To maintain energy for the work you have ahead, consider good calendar stewardship. My clients and colleagues often describe how important it is to have ‘white space’ on their calendar. They need time between meetings to move, take care of the body, prepare, reflect, and strategically think about what is next. It is not realistic to always relegate this vital time to our morning showers, teeth-brushing, or drives to and from work. We have been hired or selected to do meaningful work because we have smart brains and caring hearts. With this in mind, we need time to nourish those brains and hearts in productive ways. To begin, stop trying to block the same time each week for yourself if all you do is allow that time to be scheduled by other things. You need a new strategy. Instead, consider the following:
- Block the first 10 minutes before a meeting. Treat it as if the meeting is starting at that time but use it on yourself.
- Block the last 10 minutes after a meeting for the same purpose. If possible, work hard to end meetings early and use the time for writing and reflection.
- Consider coming in late or leaving early on a regular basis. It does not have to be by hours – perhaps just 20 minutes. Use that time with fidelity for yourself.
- Create time each week for clutter management – use this 15, 20, 25 minutes for nothing but organizing your space, to-do list, or email. The more organized you are – the more productive you will feel.
- Most importantly, do not leave this critical time for self as ‘white’ on your calendar. Give it a new color that highlights the importance of these minutes and ensure it is not scheduled over just as if you were meeting with an important client or your boss. Treat yourself and your needs as sacred.
How do you currently manage sacred time on your calendar?