Top-Shelf Tip No. 162:

"Being successful doesn’t make you manage your time well. Managing your time well makes you successful."

Randy Pausch

Why You Need To Control Your Schedule

When you're not properly using your time, you end up losing money for yourself and your company. Nearly all workers (89 percent) admit to wasting time at the office, but that's just through distractions or momentary diversions. Structural time lost through bad time management can lead to hours, weeks or months of waste.

John Hall, co-founder and president of Calendar, says that an effective schedule goes a long way toward improving work-life balance. When you better manage your time, you get more work done and the work is better. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Hall's perspective on why it's important to get your schedule under control.

Increased productivity. Hall says that a daily schedule doesn't just tell you what you're going to be working on during the day—it can help maximize your productivity, too. One of the biggest drags on workplace productivity is an unfocused working style, constantly switching from task to task as new problems need addressing. While it's important to stay flexible and dynamic in your role, endless task-switching is likely to result in a massive productivity dip. Use your schedule to safeguard against this. Organize your day into time blocks, with each focused on one specific type of activity. Keeping each of these blocks highly focused and limited to 90 minutes is shown to raise peak productivity overall.

Maximized synergy. An effective schedule isn't just one that fits your needs—it needs to fit the needs of those around you as well. In the modern workplace, it's nearly impossible to work at maximum productivity if you and your team are on completely different pages. Scheduling meetings and calls can transform from a never-ending back-and-forth dialogue to a simple assessment of available time slots. Shared schedules also allow others to know exactly what project you're working on, reducing the need for constant "catch up" meetings, according to Hall. Getting ahead professionally means surrounding yourself with people just as prepared for success as you are, and a team of people with well-managed schedules is one ready for any professional challenge.

Side hustle development. As valuable as a side hustle can be, you never want your second job to impact your primary job. Lazy scheduling can leave you juggling responsibilities across jobs at the wrong times. Use your schedule to keep your hustles from intermingling, allowing you to focus specifically on what needs to be done at exactly the right time.

Personal assessment time. One of the best ways to become more productive is also one of the most forgotten: sitting down, taking a look at your slate and thinking about what could work better, Hall says. Plenty of workers are so slammed with professional and personal responsibilities that they never really have the time to make long-term plans for themselves or their careers. Getting your schedule under control can give you the time you need to sit down and make a strategy.

To keep advancing in your career, you don't need to sacrifice your time and happiness. Often, all you must do is turn your schedule into a pathway for success.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: John Hall is the co-founder and president of Calendar, a scheduling and time management app. He's author of the best-selling book Top of Mind.

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