In a world of interruptions, here’s how to stay ahead – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from Christopher in Newark, New Jersey.

Q: Hi Dave! I have lots of events coming up. While scheduling events, how do I prepare for accidents or sudden changes?

Click to tweet this: When disruptions are unavoidable, your time is invaluable. Buffer time is interruption insurance. @DaveCrenshaw

You may be prepared for a natural disaster. But are you prepared for a calendar disaster?

This week’s question comes from Christopher in Newark, New Jersey. He asks:

Hi Dave! I have lots of events coming up. While scheduling events, how do I prepare for accidents or sudden changes?

Dave:

Thanks for the question Christopher.

I like where your head’s at! You’re thinking ahead and trying to stay prepared. That’s the right way to view time management.

Before I answer your question directly, here’s a history lesson. About twenty, thirty, forty years ago—at the beginning of the time management movement, people were taught to maximize their time. They packed their calendar so full because they didn’t want to lose a single moment. At the time, that philosophy made a lot of sense.

Fast forward to today and the time management challenge is very different. We are constantly bombarded with interruptions. It seems like there is an overabundance of opportunities. Time must be saved so that we are prepared for all the interruptions that are bound to happen. If we walk that razor’s edge, we risk failure and we fall behind.

So my recommendation for you, Christopher, is to try to leave your calendar about twenty-five to thirty-five percent open. This means creating extra space in your calendar and overestimating how long scheduled tasks will take.

As a personal example, this video that we’re filming right now is a second take. There was a technical problem that came up and we had to go back and reshoot this video. If we had not put in extra buffer time and had an appointment soon after this video shoot, we would have had a real problem. But because there was buffer space, we were prepared for such an occasion.

You can do the same thing. When you leave buffer space in your schedule, you can relax and be focused on what you have right in front of you.

Thanks for the question, Christopher.

And if you have a question that you’d like to ask me, all you need to do is go to davecrenshaw.com/ask.


Wish you had more time? What if you could uncover dozens of free hours every week, with just a few simple tweaks? Find freedom with a free copy of Dave’s guidebook, How to Get 10 Free Hours Every Week, by clicking here.