how i set up my calendly experiment28 Jun 2017
so i’m experimenting with calendly to help me figure out how to plan meetings with people. i literally hate playing the calendar game and it seems like that’s all i do these days.
it makes sense because i think the most interesting work these days must be done collaboratively. but the tools and cultural practices around doing collaborative work haven’t yet caught up with the needs of folks working that way. especially people who aren’t in the same organization(s).
anyway, so calendly. there’s lots to talk about here, but if you’re actually interested in using it, there is a lot you probably already know about how it works so i’ll skip the basics. what i think is the most interesting to share is how i set up my system to use it. i could write it all out in prose, but i think i’ll go bullet style because it keeps me feeling lighter on my feet (brain?). lol.
parts of my calendly set up
i made my calendar account name the same as my other internet handles: calendly.com/lqb2
every meeting has a set length with a buffer afterwards. this is a practice i learned from getting things done (ignore the awfully awkward cover photo). allowing back-to-back meetings with no break between them is a recipe for disaster for several reasons. one is that not having sufficient time after a meeting to process followups (like getting next steps from my meeting notes into my actual todo list) often results in dropped tasks. another is that back-to-back meetings can be insanity-inducing. so, therapists and lawyers (and other professions, too) usually have session lengths that are in intervals of 45 minutes so that they always have a break. and the length of the break should scale with the meeting length, at the very least since a meeting that’s longer could have more next steps to process. so my 20, 50, and 90 minute meetings have 5, 10, and 30 minute buffers afterwards.
meetings can only be booked in the afternoon.
i (generally) don’t do morning meetings. and by that i mean, i resist them as hard as possible. sometimes it’s gotta happen. but at this point, i know from experience that guarding my mornings like a hawk keeps me feeling and being productive. sidednote: love this quote from james clear about productivity:
We often assume that productivity means getting more things done each day. Wrong. Productivity is getting important things done consistently. – james clear, the productivity guide
i have a mix of public and secret calendar events.
i have three public events that are linked from my calendly page. anyone and everyone can schedule one of these three types of meetings. i also have a secret meeting that doesn’t show up on my calendly page that’s for scheduling dinners and weekend meetings. when i’m sending people my scheduler, i will either send them to my website (which has a link to the secret dinner meeting option) or to my calendly page (which doesn’t have the dinner option).
only folks i already know get access to the dinner option. why? because i’ve learned that you just can’t be really good friends with everyone. it’s not personal.
i have a link to my calendly page in all of my email signatures. not only does this actually help people schedule meetings, it lets people know i’m serious about how i use my time. perception matters. sometimes this backfires (especially with folks who have non-linear, non-western frameworks of “time”). i’ll assess in some months whether or not the costs have been worth the benefits.
no meeting can be booked closer than two weeks (336 hours) out. because surprise meetings mess with my head and my flow. #sorrynotsorry. plus, most people can’t reasonably book meetings less than a week out. and if you can… i’m curious about how/why.
calendly allows you to check your calendars for conflicts and i take full advantage of that practice. i keep a very intricate system of google calendars set up for managing my life. i have a primary calendar, a work calendar, a calendar for all my medical appointments, one of the guys i mentor, one for my physical activities, and on and on. i like being able to isolate one type of activity and be able to look back at a history of it. this is especially useful for medical stuff (when was i last in here…) and for physical activities (no wonder i feel so crappy; i haven’t been exercising regularly).
omg. that was so much more than i thought i’d write. gotta go. may add more later.
ps - shoutout to abraham lateiner. our convo the other day pushed me to write this post sooner than i had planned on.
pps - this ended up being a lot more prose than i anticipated. so much for the value of bullets, lol.
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