Fill Up Your Google Calendar So Other People Can't Steal Your Time 

Ahh, an empty calendar. All that free time and possibility, all the things you're going to get done — until, that is, your coworkers see that free time and fill it jam-packed with meetings and obligations. Before that happens again, you have to get on the defensive.

Photo: VisualHunt

You can be more strategic than stretching a five-hour "DO NOT SCHEDULE" across your day. Make Use Of has a good list of specific time slots to block off to ensure a calmer and more productive workday:

  • Thirty minutes to get your day started
  • Fifteen to 30 minutes immediately after a meeting for action items
  • Two-hour blocks of "deep work" time for focus
  • One hour per day to respond to unexpected, urgent requests
  • Twenty to 30 minutes at the end of every day to wrap up and get ready for tomorrow

Your calendar will look full, but you'll know that the time blocked off is yours.


    Respectfully disagree. Having worked in a number of design consultancies, team availability is king. There was one colleague at my last place that would do this (albeit more aggressively, blocking out entire days) so no one could ever schedule meeting without tracking him down and prodding his chest.

    Usually anyone who gets to the point they feel they need to do this practice is heavily relied upon by larger teams, usually some sort of design authority. When they exclude themselves from meetings, it makes it hard for teams to have things signed off.

    If you are in a position where you are in meetings a lot and feel that you need to do this to get work done.... news flash, your job is probably to attend meetings. So go to them and stop holding everyone up.

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