I would pay big bucks if I got an extra day a week to work. I always have more to do than I can actually squeeze in and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But while I can’t actually add more hours into my day, I have found that automating my schedule both saves me some time and makes my life easier to manage.
While there’s no way to set up a perfect schedule that you can always stick to — life likes throwing curve balls — having a general routine that you follow is useful. Meetings are the biggest curve balls in my day. I try to limit them, in general, but I’ve also taken some steps so that meetings won’t have such an impact.
I try to focus on writing work in the mornings and limit meetings to the afternoons. Since I’m on Pacific time and I work with plenty of people on the East Coast and in other time zones, I also set aside all day Wednesday for meetings, so that I can make sure there are some morning hours available for people in different places. With that sort of routine, I can narrow down a workable time with a contact without a bunch of back and forth emails. I can also say ‘no’ to meetings that don’t fit in my calendar. If my time is already committed to writing or other work, I can’t meet with people.
Further automation is possible: I’ve used appointment-setting apps in the past to coordinate meeting times without so much human interaction. I’m in the process of testing out a couple of new options, but I still haven’t found something that replaces Tungle to the full extent I’m hoping for.