How To Master a Busy Schedule Without Giving Up Your Freedom

a month ago   •   5 min read

By Nash, David Altman, Colton Hicks,

The calendar records your life experiences—it reflects where you invest your time, what your priorities are, and what matters most to you.

At Undock, we call this your timeline. It's made up of a variety of personal and professional events. And these events are scheduled either at specific times or left flexible. It's a tricky balancing act. The key to mastering a busy schedule is to find the sweet spot between organization and flexibility. You'll want to have enough structure to get things done, but also enough flexibility for the uncertainties of life.

In this article, we'll show you how Undock puts your calendar on autopilot mode, helping you take control of your time instead of being imprisoned by it.

Managing a Busy Schedule Is a Balancing Act

We're pulled in a million directions.

Work projects demand our attention. Our relationships require time and energy. We want to be healthy and active. And, of course, we have personal interests and passions.

How do we find time for everything?

For a lot of people, the answer is they don't. They end up feeling stretched thin, unhappy, and always playing catch up. They sacrifice their personal life for work, or vice versa. We all have time constraints but, if we're being honest, we can also make improvements in the way we invest our time.

If you want to master your busy schedule and experience holistic success, there are two types of events to be aware of:

  • Fixed events. These are important events that require a higher level of accommodation, forcing you to schedule them at specific times.  They're non-negotiable and, to some degree, outside of your control. Examples include investor meetings, podcast interviews, or picking your child up from school.
  • Flexible events. These are important events that don't require much accommodation, giving you the flexibility to schedule across a range of times. You're ultimately responsible for scheduling them in your calendar and taking action. Examples include reviewing your to-do list, taking a lunch break, or having weekly meetups with a contractor.

To illustrate this, let's say you're a startup founder and it's Monday.

You have fixed events in your calendar: an investor meeting at 10 am, a podcast interview at 1 pm, and picking your kid up from school at 3 pm. But you also have flexible events. You want to create marketing content anytime between 9 am and 11 am. You want to take a lunch break anytime between 11 am and 1 pm. And you want to meet up with a contractor anytime between 2 pm and 5 pm.

This is easy enough to manage for one day.

But what happens when your flexible events recur?

Imagine that, for the next month, you want to create marketing content every morning. You want to take a lunch break every afternoon. And during the next quarter, you want to schedule weekly meetings with the contractor on either Tuesday or Thursday.

If you try juggling this manually, you'll quickly realize it's difficult to keep track of everything. Events get forgotten, double-booked, or moved to inconvenient times–your calendar becomes impossible to manage.  And productivity plummets while your stress piles up.

The solution? Automate your flexible recurring events. That way, you free up mental bandwidth and master your busy schedule.

Enter Undock Time Plan.

6 Steps to Putting Your Calendar on Autopilot Mode

Flexible recurring events are puzzle pieces you're constantly juggling in your calendar.

Undock takes care of the heavy lifting. Using our Time Plan feature, you can automatically schedule recurring events based on your goals, event preferences, and calendar availability. Once you create a recurring event, Undock will dynamically find the best time on your calendar and add it around fixed events. And it'll do this a few days before the event so your calendar doesn't get cluttered.

It's the perfect way to manage a busy schedule without giving up your freedom.

Here's how it works. We'll use the event "Read and Respond to email" as an example:

Step 1: Go to your Undock dashboard where you can see your timeline. If you're not a member, sign up for free.

Step 2: Head over to the menu button in the upper left-hand corner. Click the drop-down menu and choose Time. Then click + New Time Plan to create a new control. At Undock, a plan is a flexible recurring event.

Step 3: Name the recurring event "Read and Respond to email." Then choose between two event types:

  • Time Block: Create a time block for a routine or task to schedule regularly.
  • Series: Create a recurring meeting that is flexibly scheduled at the best time.

Since we're scheduling a personal activity, choose Time Block.

Step 4: Select the time of day and the event duration. For example, let's say you want to go through your email for one hour anytime between 8 am and 12 pm.  Simply add this time range and event duration.

Step 5: Choose the recurrence schedule. Do you want to go through email annually, monthly, weekly, daily, or be a flexible one-time event? You'll probably choose either weekly or daily.

Step 6: Create your event template. This information will show up on your calendar, and it'll be automatically applied to all future events under this Plan.

  • Choose the location type. Since your event is a personal activity, you can leave it blank. This is most relevant if you're scheduling a recurring meeting.
  • Create an agenda with corresponding topics. This is only relevant if the personal activity is more sophisticated and requires a checklist. It's also relevant if you're scheduling a recurring meeting.

Congratulations!  You've successfully created a flexible recurring event that will be automatically scheduled into your calendar around your fixed events. And it'll do this a few days before the event so your calendar doesn't get cluttered.


Next Steps

Being productive requires a perfect balance between fixed and flexible events.

Many of these flexible events are recurring, adding an extra layer of complexity to your calendar. Trying to manage them manually will lead to wasted time, lost productivity, and unnecessary stress. The solution is to automate your flexible recurring events using Undock Time Plan.

Put your calendar on autopilot. Sign up for free to try it out!

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