Mike is always running late. No matter how hard he tries he can’t seem to stay on schedule.
He is using time blocks for his appointments. He is even leaving the all-important white space between blocks as a shock absorber to deal with unexpected things. He’s still running late.
Mike is missing one important piece of his calendar block system. This one additional step made all the difference for him. It gave him more control, and he was late less often.
The missing piece is to schedule the whole appointment – including travel and transition time.
Let’s say that Mike has a 9:00 a.m. court appointment. And it will take him (on a good day) 30 minutes to get to the courthouse, another 10 minutes to park and get to the courtroom and be ready. He expects it will take an hour and then he’ll be back at the office.
Mike’s calendar block should start at 8:10 to 11:00, and say “Hearing for X Matter, 9-10 am at <location>”. The 8:10 start gives him time to travel and get in position with a little buffer. The 11:00 a.m. ending time does the same. That is scheduling the whole appointment.
His scheduling SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) would be not to schedule other appointments within 15 or 30 minutes of an existing one – to make sure he’s got the flex he needs in the schedule. His assistant would know the SOP and have access to his calendar to help him stay on track.
You are free to implement this idea in whatever way works for you. For example, some of my clients prefer to have separate blocks for travel, transit, preparation, and follow-up around their appointments.
Be like Mike. Schedule the whole appointment.
Let me know how it works for you.
P.S… Keep track of how long you expect things to take and what you actually experience. This will help you make more accurate estimates for your calendar blocks.
P.P.S. … You might also like my guide to Tame your To-Do List – which explains my 7 Bucket system to make your time blocks even more effective. Click here to get your copy.