We have our weekly block schedule set. We even have our non-weekly regular meeting in place. it looks neat and tidy and ready to go. Great!
The problem is simple. Life is not linear and neat and tidy.
Everyone of us has to deal with the unexpected, the interruptions, and the unplanned. It is a normal part of life. That day when the “To Do” list becomes the “Didn’t do today got to do tomorrow” list is something we each face.
This is where the margin we built into our block schedule comes in.
Let’s start with appointments, in the last priority we should have included an appointment block into our schedule. I have two regular blocks set aside and three for lunch appointments (see image 1). These can be appointments where someone wants to see me or where I ask to see them. Our secretary has access to my calendar through Google and can actually set appointments for me in the two main blocked times when people call to ask for a meeting. (I’ll post later on how we handle calls for a meeting and what guidelines we use.) I set my own lunch appointments.
We also should have in our block schedule time allocated for unplanned/unexpected things (see image 2). This allows a time to slot those things that come up and still be able to remain on track with those things that are a part of our purpose and flow with our priority list. We also have the white space on our calendars which gives us some room for adjustment and add on items as well. We just need to be careful and guard what and how often we allow things to invade that space that are not part of our top three priorities.
Of course, if nothing unexpected or extra happens in a week (yeah right) then we have that margin time to catch up on things that have slipped or even work ahead to get ready for the next busy season that will come about.
There will be those unexpected things and even opportunities that arise that take a whole day or more. With this schedule, you will be able to decide how to respond best as you will truly know what is being affected with a yes. It also helps us plan for those weeks that are crazier than others in advance instead of getting in the middle of them and scrambling to keep up.
The next post in this series will deal with managing our use of Social Media and email.
What are your thoughts or questions?