It makes me flinch a little every time: somebody powers up a computer, opens their calendar and suddenly its notification chaos. There are overlapping commitments, at least seven different colors for different event types, and event titles that say little or nothing… “meet with Pete”, … “Design”, …
And yet: those are the people who tell me they don’t have time to do it all.
It’s not a scheduling problem: it’s a decision making problem.
Schedule your personal life
Most people will schedule their work commitments.
Leaving no dedicated space for personal commitments. Just thinking “in between time” or “after hours” will not get the other things done.
Whatever your idea of “break time” (a hobby, time with family or friends, workout, rest, etc): schedule that into your calendar as if it were a business meeting. Making it a regular time will help, for example every Tuesday and Thursday at the same time, etc.
Schedule your interruptions
Interruptions tend to be where most time ends up being lost, as they throw everything else off schedule.
It is ok not to pick up the telephone at that exact moment when you remember to make the call. It is also ok not to have an open door policy.
Tell people to pre-schedule their ten minutes to speak with you and when ten minutes are up, end the meeting. If they need more time they will learn to schedule more time.
If the thing matters to you, and is essential to your business, put it in your calendar.