No profit margin wouldn’t be an error; it would be a disaster. This is a different margin.
It never fails that type-A personalities try to fill every block on the calendar. They try to cram as much as they possibly can onto the calendar because, in their minds anyway, they believe it’s necessary to achieving. And to some extent they’re right. A-type personalities do tend to be action-oriented, and they do tend to work hard.
But filling every block on the calendar isn’t really a good plan. No matter how good your intentions, things are going to go wrong. You have existing clients that are going to have problems or challenges that require your attention. You’re going to have peers and teammates within your company that need your help to solve a particular problem or challenge. You have prospects that are going to need your time and attention when you have nothing scheduled because they need your help. And, life is going to require that you pay attention the things like your sick child, a dance recital in another city, and all kinds of other important tasks that require your attention.
Your calendar should be the place you keep the commitments you make to yourself. It should be the place where you block time for certain activities, like prospecting, follow up, or updating your salesforce automation. It’s important to block time for these activities.
But you also need empty space, white space. You need time to catch up on the urgent and important tasks that show up on your desk. You need margin so that you can have the ad hoc conversations with clients, prospects, and teammates that pop up from time to time.
Uncommitted Blocks Protect the Committed Blocks
These unplanned, uncommitted blocks of time are actually the buffer that allows you to better protect the blocks of time containing those commitments you make to yourself. They provide some psychological protection by giving you the security of knowing you will have time to effectively deal with the urgent and important tasks that pop up. Because you are confident that you have that time, you can commit the one and a half hour blocks to prospecting without too much concern that something is sitting in your email or voicemail unattended.
Block time on your calendar for the most important activities you need to do each and everyday. And protect those blocks with margins so that you can do the work you need to do to and stay clean with all the other people and priorities that also need your attention.
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Filed under: Productivity