fullOne of the participants in a “Planning Your Next Quarter” class I recently presented asked the following:

I have a lot of project time blocked on my calendar: writing, faculty development, etc.  Would that count as pocket time even though it’s movable?

Meggin’s answer:

Actually, no, it doesn’t count as pocket time because it really does have to get done.

It is movable which is helpful, but if you haven’t built in any openings anywhere, then there will be nowhere for it to move to if all of a sudden a meeting is called (imagine that!) or something else you’re working on takes much longer than you thought it would and it spills over into the time you were hoping and planning to work on your writing, faculty development project, etc.

So, the really tough idea for all of us is to leave some wide open spaces in our planners. Depending on the person, at least an hour a day (average). And that is once you actually get to the week.

So, for example, let’s say someone plans to work for 9 hours on Monday. If that day is packed with meetings, classes, projects with deadlines, a luncheon that is on the schedule, getting email handled, etc. from 8 – 5, with not one real space in there, that person is in trouble. There should be at least an hour scheduled for things to “slop over.” And to breathe and go to the bathroom!!

If people really integrated the idea of pockets into their daily work life, there would be at least an hour on M, T, W, Th, & Friday. Or, maybe M, T, W, Th are insanely packed – and the whole day on Friday is wide open. If things slop over – at least one knows that they have time BLOCKED on Friday to get work done.

Note from Meggin:  After sending this answer to the class participant, she wrote back and said, “The thought of a wide open Friday makes me giddy!”

Girl-with-calendar-199x300If you would like to learn strategies for planning your time so that you have peaceful, predictable, productivity,  you will want to access the 2-part class (available for immediate download), Planning Your Next Quarter, where you learn how to strategically set up your calendar one quarter at a time…







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