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Julian Shapiro
+ Your AuthorsArchive @Julian Tweets on writing and clear thinking. I deconstruct how things work and share my learnings along the way. Writing: Work: Mar. 29, 2021 1 min read

I figured out how to avoid nearly all meetings.

My calendar is now free and clear 😂

There were 4 realizations:

Your perception of importance decays:

We think events are most important when we first schedule.

But, once 2 weeks pass, we realize they aren't critical.

Insight: Schedule non-urgent meetings as far out as possible. A week before the event, you'll often realize you can cancel.

On a call, when asked for a follow-up favor, I say:

"After the call, please email me what you need. We'll take it from there!"

Realization: They rarely follow up.

Which means the real-time favor they asked wasn't important to them. Which means I avoided unnecessary homework.

Batch your calendar.

If you have the privilege of being able to decide when to take calls...

...why would you spray them across your calendar?

I batch calls into one day. I made a Calendly link that only lets people book Thursdays.

I can do deep work on the remaining days.

If you get a lot of emails:

1. Go through your last 500.

2. Find replies you often give.

3. Turn them into snippets. I use TextExpander.

(You can customize snippets per recipient. Avoid being robotic.)

The best snippets are reasons why you can't give someone your time.

It's important to point out that you hugely increase your impact by changing what you work on, not by incrementally freeing up your calendar.

Meaning, being more protective of your time is just a first step to being more thoughtful about how your time is spent overall.

I don't think of my calendar as a blank surface to pile events onto.

I think of it as a ledger of how many times I've traded my time away.

Next thread is on how I make calls shorter and more useful.

You can follow @Julian.


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