Saying No: the Brave Art of Calendar Management

Talented people get things done.  The people around them see this and then suddenly more work arrives.  Better projects.  More responsibility.  The problem is "more".  With the spoils come tremendous consequences for you and your family.

Mark and Mike at Manager Tools have a series of podcasts on time management (this is installment #1, highly recommended).  That's a start.

For a while I had been letting the calendar get the best of me.  Sort of like a person who struggles with the bottle, I admit that I go weeks at a time, dreading night meetings and dragging my sorry self into work the next day.

Moving from middle management to a more senior role involved 80-90 night meetings a year and I was caught unprepared.  Yikes!

That was until I decided to get serious about my work- either I had to make some changes or I would face the likely fate of so many before me- burnout.  That, I do not respect nor desire for my future.  Changes were needed.

Discovery #1: you can control your calendar.  It's taken me years to do it, but I now give myself permission to come in late the morning after a night meeting.

Discovery #2: productivity is ultimately about bravery.  Say no.  Take control.  Build your day around the big rocks.  Make progress on the main things.

What are you doing to take control of your calendar?

*photo by stevendepolo