Tips for the modern knowledge worker on how to streamline their calendars in the new year.
It’s 2022, and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to declutter your calendar.
There’s nothing more production-killing than a cluttered calendar, one in which you’re unable to find time to do the valuable things that are most important to you.
Whether that be brainstorming your next venture, drafting a creative piece, developing a strategic business plan, finally having that meeting with an influential mentor, launching your side gig, or just taking the time to relax and free your mind - because doing nothing is actually essential to your productivity – decluttering your calendar is crucial to your success.
Here are four quick and simple ways that you can declutter your calendar and become the most productive version of yourself in 2022. Cheers!
Make A To-Do-List to Set Your Priorities
Developing a list will help you to prioritize your schedule throughout the coming day(s) and week(s), reduce anxiety and stress, create order in your life, keep you accountable, and help you tackle those tasks you never seem to get to – for one reason or another.
Be sure to develop a list that helps you prioritize your work. Think about what you need to achieve early in the week in order to advance a project later in the week. You can also incorporate personal tasks into your list to keep your mental and physical well-being in check.
For example, your daily to-do list might look something like this:
- 30-Minute Jog
- Execute on Q4 Goals
- Review and triage emails
- Product Market Fit Survey
- User interviews
- Brainstorm Product Solutions
- Take Calls/Meetings
- 5-Minute Stretch
- Review Branding
- Regroup and Plan For Tomorrow
- Family Calls
Making a list is also a great way to declutter your mind. If you’re worried about forgetting something and it’s building up stress and anxiety, it’s hard for you to focus on other needs, so write it down!
Finally, you should keep your list handy, like in a notebook, and on your desk. One of our favorite things to do is to use neon colored post-it notes to help prioritize activities for the day.
Defensively Time-Block Your Calendar
Time-blocking and list-keeping go hand-in-hand. Back-to-back meetings can be fatiguing and leach you of your creative juices. That’s why it’s important to defensively time-block and schedule out your calendar in a way that works best for you.
Time-blocking is the art of segmenting your day into defined chunks of time used to complete like-tasks so that you’re utilizing the same portion of your brain to manage those tasks.
The thinking behind time-blocking is that it makes you more efficient throughout the day because:
- You’re focusing on a specific task at hand with the time you’ve designated for that task
- As you use the same portion of your brain for each chunk of time, you’re more able to focus on and complete tasks because you’re not skipping around from one tab, device, or screen to another and losing that critical stream of thought
- You’re scheduling the thing, so the thing happens.
During a time-block, you also want to be sure to mute any notifications to help minimize disruption. All too often, a slack notification, can lead to a twitter feed, can have you lost on the internet for precious minutes and hours, and before you know it, you’ve lost track of your to-do list.
Once you’ve identified how you’d like to block your time, don’t forget to translate that block to your digital calendar so you can let others know that time is off limits.
Icebreaker for your next party; Benjamin Franklin is one of the earliest known adopters of time-blocking.
Eliminate the Recurring Meeting
Here’s an important one. Eliminate that recurring meeting!
Oftentimes, the recurring meeting becomes unnecessary – you have no updates, and neither do the other parties involved, but the meeting persists and becomes monotonous and inefficient.
This type of collaboration overload is taking a toll on not only your productivity and flexibility, but it’s also limiting your organization from being agile. Each and every minute you spend in another useless meeting is gutting your output and robbing you of the time you need to get to the things you want to take care of.
Take a moment and ask yourself and your team some essential questions to decide if a meeting is necessary.
Consider employing the magic of technology to streamline your productivity. You might try Katch, our tool that allows you to take meetings when they’re right for you and the other party, and in the moment. You’ll also put an end to the back-and-forth that comes with trying to coordinate your calendar with someone else’s.
Using Katch is a great way to eliminate the recurring meeting. Simply time-block a portion of your day, make yourself available on the app, and connect with others.
Do What Matters Most
That’s it, that’s the tip.
Don’t forget to do what matters most.
At Katch, we’ve built a workplace-culture in which we encourage our team to do what matters most to them each and every day.
That means, organization-wide, we’ve worked to declutter and streamline our calendars through asynchronous work, allowing for each and every one of us to prioritize our days in the ways that’s best for us and keeps us productive, healthy, and happy people.