Time Management
3 Ways A Flexible Calendar Can Transform Your Work Day

3 Ways A Flexible Calendar Can Transform Your Work Day

Olivia Zanca
Marketing at Clockwise
January 24, 2024

The secret to productivity is flexibility

3 Ways A Flexible Calendar Can Transform Your Work Day
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Back in December, Atlassian’s Team Anywhere shared the results of its calendar redesign experiment, and we have to agree: good things happen when people design their workdays around their top priorities. 

By auditing existing meetings, scheduling “not available” time, and reserving blocks for “focus” time and other necessary tasks, the majority of participants in the experiment said that intentionally designing their work day helped them make faster progress on high-impact work. With the new year upon us, we’re revisiting Atlassian’s suggestions as a way to follow through on our 2024 calendar resolutions. 

In addition to these tips, at Clockwise we believe that flexibility can be a huge factor in making a redesigned calendar stick. But what does flexibility look like in action? We often think our schedules need to be stricter to be more productive. But this can leave us with an unbalanced, unsustainable day — quickly leading to burnout.

So in an effort to embrace flexibility in 2024, today we’re sharing how Clockwise can help you add flexibility to your schedule, ultimately making more time for what matters and positively impacting your productivity and your day.

1. Save space for your priorities

When it comes to our calendars, meetings often take precedence over everything else. We default to accommodating meetings and sacrifice the time we have reserved to get actual work done. 

It’s no secret that blocking time can be an effective practice for ensuring everything on your to-list gets checked off, but the reality is that these blocks frequently get booked over and passed by as priorities change during the week. 

Creating a Flexible Hold in Clockwise preserves time for important work that needs to happen throughout the week – either for one-off tasks like writing a performance review for a direct report or returning a personal call or for recurring routines like walking your dog or clearing your inbox. These Clockwise-managed holds will shuffle around based on shifting priorities.

So when a last-minute meeting pops up? Clockwise cross-references your preferences and moves your hold to another time. Exactly when these events happen doesn’t matter; it's just that they do. The result is a schedule that flexes dynamically to ensure you have time for the things that matter most in your work day. Create Flexible Holds here.

2. Ensure you meet at the most comfortable, convenient times

Relinquishing your calendar and fully leaning into a flexible schedule can be intimidating, especially if you spend much of your day in meetings. That’s why we’ve built Clockwise to honor your preferences first and foremost.

Whether you tend to have internal meetings or more frequently need to schedule with vendors and stakeholders external to your company, Clockwise allows you to customize your flexibility preferences, so you’ll always maintain control over when and how meetings move that you’ve deemed flexible. If you’re worried about last minute cancellations or reschedules, Clockwise will only move meetings within the days and times you set for each event.

Similar to Flexible Holds, marking a meeting as flexible gives Clockwise permission to move it if a conflict arises. Plus, since Clockwise honors the preferences of everyone across a team, meetings happen at the best time for everyone involved. The more meetings you mark as flexible, the more opportunities for Clockwise to move them, automatically resolve conflicts, and even open up longer stretches for uninterrupted work. Set up Clockwise Flexible Meetings now.

When it comes to external meetings in particular, sharing your availability shouldn’t mean losing control of your calendar. Setting up flexible meetings can positively impact your ability to intelligently schedule and accommodate for external meetings that may not be as flexible. 

Clockwise Scheduling Links understand your preferences and proactively protects them. Customizing your links to consider your availability against other Flexible Meetings and Holds will tell Clockwise how to prioritize and recommend the best times to the other parties you need to schedule a meeting with.

3. Maximize time for deep work

We discussed how making meetings flexible in Clockwise ensures meetings happen at the most ideal times. But an added outcome of giving Clockwise permission to adjust these meetings is more time for focus.

Due to phenomena like attention residue, it can take up to a half hour to get into a task or project groove. And every time you’re distracted, that clock restarts. So if you’re constantly interrupted, you may never find your flow and constantly feel like you’re playing catch up. As a result, your mood and productivity likely suffer.  

Unfortunately, many calendars are not set up to respect time for deep work. People tend to view any open space on the calendar as free, disrupting your focus and resulting in unpredictable work rhythms.

At Clockwise, we define Focus Time as a chunk of uninterrupted time for two or more hours in length. For any given week, you can decide how much Focus Time you want reserved and how willing you are to let others schedule over it.

These Focus Time blocks are treated like any other Flexible Hold. Clockwise will honor your preferences, adjust your schedule, and shuffle meetings accordingly to ensure you have enough Focus Time blocked on your schedule. Define your Focus Time settings in Clockwise here

And because Clockwise works across entire teams and organizations, as flexible meetings are rearranged, more time for deep work is opened up for anyone you meet with, too.

More flexibility = more productivity

It’s widely known today that a lack of control over when and how you do your work can cause quite a bit of stress in the long term, and a fragmented schedule can be mentally taxing.  The key to feeling less overwhelmed and having an impact is to make time for the work that matters most.

Every day, based on your preferences, Clockwise tests out millions of potential calendar arrangements to determine what choices best balance time to meet, time for deep work, and whatever else you need.

The result is a dynamic schedule that can combat stress, minimize burn out, and ultimately help you get more done in your day. 

Find a Clockwise plan that helps you add a little flexibility and achieve your calendar goals for 2024.

About the author

Olivia Zanca

Olivia is passionate about building amazing experiences, and creates content and communication programs that bring the Clockwise story to life.

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