Time Management Benchmarks

Experimenting with a few ideas for managing time.

I think it’s tough for Zoom workers / knowledge workers to lay out their day. I’ve struggled with this for a while, so I’ve been giving myself permission to use these ideas when scheduling my weeks.

Here are the ideas:

  • 2-3 hours per week for wellness
  • 10 hour per week for whatever is the top priority
  • 25% of meeting time for follow-through

Writing them down, they seem so obvious. But it’s something I haven’t made time for previously.

Here’s where they come from.

#1. 2 – 3 hours per week for wellness

Many Zoom workers work more than 40 hours per week. If you were an hourly worker, you’d be required (in most states) to take a 30-min break daily after more than 5-6 hours of work.

We should probably all be making time for 2-3 hours per week of things that make us happy. Unhurried meals, exercise, connecting with friends, being outside, taking a walk.

The time commitment should probably be a lot higher. But – if we’re not devoting 2-3 hours per week, we should consider starting.

#2. 10 hours per week for the top priority

We should all be blocking out at least 10 hours per week (or an average of 2 hours per day) for our real work.

Personally – I’ve felt selfish for a long time when I blocked my calendar other than for meetings. In reality, it’s generous: it helps me get work done, makes me a better teammate, and makes me more available for the things that really matter.

This advice is echoed by numerous books on effectiveness, for example: The Effective Executive, Essentialism, and The Great CEO Within.

#3. 25% of meeting time for follow-through

So, if we have 6 hours scheduled for meetings, we should only be meeting for 4.5 hours. We should reserve the other 90 minutes for follow-through from the meetings.

Meetings only matter if they produce action. So, of course, we need to reserve time on our calendar for following through.

As with wellness–the time allotment could be much more. But if it’s not at least 25%, we might be running more scattered than we should.

What benchmarks to others use?

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