Schedule the work not just the due date.
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings… Due dates and timelines. I have at times felt like I was drowning in meetings, and the pressure of projects. I would wake up on a given day and just react to whatever was next. Anxiety, stress, sleepless nights plagued my week.
I have been on a journey from being a “reactor” to responding to the time needs in my life. One of the key ways I have increased productivity while lowering stress while being more prepared for meetings and on time for projects has been one simple trick. Schedule when you plan on doing the work.
The due date is too late.
If you know you have a staff meeting on Monday morning, how much time do you need to be adequately prepared for it? Are you leading the meeting? are you presenting? Do you want to be stressing all weekend about it?
Schedule a “staff meeting prep” block days before the meeting. If it’s a reoccurring meeting then have a reoccurring prep time block to do the work. Show up ready, prepared, and able to respond rather than react.
Scheduling the “work time” rather than simply the due dates will reveal how much time you have to add new work or say no to other requests. It also prioritises your time to be more efficient with your week, resulting in higher productivity on things that matter most, while lowering stress.
Win the week.