I have been crazy busy this fall, so last week when I wasn’t, the temptation was to coast a bit and maybe even take a half-day off. It’s the wrong strategy though, as going slow on a slow week just makes a busy week busier. Instead, I tried to even things out — using gaps in presentations as the opportunity to prepare for the next round so that everything doesn’t pile up at once.
The best way I know to achieve this is through the use of a desk calendar that helps me see what is coming. If I look at my Outlook or weekly schedule, it may seem as if I have time to spare. If I look at my monthly calendar, my mind knows that it better shift into gear now.
As you rise in the organizational hierarchy, your time horizon needs to expand commensurately. While front-line staff may focus on the customer in front of them or the work they have to do today, those in leadership roles need to think months, years, or even a decade into the future when planning their work. Figure out your appropriate time window and ensure it remains visible to you when scheduling. Just looking at what is on your calendar “today” is deceiving.