Calendar like a Clockmate: 3 ways to use Clockwise as a team lead

Calendar like a Clockmate: 3 ways to use Clockwise as a team lead
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Welcome to the 3-part series where members of our product and engineering teams share how they use the all-new Clockwise. If you missed the unveiling of our hot-off-the-press web application, catch up here. Otherwise, scroll on to discover how to ‘calendar’ like a Clockmate!

Take it away, Linda!

Meet Linda Pei, Engineering Manager at Clockwise

Hi, I’m Linda! In this blog, I’ll be showing you my strategy for managing my time while I manage my team.

As a team lead, my goals are to:

  • Ensure my team is productive and unblocked
  • Have time for my regular 1:1s
  • Deliver on my own initiatives

If you’re a team lead like me, then your goals probably sound a lot like mine: mostly oriented towards the team, yet balanced with solo objectives. It’s my responsibility to make sure my team is receiving the support they need to be successful. And at the same time, I have my own initiatives to deliver upon. It’s truly a balancing act, which is why I rely on Clockwise to ensure I’m dedicating time to all my priorities.

Tip #1: Team No Meeting Day & Out Of Office Calendar

Why I love Team no-meeting day: Helps preserve my team’s Focus Time

Every Wednesday is a no-meeting day for my team. It’s just one way I ensure my team members have the time and space to focus on intensive work. Here’s how it works: If Person A tries to schedule over Person B’s no-meeting day, Person A receives a notification asking them to reschedule. 

Another way we coordinate time as a team is with our shared out-of-office calendar. 

Why I love Team automatic out-of-office calendar: Keeps me aware of team’s availability 

As a team lead, it’s my responsibility to be aware of what’s coming up — not only on my calendar but on my team’s calendars, too. The team OOO calendar helps me do that. The team availability calendar gathers out of office events from everyone’s calendars, along with company-wide holidays, and puts it all in one convenient place. It gives me a bird’s eye view of the next week, the next sprint, or the next month, so that I can plan coverage ahead of time.

Tip #2: Flexible Meetings

Why I love it: Helps me navigate a sea of meetings

In the past, it’s been hard for me to manage my various one-on-ones, especially when things come up, which is inevitable! One rescheduled meeting could throw the metaphorical wrench into the works. (My fellow managers, you know what I mean.)

That’s why I love marking my one-on-one meetings as flexible. If one of my meetings gets rescheduled for whatever reason, Clockwise automatically moves my remaining one-on-ones to a time that works for everyone. My schedule no longer unravels when life happens, and I rest easier knowing that I’m able to check in with my team regularly.

Plus (and this is a big plus), Flexible Meetings doesn’t just move meetings to fix scheduling conflicts; it also rearranges them for more Focus Time. This helps me be more productive, and it also helps my team be more productive. It’s a win-win.

Bonus tip: Checking the 1:1 dashboard regularly. Doing so allows me to pinpoint where I may need to make some changes. For example, I might want to increase or decrease the cadence of a certain one-on-one to make sure I’m spending my time in a way that matches my priorities. 

Tip #3: Auto-decline

Why I love it: Helps me balance my productivity with my availability

Most of the time, I keep my calendar flexible for other people to book on top of. It’s important for me to be available for my team. But every now and then, there are initiatives in my workload that I need to get done.

Instead of telling people to not book over any of my Focus Time, I use the auto-decline feature. When there’s high-priority work scheduled on my calendar (e.g. writing a doc or doing some roadmap planning), I’ll hit Decline incoming meetings. This allows me to protect that particular chunk of time, while keeping the rest of my schedule open for my team. Auto-decline helps me find the ideal balance as a team lead.

I hope these tips help you make the most out of Clockwise for yourself and your team!

About the author

Linda Pei

Linda is an engineering manager at Clockwise, helping the world make time for what matters.

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