The Calendaring Technique That Improves Your Life

Do you trust your daily calendar to help you manage your day effectively? Many attorneys don’t. Often there’s just not enough information in the item entry to plan properly. Or they think that crunch-booking will let them get more done. Some are so used to seeing back-to-back appointments without prep or travel time that they’ve come to accept as normal the constant mental juggling and increased stress that results from that unreliability.

Fortunately, there’s an easy two-step technique that can result in dramatically improved time management. I call it “scheduling the whole event.”

Step One: when entering an item in your calendar, include its start time and anticipated end time along with other basic info in the text of the event. For example: “Smith settlement conference, Stamford, 9:30 – 12:30”.

Step Two: think about prep and travel time. With the awareness that it will take you 15 minutes to gather the right docs and about 45 minutes to get there, you would then post the event as running from 8:30 to 1:15. By scheduling the whole event (i.e., indicating the time required on both sides of it), you’ll have much more confidence in your calendar. And when the staff who make appointments for you follow the same procedure, everyone will have more confidence in your calendar – and thus more confidence in you.

Here’s another example, this time visually.  Anticipating about 35 minutes to get to the courthouse, this attorney put the event in starting at 8am, even though the hearing is set for 8:45.  He expects it to go an hour, so he accounts for another 45 minutes to get back to the office.  He — and everyone in his office — can look at his calendar and trust that it presents an accurate picture of his availability.

About the Author

Bill Jawitz, Law Firm Coach and Consultant

Bill Jawitz has been coaching lawyers to become more profitable and enjoy a higher quality of life since 2002.

He can be reached at or at 203.806.1300.

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