10 Calendar & Meeting Management Skills

You have limited time on this earth. Using it wisely means not wasting time on scheduling or in wasteful meetings. Think about these tips:

Create separate calendars

Separate calendars for work and home are a good idea, you can also get your partner to share their calendar with you, and you with them. Make sure you have selected them all in your Google Calendar view so you can view them simultaneously.

Blocking out time should be your top priority

Have something on your mind? Does someone tentatively want to talk to you about something? Block out time in your calendar. This is because the more you put it off, the busier you are going to get and probably forget to make the entry altogether. If you are using a scheduling tool like Cogsworth, its two-way sync functionality will ensure that your customer-facing booking page is instantly updated also. Google calendar makes adding quick events super easy with the quick modal.

Use meeting scheduling tools

There are several meeting scheduling tools that will help manage your customer bookings for you. All you need to do is prioritize 15 min to set them up, create a public booking page, sync with your personal calendars, embed on your site or in your email signature and you are away!

Review your calendar every Sunday

Monday is hectic for everyone and it is easy to get caught up in executing your schedule rather than sticking to it or even reprioritizing it. Sunday is a good day to take a bird’s eye view of your upcoming week and decide if your schedule is most suited to achieving your business and personal goals.

IMPORTANT: Don’t be afraid of canceling or rescheduling meetings. Value your own time, as others may not.

Batch similar activities together

Set a particular time in a day for responding to emails and do not indulge in anything else during that time. This will also get the work done faster. Do you have direct report meetings? A specific day of the week is great to get those done. Also, do not under-estimate walking or driving meetings where you can get a multi-tasking batch efficiency going – like in The West Wing!

Outsource

A personal or virtual assistant is a great buffer between you and the outside world. Let them create hurdles of qualification for outsiders to get to you. Create a methodology and even a form of appraising the dollar value of prospective meetings.

Delegate & trust

Ask yourself, do you really need to be in that meeting? Are you adding value? Can someone else add as much value to that meeting? If so, the answer is clear – empower them to take the meeting.

Schedule reminders

All calendar systems can be modified to send you notifications minutes, hours or even days before meetings. Heed these to: prepare yourself for the next meeting, go over notes, wrap up your current work and meetings, and go in with a fresh head. If the meeting is with customers, set up SMS and email reminders for both you and them to ensure no no-shows.

Back-to-back appointments are a big no

Running between meetings means that your mental buffer is full. This means you are not doing any favors to the people you just met with or the people you are about to meet with. Often meetings have action points, these need to be recorded, prioritized and actioned. Can you do that if you are sprinting to the next meeting?

Updates can be 5-10 min stand-ups

Get your team and customers into the habit of express stand-up meetings, where everyone is standing and can give their update in under 60 seconds. Take any follow-ups or questions offline.

BONUS TIP:

Practice optimization of meetings

Every meeting needs an agenda with clear action points. Aim to resolve an action point every 10 min, don’t get carried into rabbit holes and try not to hold meetings for more than 60 minutes. Accounting for a 5 min warm up and 5 min summary, this gives you 5 action points to cover.

PRO TIP: Ask meeting attendees to rate the meeting and give feedback on how to improve it for next time

BONUS TIP 2:

Block out a day a week for yourself

Keeping one day off is very important. Don’t compromise on that day no matter what. This is free-thinking time, time to catch-up and high execution time. Get into a zone, build a flow and cross those pesky items of your todo list.

10 Calendar & Meeting Management Skills

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How to Tell If You’re Burned Out at Work (and What to Do Next)


How did we get here?

Working longer hours now practically feels like a necessity. Millennials, especially, tend to think about work beyond their job descriptions and even forget to take their vacation time. But the gains can often be minimal, while the consequences can have long-lasting effects on your career.

With stagnating wages and rising housing prices, it’s easy to see why 96% of millennials report job burnout affects their lives. They’ve even been dubbed the Burnout Generation.

How to tell you’re burnt out

Is burnout just a fad, or is it real? As an HR manager, I’ve seen the effect of over-working firsthand. Look for these tell-tale signs to spot burnout in your own life.

You’re low energy

One of the main symptoms of burnout is psychological exhaustion. You feel like you don’t have any energy at all during the day. You might not be enthusiastic about things you once enjoyed, and your mind is constantly preoccupied with thinking about work.

You’re losing productivity

If you notice that you spend a whole day to finish the same task that took you two hours a year ago, that’s not you being bad at your job. That’s burnout.

You’re self-sabotaging

You know when you’ve missed a deadline and the manager tells you to do another task ASAP, and you feel so overwhelmed by all the things you should be worried about that you end up doing nothing at all? That’s called self-sabotage.

If it feels like you’re actively sabotaging your productivity, it can mean you’re burned out.

You’re full of self-loathing over work

As your productivity decreases, you start self-loathing because you feel like an underachiever. The more you self-loathe, the less productive you are. Working more doesn’t end this vicious circle.

You feel guilty for relaxing

Your to-do list is so full, and you’re doing what? Watching Netflix? You tell yourself you could put in some work, go for a run, or find a side hustle. You feel like you should be doing something productive instead of just chilling.

If you think that you can only relax after finishing your current project, it’s a big warning sign.

If the points on this list resonate with you, you have to know you’re not a bad person. You’re likely just burnt out.

How to prevent burnout

Understanding your problem is already a great leap towards solving it. But if you think that the only solution is to start putting in more work, that’s your burnout cynicism showing. Here are some alternative solutions.

Reduce your workload

This may feel like quitting, but it’s not. It’s treating your situation rationally. You have to understand that your productivity only decreases as your work hours grow.

Cut down on the side hustles to take back some time each week. At work, it might be time to have a discussion with your managers if your tasks are expanding beyond a 40-hour workweek.

Detach from work

Being online and ready for overtime 24/7 only leaves you stressed. Mute work contacts when you’re out of the office and try to relax instead. This is especially crucial for careers that require intense mental activity.

Some companies are switching to an employee-friendly approach and ban work-related texts after a certain time. The company Tax Defense Partners instituted a cut-off for 7pm. “Professional burnout is a common problem in the financial sector so we try to be proactive and protect our employees from it,” says director of operations Shelly Murad. “It’s not always possible to detach from work after office hours but we strive to draw a line between job and personal life.

If your office isn’t able to enact their own cut-off time, try to set your own boundaries and choose a time when you will officially “turn off” every day.

Have a break

If you’ve been feeling burnt out for months, simply managing your workload may not be enough to help. You might need a big break from work — like an actual vacation.

You don’t need a ton of money to have a good time; there are plenty of affordable destinations out there. Remember that the point is to recapture the feeling of not being stressed every day, not to shoot Instagram-perfect pictures.

Talk to your managers

Being misunderstood at work and not feeling that your contribution is meaningful is a huge part of burnout. It’s time to have a serious talk with your managers. If they refuse to listen to your problems, it’s one of the signs you should look for a better job.

Prepare for the change financially to make sure you have a buffer sum of money. This will ensure you can safely spend the next couple of months looking for a job.

Get some happy hormones

Some studies suggest that burnout and depression are indistinguishable. Engaging in activities that curb depression may help you as well. Here are some ideas:

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep
  • Get more sunlight
  • Exercise lightly
  • Go for a walk at least once a day
  • Spend time with friends and family

You can’t underestimate the last point on the list. Young people are extremely lonely, and if burnout is leaving you with little time or energy to talk to your friends, you can become isolated.

Take it easy

Whether you choose to stay at your job or find another one where your efforts are appreciated, there’s one crucial thing you should do to fight burnout: You should stop being so hard on yourself.

No burnt out brain ever created a brilliant business idea, but with a well-rested one, the future is yours.

How to Tell If You’re Burned Out at Work (and What to Do Next)

Legends of Bavaria: The Five Best M Cars of the Last 10 Years


There are very few carmakers that still base their entire brand in 2019 around delivering a product that focuses on the driver; however, for as long as we remember, the iconic German firm BMW has been delivering drivers car after drivers car, with sharp and responsive steering, faster-than-paper acceleration times, and an aggression that sends chills down other motorists’ spines when they look in the rear-view. The bulldog of the automotive world, the Bavarian Motor Works never fails to create the Ultimate Driving Machine.

These are our favorite BMW’s from the last decade:

M3 GTS (E92)

The BMW M3 started life as a fearsome road rally car which dominated the world of motor racing in the 1980’s, and over the years (whether you like it or not) they slowly lost their racing pedigree and turned into more of a luxury_high performance version of the 3 Series. However, in 2010, BMW re-lived it’s earlier days with the release of a seriously hardcore M3. The GTS featured a 4361cc version of the S65 N_A V8, which delivered 331kW at a very impressive 8,300rpm; and although low on torque, 0-100km/h could be reached in a quick 4.4 seconds. With no creature comforts inside the cabin, a vicious exhaust note, a back-breaking harsh ride, and a brutal power curve, this M3 isn’t the same daily-driver friendly car we know the M3 as today; instead the complete opposite. A mix between raw performance and outstanding design, the E92 M3 GTS brought together new technology and old character in one very fearsome package.

1M Coupe (E82)

The first turbo six-cylinder M car was a hit for BMW enthusiasts around the world. The change to forced induction gave the engine a substantial boost in power whilst having no effect on its definitive BMW straight-six sound, and the six-speed manual transmission was great news for purists. The twin-turbocharged N54 straight-six in its most powerful form meant a healthy 250kW of power, leading to a 0-100km/h figure of 4.8 seconds; and with 50/50 weight distribution, this extremely well balanced sports coupe became a class leading car. It won many awards upon release, including Richard Hammond’s “2011 Car of The Year” award, and with the 1M’s current appreciating values, this icon has already become a classic.

M2 (F87)

This car topped the charts upon release in 2015. Now, you may be thinking, why the M2 and not the M2 Competition or newly released M2 CS? Well, since the latter are newer improvements of the M2, the car that really struck headlines was the original. We think the original M2 takes the crown as it was (and is still is) seen as the long-awaited successor to the 1M, which drew BMW a lot of positive press, and attention from excited BMW enthusiasts. We even placed the M2 on our list of the most exciting cars of 2016. The understated look (yes, including the smaller kidneys) we think works better on this car. Should the M2 Competition or M2 CS be in place of the original M2? Let us know in the comments.

M4 CS (F82)

A similar conundrum to the M2 above; however, being arguably the best looking version of the M4, the CS edition wins us over. With a beefed up 338kW version of the M4’s S55 twin-turbo straight-6, the power of this car easily breaks the rear wheels loose, even with BMW’s dynamic traction firmly switched on. A 3.9 second to 100km_h means that on paper, it’s only 0.1 seconds faster to 100km_h than the M4 Competition, but what it excels in is giving the driver a much more involved driving experience. We understand there is a hardcore GTS variant, however we think that the M4 GTS loses the previous M3 GTS’s character and raw feel to it; aka no more 8,600rpm redline from a linear and old school N/A V8, so if you want raw fun on a track, the M3 GTS is the better option. The CS is a more sensible and liveable option, therefore we decided to give the crown to the less extreme and arguably better looking M4 CS. Let us know in the comments which M4 your favourite is.

M5 Competition (F90)

Blowing away the competition (no pun intended) on its release mid last year, the M5 Competition features a BMW claimed 0-100km_h figure of 3.3 seconds from a 460kW/750Nm 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8. This 2 tonne barge has without a doubt everything you would ever need in a high performance luxury car. So much so, that they have engineered this car to the point where after many road tests from multiple sources, no one has successfully found a flaw with this car; and on top of that, many tests have recorded consistent 0-100km_h sprint times of a blistering 2.8 seconds, which is on par with, if not faster to 100km/h than many supercars, which is very, very incredible for a car of its size.

Let us know in the comments if you agree with our list. What are your favourites?

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Legends of Bavaria: The Five Best M Cars of the Last 10 Years