If you’re a business leader, it’s simple – you should definitely share your schedule with others — most importantly, your team.
Creating a set agenda and communicating it to others can have an overwhelming impact on the most important aspects of your business, from employee engagement to business development and personal productivity. Here’s a look at five benefits of keeping people in the loop.
1. Increase personal accountability
As soon as you share your schedule with others, there is a certain level of expectation. While it’s sensible to allow your calendar to remain flexible, the basic structure is set. For some leaders, this will be easier to adhere to if there is a little pressure applied by watchful eyes.
Productivity gurus often suggest you should write out your schedule, but they’re not quite on the money. You are only forced to be productive once you share your schedule with others. This simple action helps you live up to your standards and communicate your productivity to others.
Elon Musk is no stranger to an open schedule. His publicly shared time split allows everyone (not just his employees) to view how he shares out his time between his various projects. Whether he’s working on Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, OpenAI or The Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunnel construction company, Musk is open about how many hours he is prepared to commit to each company per week.
2. Prevent unwanted interruptions
Perhaps one of the most desirable benefits of a shared schedule is avoiding unwanted interruptions. If people are given advanced warning, they are less likely to interrupt important blocks of time.
Do you struggle to take time out to focus? Implement quiet hours in your schedule. Advise your team that specific hours are set aside for individual work. This way, you can get more done, put out less fires and pay attention to important projects that require a high level of concentration.
For example, “To keep his work day on track, Musk forgoes most phone calls. He also prefers to use an obscure email address to prevent people from spamming his inbox.”
You can take this principle one step further and obtain a virtual landline. This type of technology will allow you to use a mobile application to schedule incoming calls. When you set your availability to “OFF” it will effectively block all communication during a set period so you won’t receive any incoming calls.
3. Lead and work by example
A shared schedule can act as a training tool for your team. If you have a clear and thoughtfully planned work schedule, others will be more likely to follow suit. This can be especially effective if you manage a remote team, where flexible work is optional.
When your employees can see your hours are consistent each week, they won’t view clocking off sporadically as an acceptable practice. This can help set clear expectations, which should be a top priority for leaders of remote teams.
4. Empower your team
You shouldn’t leave people in the dark. Sharing your schedule with key team members is the perfect way to make them feel empowered. This level of transparency creates trust. This is a subtle way to make others feel good about your accessibility and reinforce the idea that you are all working together to achieve a common goal. Share your schedule and encourage others to do the same. Not only will this boost working relationships, but it will also make practical arrangements easier.
5. Improve time management and balance
Just as sharing your schedule makes you more accountable, it also forces you to create a schedule in the first place. Scheduling is the art of planning your activities so you can achieve goals and priorities in the time you have available. Create a routine, block times for specific projects, and stick with the plan.
When it comes to business success, planning is essential. When you have a plan to follow you are able to track progress against the plan to determine whether or not, you are on the path to success or not. Meanwhile, as you jot down your daily routine it can be an eye-opener. If you’ve been blindly working an incessant number of hours, this simple practice will allow you to recognize your bad scheduling habit and dedicate time to activities outside of the office.
Rory Whelan is a communications expert with over twenty years experience in consultancy, television, media, and telecoms. He frequently writes about the benefits of business phone plans for corporate leaders who are on the go and in need of increased flexibility or remote access. Since 2012, he has held the role of marketing manager for eReceptionist, establishing it as the favorite call management company of UK SMEs; attracting a wide range of small businesses, allowing them to manage their professional image and gain a virtual office address to relieve them of needing to be in any one physical location.