When do you feel you are most efficient?  How do you balance scheduled and unscheduled activities each day, week, month?  Do you work with a regimented 15 minute scheduled calendar, or do you have a weekly task list, or something in between?  What is your master strategy for effective time management?

In the last 2 days, I participated in conversations with 3 different coaches on this subject.  Since I didn’t initiate any of these conversations, I figured this must be one of those times I need to stop and listen . . . obviously this is something I need to take a moment to think about.

Now, remember, I don’t believe in “one-size fits all” solutions – so the purpose of this post is not to answer the above questions – but to give you (and myself) some ideas to think about.

  •  Conversation #1
    • Coach A – I realize I need to schedule more downtime into my daily schedule – relax, read a book, drink a cup of coffee, take a walk, look at nature.
    • Me – I agree.  I feel that sometimes I should schedule time to be spontaneous in my calendar.  (Yes – I know “schedule” and “spontaneous” don’t really belong together . . . the point being that I need to schedule “off time”.)


  • Conversation #2
    • Coach B – I really need to start focusing on scheduling my priorities – but I really believe I am more productive when I leave myself a pretty loose schedule each day.  I like the flexibility of being able to continue to work on one task when I’m feeling “in flow”.
    • Me –  Interesting, I find I need to block in time to work on my top priorities each day, but seldom feel I have enough time to get into a feeling of flow when it comes to “thinking tasks”.


  • Conversation #3
    • Coach C – I schedule my tasks per week.  Everything relating to my #1 goal is scheduled for weeks 1 & 3 each month.  Everything relating to my #2 goal is scheduled for weeks 2 & 4 each month.  The only way I switch tasks from week to week is if I’ll miss out on a last minute business opportunity due to an external deadline.  (She was referring to a grant deadline that had been moved up, and the work fell into the “wrong week”.) 
    • Me –  I imagine that really helps you keep a laser focus in  your business.


What have I learned?  I’ve learned that I am craving more “me time”, more “thinking time”, and more “down time”.  I also know my personality – and the easiest way for me to implement some time that isn’t task related is to schedule blocks of time into my calendar for thinking, relaxing, and being.  (Really, it’s all about scheduling unscheduled time!)   grin!

I also know I need to purposely work to continue this habit.   At the end of each week I decide on my top priorities for the week, and then slot them into my schedule.  I now put “THINKING TIME”, “ME TIME”, and “DOWN TIME”  written in big, bold letters on my Master Task List.  Now, I’ll schedule time for each of these 3 activities, first, then slot the other priorities into my calendar.

Are you a “go with the flow” person or a “schedule every 15 minutes” person or  . . . What strategies have you found successful?  What strategies have you tried and discarded?  What strategies have you tried in the past that worked, and you want to get back to?  Please post below!