dependenciesHumans are dependent on other humans in so many ways. Your schedule is no exception to the dependencies rule.  Planning and scheduling tasks and appointments is an effective way to manage your time.  However, planning and scheduling your tasks almost always depends on another person or persons.

When you make a doctor’s appointment, you’re dependent on the doctor and their staff to be available at the scheduled time. When you take off work to have a service performed at your home, you’re dependent on that service provider to arrive at the scheduled time. You are dependent on these service providers to get the things done that you scheduled.

What happens when the people that you depend on are not available at your scheduled appointment time? Or if that service provider shows up late, or not at all?  Those dependencies not only derail your schedule, but can cause a loss of income, and definitely causes, sometimes a significant amount of stress.

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a car to replace my old car. Part of the deal was that they would have a sunroof installed at a later date. The dealership and I agreed on a day to drop off my car to have it installed so I scheduled the appointment. They were going to provide a rental car for me because it wouldn’t be finished until the following day.

Since I didn’t know how long it would take to drop off my car and get into a rental car, I didn’t schedule anything that I absolutely had to get done that day.  I was dependent on the people at the dealership and the rental car company to get these things done as scheduled.

The day came to drop off my car. Everything was going as planned. The service adviser checked in my car, which included giving him my insurance card and asked me to go to the waiting room and the rental car rep would be with me shortly.  As I was waiting, I watched a little tv, checked my emails and played games on my phone.  Time started to tick away – 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 25 minutes… I hadn’t heard from anyone.

After about 40 or so minutes, the rental car rep came to talk to me. Before he could put me in a rental car, he needed to verify that I had insurance. That required a phone call to my insurance company, another dependency.  He couldn’t find the phone number so I gave him their 800 number.  He left and came back about 10 minutes later and said that he couldn’t get ahold of the person he needed to verify my insurance.

Since I had already waited for a long time, and I had things to do, I started getting a little aggravated. I immediately jumped to conclusions and decided it was the fault of my insurance company. The rental rep was there and knew I wasn’t happy. The stress set in, how long was this going to take?  I called my insurance agent and guess what, I got voicemail! The message I left explained the situation and I’m sure showed the frustration in my voice.

My agent called back as soon as he was able and we got it all straightened out.  Overall, I was at the dealership for over an hour just to drop off my car.  This is a perfect example of how the dependencies of others can derail your schedule.

Scheduling Tips:

  • Don’t schedule important tasks or appointments after tasks or appointments with dependencies.
  • Factor in additional time for appointments dependent on known service providers wait times.
  • Don’t schedule back to back appointments, allow time between appointments for unknown situations that may pop up.
  • Factor in additional time for unknowns, such as drive time due to traffic.
  • Have a plan for tasks you can do during wait times to make it go quickly.