Meetings may be toxic, but calendars are the superfund sites that allow that toxicity to thrive. All calendars suck. And they all suck in the same way. Calendars are a record of interruptions. And quite often theyâ€™re a battlefield over who owns whose time.
Hereâ€™s the problem and the solution
Letâ€™s start with the premise that you have a 40 hour week. (If you just started crying you need a new job.) Thatâ€™s 40 hours of time to do your job. Now look at your calendar. If your job is to spend a very large part of those 40 hours in meetings scheduled for you by other people then youâ€™re fine. If your job is to produce things such as code, comps, analyses, flow documents, etc., then why isnâ€™t the time to do THAT on your calendar?
People rarely schedule working time. And when they do itâ€™s viewed as second-tier time. Itâ€™s interruptible. Meetings trump working time. Why? And why so often are the same people who assign deadlines the same ones reassigning all of your time? Crazymaking. They should be securing work time for you and protecting it fiercely.
Why are you letting other people put things on your calendar? The idea of a calendar as a public fire hydrant for colleagues to mark is ludicrous. The time displayed on your calendar belongs to you, not to them. Itâ€™s been allocated to you to complete tasks. Why are you taking time away from your coding project to go to a meeting that someone you barely know added you to without asking and without the decency to have submitted an agenda?
Start saying no.
Why do you feel like others have more of a right to your time than you do? The time is yours.