The worst days are the ones where you run around like a madman, going from one meeting to another with no breaks. Although it may look nice on your calendar to have no “empty spaces” in between events, buffers can help make life a lot less stressful.
I am guilty of trying to schedule back-back-back client meetings in the morning just to make sure my afternoon is empty. Great in theory, bad in reality. Sometimes clients are late, or meetings take longer than expected, which overlaps into the next meeting. There is nothing fun about feeling rushed or behind all day. Scheduling 30 minute buffers in between meetings has done wonders for my productivity.
Returning from vacation
Scheduling a meeting the morning you return from a prolonged absence is not fun. Your mind is probably not back in work mode and likely focused on your undoubtedly overflowing inbox. Blocking off the morning or even first full day you are back will allow you catch up and put things in order so you do not feel overwhelmed.
The beginning and of the week
Blocking off early Monday morning and late Friday afternoon to prepare for the upcoming week is a great idea. Friday afternoons are perfect for winding down and eliminating little tasks. Monday mornings are great for revving up and creating a task list for the upcoming week.
(photo: Joe Lanman)