rest of them time to not let anyone add additional stuff to your calendar.

Add margin to your appointments. Only because a meeting is scheduled for 2 hours you don’t need to use that up. If everything is said, close the meeting and be happy about that extra time you gained.

Create appointments with yourself to work on yourself. Be it writing, reading, learning. Plan that also in your schedule.

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