Episode #34: Transition Time
I love to study how to better effectively schedule my time. I love thinking about transition time as well. And initially, as I began to learn about transition time, my brain thought, How can I create extra time on my calendar when I’m not actually producing anything?
Transition time is time you allow for things to come up. Like when you’re meeting with a client and it’s going so well that you want to give your client a few more minutes to finish a breakthrough. Or when you have an employee stop by your office who needs some help on a project.
For me, I used to view transition time as wasted space on a calendar. But as I’ve embraced it, I recognize that transition time is a gain of time. It’s time to do things that I want to do that will get me ahead of the game. I’m more present and fully engaged when I show up to a meeting or in a conversation.
Initially, your brain is going to tell you that you can’t do this. Your brain is going to tell you to do more. But more doesn’t equal more productivity. When we don’t have time to breathe in the day, we show up as someone who is exhausted and overwhelmed. More doesn’t equal better.
Your call to action: Look at your calendar and see where you can build in some extra transition time. Where can you give yourself some time to get to and from a lunch or an errand? See if adding in more time actually gives you more time to accomplish things in your life.
Like many strategy tips that I offer, I want to know if this works out for you. Does adding in more padding to your schedule make you more productive? Reach out to me on my website or on Facebook and let me know how this tip played out for you this week.
Hello and welcome to episode number 34 of the Strategy Corner, where our goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michel Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. Today’s strategy is all about transition time. Now what I’m talking about transition time, I’m talking about transition time on your calendar. As you all know, I love to study how to better effectively schedule my day, how to get things done, how to be more effective. And one thing that I’m really playing with lately is transition time. Now, I know what you guys were thinking. I don’t have time for transition time. And I agree, because that’s what my brain thought initially as well. My brain thought, how can I create extra time on my calendar when I’m not actually doing or producing anything?
So when I’m talking about transition time, I’m talking about if you are in a workplace or if you work from home, whatever your situation is, you could even be a stay at home person. But the key is, is that when you put something on your calendar, let’s say from ten to eleven, I’m meeting with a client. Well, I create additional time between 10 to eleven. I create time after the eleven o’clock. So if I say I’m going to meet 10 to 11, I transition or I create transition time from 11:00 till 11:45. Sometimes I’ll do 11:00 to 11:30. So the reason why that time varies is if I am actually driving somewhere, I’ll give myself about 45 minutes to an hour for a transition time. If I am just staying in the same location or maybe just moving down the street, I’ll give myself a half an hour. Now let me explain what I see transition time is. Transition time is time you allow for things to come up. It’s time you allow for when you’re meeting with the client and the conversation is going so well that you want to stay a few more minutes and tackle another problem, a question, or when you’re in a meeting with your employees and someone brings up a really great idea and you’re supposed to be done at 11:00. You have this transition time so that you can keep on talking and keep on the creativity with your team and not have to leave right at 11:00. So for me, transition time buys me time to do things that I choose to do. So, for example, if I have a conversation, if I go back with my client and it’s from ten to eleven and at eleven I’m done, well, then I have the opportunity to actually leave the meeting at 11:00. In this case, I might have had 45 minutes to an hour or half an hour scheduled will by leaving or at 11:00. That transition time is actually less. And so when I get to my destination, I have a few minutes extra that I could possibly do something different. I could start my next activities sooner. I could go ahead and reach out to a friend that I’ve been meaning to call, or I could reach out to a colleague in my office and figure out a solution to a problem because I have some now space to talk about it.
So for me, transition time initially was something of a wasted space. But now as I’m utilizing it and playing with it on a daily basis, I realize it creates calmness and it creates opportunities for me to do things that I really love. Again, it creates the ability to stay in a meeting if you want to. It creates the ability to listen longer to an employee. It creates the ability to not have to stress about getting to your next appointment, because, you know, you’ve built in a little bit of drive time, a little bit of I need to check my email time, a little bit of I need to text back that person who texted me while I was in the meeting time. So I have found that transition time is not a loss of time. It’s actually a gain of time. Time to do things that I want to do. Time to do things that can get me ahead of the ball. So when I go to my next meeting or my next appointment, I’m feeling calm and I’m actually present and fully engaged with that conversation.
Now, when I was thinking about this a little bit deeper on another level, I realized a lot of sports have transition time in them. My friend, well, I have a couple friends who do triathlons and I think about the transition time, how my friend has her bike set up. So when she comes in from the swim and she gets onto the bike, she’s got a transition time. She has things there set aside for her to make the transition. And I think about how in a lot of sports, like, for instance, if you think about football or basketball or anything, it’s the transition time as you get to the court or you get to the field. But they don’t just start the game right away. They have transition time. They get in there. They get changed. They stretch. They do all these different things. And so when I was looking at transition time and how I could relate it to something else, I could see that it definitely relates to sports in general and how, you know, you think about the warm up and then you think about the cool down. It’s almost taking that same philosophy and putting it into your workday.
You could also think about transition time at the end of your day. So if you’re someone who works in an office or if you’re someone who even works from home, what is that transition time from being done with a day and then going and being present to your family or your significant other or your child, whomever that might be? You can also put in some transition time there so that when you get home, you feel refreshed, you feel rejuvenated and you feel ready to start your evening. It’s almost like a transition time. It’s almost like changing into like a new person as you’re driving home or as you’re tightening up the loose ends from your day and looking at what you’ve accomplished. So even creating that transition time at the end of your day is key for creating an amazing evening, one where you get the results you’re looking for, which could be rest, which could be a heightened conversation with your family about the upcoming vacation you have planned. Really being intentional about setting those transition times so that we could do the things that we really want to do so that we can be fully present and the next thing we’re going to do so that we can be fully present in the current thing we’re doing. So we’re not sitting there wandering or wondering if the is going over because, you know, you’ve scheduled in some transition time.
So your call to action this week is to look at your calendar. Yes, go back to the office. Go back to your desk. I don’t care what type of job you have. I know that a lot of you work in offices. I know a lot of your managers and leaders within your office. And I know that a lot of times people will come into you and the time is not your own. But one thing I do know for a fact is, is that the only person you can control is yourself. And when people come into you and they want your time, you have a calendar now that has transition time built in so you could utilize that transition time to meet with them. So let me give you an example. If I work in an office, which I used to and I had employees and they had a problem and they would come down and say, hey, Michelle, I need your help on this journal entry. Hey, Michelle, I need your help, whatever the case may be, I would be able to look at my calendar and see where I had space knowing that I created that transition time. I could see well, I have a meeting from 2 to 3. I will leave the meeting at 3. I’m deciding ahead of time that leaving at 3 is going to allow me time to meet with this employee because I’ve built in a half an hour transition time. So I’m going to decide ahead of time that I’m not going to use that transition time with that 2 to 3 appointment. I’m going to use it to meet with my employee. So during that 2 to 3 hour, I’ll very, very intentional about getting my points out, being fully present and then knowing at 3 I will come back here, my employee will come to my office and we will figure out the situation, the problem that they have and get it solved. So initially your brain is going to say you cannot do this. You cannot build in transition time. This is lost time. I should be doing more. I should be doing more. I should be doing more.
But the reality is, is that more doesn’t always equal productivity. More doesn’t always equal better. Because when we don’t have time to breathe throughout our day, we are showing up as someone who is exhausted, someone who is overwhelmed and someone who is not focused. So, again, your call to action this week is to look at your calendar, go back, look at your calendar and see where you can build in some transition time.
See where you need that extra half an hour, see where you might have a lunch outside the office and you’ve only booked out an hour, right? You’re thinking the lunches for an hour. OK, but how are you going to get there? You had to drive. So even though the lunch might be from noon to one, you might need to leave at 11:30 to get there. You might also need to have an extra half an hour to get back. And then if I’m thinking clearly, I’m thinking, why say this lunch is noon to 1? But I know this client, I know this friend, I know this coworker, and it might go over. So I’m going to go ahead and say this lunch is from 11:30 till 2:00. So this way, if I do get back early, I have an opportunity to jumpstart my day and get into something else or I have an opportunity to check with my team and see if there’s anything I need to help them with, making sure that I create this transition time. And so once you look at your weekly schedule for the next seven days. I also want you to look at your weekend and see where you might have some plans and maybe where you need to build in transition time there. I just want you to play with it. I want you to just see how it feels. Take notice to see if you feel better about it. Feel worse about it. Note what you actually were able to get accomplished that you didn’t think you could because of transition time where it held you back. Just see if this works for you, because this is everything in life is just to hear an idea and then see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, don’t do it anymore. But if it does, if it really does give you an inkling that you can actually have a little bit more clarity in your week, you could have a little bit more calmness, a little bit more focus, then I challenge you to do it for two weeks and see what new results you get. So this is the fun part. You get to play. You get to see if it works for you. You get to continue it if you see a little bit of light and you get to stop it if you see it only bringing you pain.
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