A Scheduling Hack That Will Make Your Week More Productive
Then slowly things change. We begin to manage other people, and we have family obligations that have us rushing out the door at 5:30 p.m. Most importantly, we begin to develop a clear vision for our career and our role in our organization. In order to succeed, we need to have a clear strategy about how we use our time at work every day.
When we are at the doorstep to senior management, we have to change how we approach our day. We can no longer have our day (and other people’s priorities) running us; we have to run our day by deciding how we spend our time.
The only way to do this is to plan your week in advance. If you wait to find time as the week progresses, it won’t be there. Why? Because if you don’t schedule your priorities other people’s emergencies will fill the space.
Use the tips below to get started and click on this link to use my Frame Your Week worksheet to help you get started.
If you have meetings or family responsibilities that are absolute necessities, fill them in first. When I say necessities, this means if you don’t pick your child up from school no one will. No one will write this newsletter for me, so I need to start drafting it on Tuesdays if it’s to be published on Thursdays.
The non-negotiables also includes time to focus on career strategy. If you want a new job or time to reflect on your quarterly or weekly goals, you need to set aside 60–90 minutes each week to track your progress and decide upon action steps that will support your career goals. If you don’t want to stay stuck in your career, you have to plan time to move forward. Without a dedicated block of time for this each week, you lose track of your priorities and eventually find yourself standing still.
The next thing to schedule is self-care: Exercise, sleep, meditation, or whatever you do that makes you feel alive and capable of managing your life needs to be a priority in your week. If working out first thing in the morning is ideal for you, then choose two or three mornings to do it.
The key to scheduling time for self-care is flexibility — give yourself options so that if you miss it on one day, you can fit it on another day.
Schedule at least one day each week that you’ll have lunch out of the office with someone in your network. When we get busy, typically we stop meeting with people outside of the office. This is such a big mistake. Networking is the fuel that helps you keep your strategic plans in action.
Opportunity comes from the other people. If you isolate yourself, you’ll miss out on information, possibilities and perspective from people who want to help you.
MEETINGS, EMAIL, ETC.
Once you’ve added the above items to your schedule, then you have a clear picture of how much time you have for other people’s priorities. Start your work day with your priorities, reaching out to people that will help you make progress. If you have standard meetings with your staff, make sure they are at the same day and time each week.
Try to get in the habit of checking your email and social media accounts at a designated time, not sporadically throughout the day. Otherwise, they suck valuable time out of your day.
This exercise is designed to help you visualize how you spend your days and ultimately, your week. We rarely imagine how we want to spend our time — we just spend it. The best part of writing out this plan is that when your life goes crazy (kids are sick or you have tons of travel), you can come back to this and have the ability to refocus and get back on track.
Take the time compare how you are spending your day versus how you would like to spend your day. And remember, this is going to be a work in progress. You might need to readjust the timing as your life and responsibilities change.
The important thing to remember is, if you don’t give yourself time to take care of yourself and your career, you won’t have the chance to take your career where you want it to go. Good careers don’t happen by accident. You need to make it happen!
This article was Originally published by mater mea, an online publication that celebrates Black women at the intersection of career and family. For more articles on motherhood and work from Black women’s perspectives, visit matermea.com.
Growing Your Career in Technical Support: 4 Tips for Getting Hired at Elastic from Support Director Heidi Sager
Heidi Sager loves math, but she also loves working with people.
She always has, which is why she enjoyed her part-time job working at the IT department of the University of Colorado while she was studying electrical engineering. (She'd started in computer science, but explains that it "wasn't for her" and switched her major.) She helped students and professors with word processors, basic programming, and software checkout, and took a full-time job after graduation as a UNIX system administrator.
Working at Relativity—the global tech company that equips legal and compliance professionals with a powerful data-organizing and discovery platform—looked different in 2020. The highly collaborative environment of their Chicago headquarters transitioned to a virtual setting, and just like companies around the country, Relativity adapted their goals and major projects to a completely remote environment.
Diversity Reboot 2021: The One Hundred Day Kickoff<p><strong>When</strong>: February 1-5, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free!</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://summit.powertofly.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>We had to include our own Diversity Reboot on our list of the best diversity and inclusion events to attend in 2021 because we know firsthand how the quality of 100+ expert speakers, the enthusiasm of 10,000 participants, and the cutting-edge tech that enables meaningful virtual networking and job fairs combine to create a truly epic five-day experience. This year, the theme 100 Day Kickoff harnesses the energy of the new government's first 100 days in office to help jump-start personal and professional plans to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. </p><p>Following the February summit, we'll have a monthly series of smaller virtual summits on topics spanning everything from returnships to LGBTQ+ advocacy, so be sure to stay tuned for updates!<br></p>
The Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When</strong>: February 3-4, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/virtual_events/upcoming_virtual_events/the-future-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-2021_kcxf8glq.html#detail" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This virtual conference put on by HR.com focuses on how social movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have pushed DEI at work beyond legal compliance and into a major factor of any company or brand's culture, employee engagement, and performance. Topics include how to uncover and resolve pay gaps across your team and hire top-level diverse talent.</p>
Workplace Revolution: From Talk to Collective Action<p><strong>When</strong>: March 8-12, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$820</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://cvent.me/ZQ4BbE" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>The Forum on Workplace Inclusion's 33rd annual conference includes 12 session tracks, from DEI Strategy to Social Responsibility, along with 59 workshops and daily networking sessions. This year's theme focuses on one question: "What will it take to start a workplace revolution that moves us from talk to action?"</p>
Diversity: How Employers Can Match Words With Deeds<p><strong>When</strong><strong>: </strong>May 19, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register</strong><strong>: </strong>Early bird registration is $49 and general admission is $149</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://hopin.com/events/may-virtual-conference-diversity-how-employers-can-match-words-with-deeds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here</a></p><p>From Day One is hosting monthly conferences in 2021 focused on different ways for companies to foster strong relationships with their customers, communities, and employees. May's half-day virtual event is focused specifically on how companies can make diversity promises that don't fall flat and features workshops, panels, and a fireside chat.</p>
Hire with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion<p><strong>When:</strong> August 18, 2021</p><p><strong>Where: </strong>Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$195</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hci.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference-hire-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-august-18-2021" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This conference put on by the Human Capital Institute is one of 12 virtual conferences that HCI has planned for 2021. This one focuses on fair and inclusive talent acquisition, including how to attract diverse talent, implement inclusive hiring practices, and addressing bias in employee selection. Other conferences will focus on optimizing talent strategy, engaging employees, and developing your workforce.</p>
Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> September 26-29, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual, broadcast from Chicago, Illinois</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Was $799 for regular access to the virtual conference in 2020; 2021 pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://ghc.anitab.org/attend/registration/" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>Grace Hopper might be the best-known conference for women in tech. Through keynote presentations, networking sessions, job fairs, and community-building activities, vGHC reached over 30,000 women for their 2020 conference and are expecting even more in 2021! While not a conference focused exclusively on diversity and inclusion, many speakers plan to focus their talks on creating environments for women to thrive in the male-dominated tech field.</p>
Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> October 25-27, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual and in person in Austin, Texas as of now</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://conferences.shrm.org/inclusion" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>The Society for Human Resource Management's biggest conference of the year saw 1,200 DEI leaders participate last year; SHRM hopes to see even more come to learn, be inspired, and to walk away with a playbook of implementable strategies to create truly inclusive workplace cultures.</p>
AfroTech 2021<p><strong></strong><strong>When:</strong> November 8-13, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Early bird pricing is $149 for individuals and $249 for corporate attendees; regular pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://experience.afrotech.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>AfroTech is a conference hosted by Blavity, a tech media platform for Black millennials. It focuses on emerging tech trends, connecting Black talent with top tech recruiters, and providing networking and educational opportunities, with an overall goal of building a strong Black tech community. Over 10,000 people participated in 2020. While the conference isn't focused specifically on DEI, its main audience of Black tech talent is an important one to understand and to engage at work and beyond, and several speakers plan to focus on issues of race and inclusion at work. </p>
A Conversation with Vouch's Lead Designer Carrie Phillips