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What Everybody Needs to Know About Protecting Their Time

April 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 129

With busy schedules and a variety of things to be done, it's hard to go on without organizing our schedules on our calendars. If we want to be productive, we have to take the time to fix our schedules for the week or at least days in advance. Then we have to religiously follow it so we don't waste any time. There are many ways on how we can organize our schedules. There are planners, organizers, smartphones, your Outlook calendar, and many more. Digital calendars like the ones on your smartphone or Outlook are gaining popularity because of syncing capabilities. It's easier to access schedules without the need to carry a planner.

When we schedule activities in our calendars, our tendency is to write down meetings and important activities for the week, only. We forget that we also have to do other tasks that need our full attention. What you can do is "block time" for your own activities. Even the simple ones if you need to. This is your way of protecting your time, a way to accomplish things that you need to do and have more control of your time. If you're using Outlook, it's easier to block your time because others can see that you can't be disturbed. Here are some of the advantages of protecting your time:

• Less invitations to last minute meetings - with fast-paced work environments, meetings are unpredictable. You do one, then two, the next thing you know you are stuck in more meetings. When you are finally done, you are piled up with more work and less time to finish it. If you already blocked your time, others will know that you are not available and you will avoid getting last-minute meeting invitations.

• Prevent others from stealing your time - the concept is similar with last-minute meetings. If people see that you're already busy with something else, they won't bother you. They'll let you work on the things that you need to do. You'll avoid being volunteered to help or show the new employee around, or help out with other tasks.

• Time to get things done - because you already protected your time and made others aware that you are going to be busy most of the day, you have more time to get things done. You become more productive and you don't waste time bumping off schedules for unexpected tasks and meetings.

Now that you have an idea of how protecting your time can help you become more productive and in control of your time, here are some good practices that you can start with.

• When blocking your time, include everything that you think will need some time to finish. Even the simple ones like running an errand. You can also include personal tasks so that you don't forget anything and avoid stressing yourself out later on.

• Make sure that you use just one calendar. This will make it easier for you to see and plan out your activities. You can separate priorities for work/life in your calendar. Sticking to one calendar will help you organize and protect your time properly. This also guarantees that no activity is overlooked or goes overlapping.

• Show no mercy! Schedule as much as you can. Get into the habit of scheduling more than 50% of your time or more, in a day. This will keep you focused on the things that you need to do. Even if it includes the simple tasks and personal ones. At least you already get a clear idea of how you are going to spend your day. Making you more productive without wasting time on thinking about the next thing you are suppose to do.

Managing your time is important and protecting it will help you be more productive. With busy schedules, we tend to get things mixed up or sometimes forget about the things that we need to do. When we protect our time by putting down all our activities in a day or week, we are preventing others from taking our time and we are preventing ourselves from being distracted.

Protecting our time is important because it is too valuable to be wasted. Before we realize that we've already wasted most of our day, it would be too late and the next thing you know you are already running late to your next appointment. Start your week by blocking your time. Make use of just one calendar and schedule everything you need to do for the week. Then work on your daily schedule and do your best to religiously follow it.

Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks "work" and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops - taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy,

Source: EzineArticles
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