Time Hack: Separate work and play

In our last time hack we talked about ways of limiting meetings at odd hours with overseas counterparts. However, there is one type of odd hour that I quite enjoy scheduling as much as possible… happy hour! However, I probably do not want my happy hours to collide with a call in Australia nor do I want it on my work calendar… usually (anyone up for a tax-deductible beer?).

Straightforward enough: I have a meeting type creatively called /beer that is available only in the evenings, including weekends. So I just send this to people then show up and buy the drinks, right? 

That’s a rookie time hacker trick!

I calibrated this particular meeting template with a combination of settings that will only allow one booking per evening while still giving my guests some choices of when to meet:

Notice that I set this for a two hour “Meeting” but I made the time windows in which guests can book it 3.5 hours long. This means that my /beer calendar page will show the following time options: 

However, because this is a 2 hour meeting and restricted to a 3.5 hour window, there is only room for one of these meetings per evening, yet my guest gets to choose from a few start time options. 

Speaking of choice: To me, any watering hole will do, whether at the grungiest dive bar or the fanciest rooftop. As such, I let my guests choose the venue by giving them the choice of location in my settings:

Should they schedule on my calendar page, there will be a required field for location. Should I use a slash command (see the previous time hack articles!) then Andrew or Amy will reach out to them and ask them to choose a location.

Finally, I control the time window in which my guests can book drinks with me. They can schedule no more than 28 days in advance and no less than two days in advance. That’s a pretty good summary of how I want to plan my social life: At least two days ahead of time so there are no same-day surprises, but within four weeks so I can remember why we were meeting in the first place.

Consider my time HACKED!

Articles in the Time Hacker Series

  1. NEW: Prioritize your people: Get the availability for the most important guests first
  2. NEW: iPhone text replacement: Quick access to your Calendar Pages (on Android, too!)
  3. NEW: Get some FaceTime: Hack your Meeting Template to offer FaceTime URLs
  4. NEW: Cloak your availability: Block out time but still allow certain meetings
  5. NEW: Share a colleague’s availability: Schedule on behalf of your colleagues
  6. NEW: Make guests feel important: Add hidden restrictions to meetings
  7. NEW: Crowd control for calendars: Limit attendees for your group meetings
  8. Look busier than you are: Mask your true availability
  9. Stash a Slash: Surreptitiously include instructions to our AI to save you a step
  10. Automate your responses: Create email workflows to manage meetings for you
  11. Customize your overlap: Use Meeting Templates to optimize time zone overlaps
  12. Separate work and play: Route events to different calendars, personal or professional
  13. Make time for yourself: Instantly block out focus time with an email
  14. Add Amy to your emails with zero clicks: Loop in our AI with a simple email hack
  15. Leave yourself a graceful exit plan: Allow meetings to run long… or cut them short
  16. Gotta keep ’em separated: Double-book your time with multiple guests

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