As a Product Manager, you need focus time in order to make space for proactive planning instead of getting stuck in a cycle of reactive tasks. To succeed in your role, you need time to think about user problems and develop strategies to tackle them. But the cross-functional nature of your role also requires lots of meetings and context switching.
Clockwise is here to help by automatically managing your calendar to find the best times for you to meet with others and have focus time to yourself.
If you spend 5 minutes configuring your Clockwise settings now, it can save you hours of time in the future. This guide will walk you through the 5 essential features for PMs like yourself- all in less than 5 minutes.
Then, continue with the guide to follow the 5 simple steps to get the most out of Clockwise.
Step 1: Protect your focus time
Unbroken time is valuable for getting your deep work done, whether its creative strategizing or analyzing experiment results.
Clockwise can help you find long, uninterrupted blocks of time and will protect your time for deep work and to find breaks in your day. To start protecting your time, you can turn on Smart Holds for Focus Time, lunch, and more.
- Navigate to Your ideal day.
- Begin by setting your working and meeting hours.
- Next, toggle the option for "Do you need Focus Time to get things done?"
- Select your ideal Focus Time goal for the number of hours you need for deep work.
- Continue adding other Smart Holds and adjusting the settings for lunch, travel time, and more.
Try it now! Follow the instructions above to turn on Smart Holds and set your Focus Time goal. Then move on to learn how to free up more Focus Time.
Want to learn more about Focus Time? Check out the article here.
Step 2: Mark meetings as flexible
Not only can Clockwise protect Focus Time on your calendar, but it can actually help you carve out more of it with flexible meetings.
If you want Clockwise to find you more Focus Time or to resolve meeting conflicts, you can tell it which meetings are flexible to move. Then, Clockwise will reorganize your calendar once a day by automatically rescheduling flexible meetings to less disruptive times using your meeting preferences and your flexibility settings.
Some meetings are naturally more flexible than others, and your recurring 1:1s with your teammates and direct reports are often the most flexible. By marking them flexible with Clockwise, you can stop wasting time resolving conflicts or trying to find the optimal times to meet. Plus, you can control exactly how the meeting should move with meeting-specific flexibility preferences.
To mark meetings flexible:
- Click into a meeting you want to make flexible (such as a recurring 1:1 event)
- Toggle on the setting that says "Flexible meeting" (only available on paid plans)
- Adjust the settings to control whether it can move within the day, within the week, or within specific weekdays
- [Optional] Adjust the time window that this meeting should move within (only available on paid plans)
Let's try it! Follow the instructions above to mark your 1:1 meetings as flexible. Then move on to learn how to simplify scheduling.
Bonus tip 💡: You can view all of your recurring 1:1 meetings on your 1:1 dashboard to easily mark them as flexible and to evaluate your meeting cadence.
Step 3: Simplify scheduling
Clockwise can handle the tedious manual work of scheduling and rescheduling events with your teammates and cross-functional stakeholders.
It will find the best times according to everyone's preferences and holds and will offer suggestions for when to schedule. It will also display the impact of your meeting so you can be mindful of your teammate's time and any potential conflicts.
To get suggestions on new events:
- Press + Schedule meeting in the top left view of your planner.
- Add the attendees for your meeting.
- Review the suggestions, and select the best time.
- Finish filling out your meeting details and send the invite.
To get suggestions for rescheduling existing events,
- Click on the event you need to reschedule with the Clockwise extension open on the right
- Under "Scheduling" click "Reschedule this meeting". Note: if the meeting already has a conflict, the suggestions will display by default without clicking "Reschedule"
- Select your preferred time from the options
- Click "Confirm" or "Reschedule:
Wasn't that easy?! Follow the instructions above to try using smart scheduling suggestions for an upcoming meeting. Then move on to learn how to set and communicate boundaries.
Step 4: Set your meeting preferences
Just because you work from 9am-5pm doesn’t mean that’s when you want to meet!
You can tell Clockwise when you like to meet by configuring your meeting preferences. You can use your meeting hours to help reserve certain hours of the week for focus time since Clockwise will avoid scheduling meetings outside of your meeting hours.
- Navigate to Your ideal day.
- Begin by setting your working hours.
- If you prefer different meeting hours within your working hours, uncheck the box next to "My meeting hours are the same as my working hours".
Want to learn more about meeting preferences? Check out the article here.
Step 5: Meet at the best times
You’ve set up your Clockwise preferences, you know how much Focus Time is right for you, and you made the right meetings flexible so Clockwise can find the best time to reschedule them. You’re doing great!
The last step is to help make sure external meetings are scheduled at the best times as well. Part of your work as a Product Manager is gathering inputs from customers, and you may want to meet with customers directly. You can use Clockwise Links to easily coordinate meetings with customers while protecting your Focus Time and accounting for your preferences.
- Visit your Scheduling links page.
- Click Create a link.
- Configure the settings of your link, including the title, description, duration, scheduling window, and conference option.
- Select how much availability you want to provide by indicating how you want the meeting to interact with your Focus Time.
- Click Create Link.
- Copy the link URL and send to your customers (or anyone) to schedule with you.
Ready, set, go! Set up your Clockwise Link and share it so you can meet at the best times, not just the next time.