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By Damilola Faustino

Truth is there can never be too much time, whether you are working for someone or for yourself, you need to manage your schedule properly, especially if it is very tight. If you are able to own your schedule, you will be more productive. Here are some of the things that can help you manage your schedule:

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Optimise time for different meeting types

There is no need to spend 30 minutes, an hour or two on meetings. 10-minute calls are a great way to initially connect with someone or give someone quick advice. You can do a Google Hangout or Skype if you prefer to see the person instead of just hearing them. The reason 10-minute calls work is because people skip irrelevant information and get to the point. Try it. With this, you have enough time on your hands.

Use appointment slots

There is a great feature in Google Calendar called Appointment Slots. It allows you to book a chunk of time and then split it into pieces. For example, you can book three hours of outside meetings and then split it into three meetings — one hour each. This will serve as a reminder.

Block time for email

This is the most important tip in the whole post. An email will own you unless you own it. To own your email you must avoid doing it all the time. To do that you need to schedule the time to do your email. It is absolutely a must.

Plan your exercise

Whether you go in the morning, afternoon or evening, do it three times a week or every day, put exercise time on the calendar. The same applies to planning time with your family and significant others. If you are a workaholic, you will end up stealing time from your family unless you book it in advance and train yourself to promptly unplug.

Manage your time

If you are one of those who complains that you do not have enough time for anything, you have to start owning and managing your time or else, the complaint will never end.

Create a routine

No matter what you are working on, create a routine. Block times for specific activities, and stick with the plan.
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Turn your calendar into a bunch of blocks, and put activities into those blocks. Whatever is not planned, you don’t do. If you want free time, plan it. Your routine may change through the year, but at any given time it’s better to have a plan.

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