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Make Your Waking Hours Work for You Formulating your work schedule is an important prioritization task. Here are four guidelines to keep in mind.

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If you could have any skill of a superhero, which would you choose? The ability to fly or leap across tall buildings in a single bound perhaps?

I would choose the power to never need sleep though this is not a flashy choice. This would mean an end to my constant wish for more hours in the day.

Needless to say, my superpower has yet to unlock itself. Until then, here are four scheduling tips I use to help me get the most from my waking hours:

Related: Be Strategic. Set Aside Time to Select Daily and Weekly Goals.

1. Reschedule canceled events.

Many years ago I heard the phrase "If I erase, I must replace" and it's still a mantra I live and work by today. It serves as a reminder to be flexible, yet accountable.

Your schedule should not be so rigid that you can never tweak it. But if an event was important enough to include initially, set aside time for it later in the day or week.

Rescheduling an event (a meeting, a conference call or independent work time) allows for the flexibility that a busy life demands while ensuring that important tasks don't fall by the wayside.

2. Be strategic.

To use a calendar strategically, schedule important tasks first and let the less-demanding ones land where they may.

Every time you refine your calendar, you're resetting priorities (an important duty).

Appointments should not merely exist on your calendar because they have been auto-scheduled to repeat every week for five months.

Instead, set up each event with intent and only if it's of great importance right now.

Related: Want to Be Successful? Stick to a Schedule.

3. Leave a buffer for preparation.

Professionals sometimes accidentally overbook their schedules, forcing them to sprint from one meeting to the next all day.

To avoid this, include time between events to review your last appointment and prepare for the next. If you don't, the nonstop rushing is bound to catch up with you.

The best way to ensure having enough time between tasks is to block out the necessary interludes on your calendar.

4. Add in time to breathe.

Workaholics might find it all too easy to get trapped in the constant whirl of activity. This is a recipe for burnout.

I believe in not only taking a break but also scheduling time for one during the workday. For instance, I take a daily break to get outside the office and exercise.

If a midday visit to the gym isn't realistic for you, take a walk or at least step away from your desk during lunch. Take time to sharpen the ax!

Related: Chill Out With These 7 Office Relaxation Tips

Marty Fukuda

Chief Operating Officer of N2 Publishing

Chicago native Marty Fukuda is the chief operating officer of N2 Publishing, overseeing operations at its corporate headquarters in Wilmington, N.C. He first joined the company as an area director in 2008 after working in the direct sales and print industries. 

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