How A Calendar Actually Sabotages Your Time Management Efforts

We all struggle with time management, and we all want to know the best ways to conquer our schedules. In this video, Dan Ariely, a behavioural economics professor at Duke University and friend of Lifehacker, says the calendar definitely isn't one of them.

As Ariely points out in the video, a calendar almost always misrepresents how much time you actually have. If you look at your calendar two months out, you'll marvel at how open it looks. But in reality, you have just as little "free time" as you do now. Combine that with our amazingly piss-poor ability to predict the future, and we're still struggling to manage our time two months from now.

Calendars are great for tasks that take 1-2 hours to complete, like meetings. The thing is, most of the things we want to accomplish in life are (thankfully) not meetings. For bigger, more meaningful projects, ditch the whole "let me pencil this in" rhetoric. Instead, imagine what you need to do if you were to accomplish whatever it is you want to by next week. This way, you start doing mental Tetris to figure out what you need to cancel or shuffle around (if possible) in your schedule to make that happen.

A behavioural economist explains how your calendar is messing up your priorities [Business Insider]

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Comments

    Management expect me to know the future such as "how much money will I spend next month" and plague me with accounting students.

    This is kind of useful, maybe I wasn't paying attention but I'm not sure of a better way to organise myself for tasks that aren't calendar appropriate

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