If you’ve ever been late for a deadline, you know exactly what I’m going to talk about today; You get a project, you plan it out – so far, so good. You have a deadline, even a few spare hours just in case you run into some difficulties, and then an opportunity presents itself.
You get a chance to work on another project, participate in a conference, get one more coaching client or simply have a bit more meetings than what you’ve planned.
And now you’re in a pickle; You really want to take up on this new opportunity, BUT – you don’t know if you’ll manage to squeeze it in along with your existing commitments – after all, you did commit to a deadline.
I’m going to teach you how in 3 easy steps you can determine wether you can participate in this new adventure or not. This simple hack will allow you to NEVER overbook yourself, and always be in control over your schedule.
There are 3 steps:
- Add your existing commitments to your calendar. Any meetings, tasks or dedicated slots of time for anything you’re engaged in go on your calendar. If your calendar is visible to others, and you don’t want to overcrowd their calendar view, or just don’t feel like sharing your time estimations – simply create a separate calendar dedicated to this planning, call it – “my todos” – and don’t share this one with others. Even if you have a big project you’re working on for months, if you’d properly back-planned it, you should have a strict outline of all your missions with their time estimations that you can log into your new calendar.
Understand what you’re facing: Is this new opportunity a one time thing, like a lecture or a call? Is it reoccurring? Does it include tasks you’ll do alone? In other words – what are the milestones of this new project- break it down to as small tasks as you possibly can. For each task – estimate how long it will take.
Complete the puzzle – on your calendar you have everything you’re committed to so far. If you can fit the new project in your calendar without moving things around – then you have no problem committing to it. However, if the pieces don’t match and you can’t find enough time slots on your calendar to fit this new adventure in, you’ll need to decide: Either you give up on this new project, because you don’t have time for it, OR you postpone the deadlines of your current commitments and fit the new commitment in.
That’s it! This is really simple because it’s exactly like using cash: Imagine you didn’t have credit cards and you could only pay with cash – either you have enough cash to buy everything on your shopping list AND a treat OR you need to either give up not he treat or give up on something from your shopping list. This is the exact same thing – your “cash” is your time, and the only way to actually see how it fits is by creating a time-planning calendar for it.