Cowboy Scheduling Time Management

Cowboy Scheduling — Does it Help Reduce Stress?

Can scheduling like a cowboy or cowgirl help reduce your stress? Increase your productivity? Allow you to focus on the big versus the busy? In a word, yes. Let me explain what it means to schedule like cowboys and cowgirls. My Chief of Staff and I began meeting daily at 9:35 am. The first order of business was reviewing my schedule for the day, week, and month. While monotonous, it was necessary to be forward-looking and forward-protecting.

At first, my schedule was completely full. There weren’t even realistic breaks to eat lunch or go to the bathroom between meetings. We then decided to fence off specific times for certain activities: 10-10:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday were for coffee meetings. Most calls would be scheduled during my drive time. 12:45 to 1:45 was blocked for lunch meetings.

Fence off Time

Most important was fencing off big untouchable patches of time on the calendar. Intentional fencing-off time:

a) Helped maintain my sanity and health; and

b) Allowed time for deeper thinking and writing.

Previously, I haphazardly ran my schedule. I’d get a pocket of 15 minutes here, 12 minutes there. It was sporadic, inconsistent, and stress-inducing. I was writing my books sometimes in the back of Ubers because it was my only “downtime” as I ran from place to place.

We now have a method, a method we named cowboy scheduling: A calendar with wide-open spaces and fences. I still can’t ride a horse to save my life, but I can now schedule like Annie Oakley or John Wayne. I just don’t smoke six packs of cigarettes a day as Wayne did. This week give it a try—try scheduling like a cowgirl or cowboy by fencing off specific times for certain activities and leaving wide open spaces for creativity, relaxation, and deep thinking.



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For more information on Cowboy Scheduling, check out the Super U podcast.

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Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

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