Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

Don’t Burn Your Calendar at Both Ends

ARCHIVES
Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock.com

Perhaps you think I meant to use the word candle rather than calendar in the title of this post. Nope, calendar was what I meant but the idea came from a brain blip I had recently.

I was conducting interviews with about a dozen colleagues and friends of a new executive coaching client. One of my questions was, “What do you hope he gets out of this coaching engagement?” and someone answered, “I hope he’ll quit burning the candle at both ends.” When I went back to review my conversation notes to write the report, I saw that what I had actually written down was, “I hope he’ll quit burning the calendar at both ends.”

I laughed at my mistake and thought that there’s actually something to that. So many people today are burning the calendar at both ends. I see so many people who are trying to cram way more stuff than they can possibly fit into the 168 hours that each of us are given each week. In the category of true confessions, I’m sometimes one of those people myself.

But, based on personal experience, the best practices of my clients and what I learned writing my forthcoming book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternativehttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwweblingrouc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1118910664, here are three surefire methods to keep you from burning your calendar at both ends. (Please share your own surefire methods in the comments.)

Plan for the Predictable: There are some things you have to do on a routine basis daily, weekly and monthly. Get real with yourself about how much time those predictable tasks take and plan for them. Block time for the predictable.

Ramp Up and Ramp Down: One client I’m working with right now is having great success with an approach that my wife and business partner, Diane, got me started on this year. Whenever possible, we’re leaving Monday morning open for me so I can use it as a “ramp up” time for my week. That means no meetings or phone calls. I get into the office at the usual time in the morning but I use the morning to plan, write or work on a project that needs some focused attention. The “ramp down” time comes on Friday afternoon. Again, no meetings or phone calls then. It’s an opportunity to review commitments made during the week or tie up loose ends that are hanging around. All of that is a set up for a ...

Work-Free Weekend Day: By leaving time Monday mornings and Friday afternoons open, I have space to totally unplug for at least one day each weekend. Knowing that I don’t have to dive into a racked and stacked calendar on Monday morning gives me space to totally rest and renew on at least one weekend day and not worry about playing catch-up or get-ahead.

There you go—three ways to keep from burning your calendar at both ends. What’s been working for you that the rest of us need to know about?

(Image via Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock.com)

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.