How to Master Your Calendar

The concept of “clustering” was introduced to me by one of my very own authors: Steven Griffith. (Quick FYI: In case you didn’t know, I’m an Editor at a business book publisher.) Steven’s brand new book, The Time Cleanse, is in stores this week and it’s where I first learned about a concept that has completely transformed the way I work, which I’d like to tell you about today.

Clustering is when you group similar tasks together in order to be more productive.  Steven explains that this is an effective technique because “the brain likes similar tasks, because it can perform in a more effective and efficient manner.”

After learning about this tool from Steven, I’ve made it a regular habit and have seen my productivity soar as a result. I now make sure that my calendar is set up so similar tasks are done together—and are done when I know I will be most effective.

Not sure what I mean? Here are some examples of clustering at the right time for me:

  • Make one day each week your “meeting day” (That’s Tuesday for me!)
  • Block off time from 9:00-11:00 to handle creative work. (The mornings are when my productivity and creativity are at at their best.)
  • Schedule calls in the afternoon only (Calls bring up my energy, which helps me avoid the dreaded “afternoon slump”.)
  • Answer emails in 1 hour chunks throughout the day.

The last example is one I explained a bit in the With Cheryl Instagram photo below:

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I worked really hard to put this advice into practice this week and only answered emails at specific times during the day—and WOW did it work. Not only was I able to get more of my big picture and important work done each day, but I was firing off responses faster than usual during that hour as well.

This shouldn’t have come as a surprise though. As, Steven Griffith explains “over a week’s time you will see a major shift in how much you get done, as well as have more energy throughout the day”. I mean, who doesn’t want that?!

This week, I challenge you to cluster your time and see what a difference it makes in your day and productivity. Let me know what tasks you’re going to cluster this week and fill us in on the results in the comments below!

 

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NOTE: I am the editor of the book mentioned in this post:

The Time Cleanse by Steven Griffith.

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