Often times, a busy work calendar means that the pressing and urgent tasks we do take precedence over long-term strategic ones. Busy people at work put out a lot of fires. And all of that fire-fighting leaves them tired, stressed, unfocused, and uninspired.

What we don’t do—or don’t do enough of—at work is managing our calendars strategically, to get us to live our dreams of doing meaningful work. One regular guest on The Tightrope podcast shows us how strategic calendar management can be done, and done well.

The CEO and Founder of Pivoting Strategies, LLC is Carla A. Fleming; she does this consistently to support her meaningful work goals:

“Out of a five-day, 50-hour week, I calendarize 10-12 hours for what I call work-daydreaming. I set aside time to listen to audio books in the car or read printed or Kindle e-books in the early morning or in the evening. And I gravitate to reading great books written by strategic thinkers who are driving the best of American business innovation.”

Carla also enjoys reading biographies of businesspeople, politicians, and mystery books.

“One goal of my calendar management is to provide me the time to learn something new about business, the way other people see the world, or to read a mystery book on something that I know nothing about. All of this gets me away from my desk and out of the office—often into natural outdoor places—to soften my eyes and free my senses. It is amazing what insights or aha moments come to my mind that way, that turn into great work-product for my clients and meaningful work experiences for me.”

What Carla reminds us most is that meaningful work is joyful work. Her careful calendar management means that she covers business commitments well while ensuring that the work she does remains meaningful.

Discover in this episode of The Tightrope with Dan Smolen how Carla’s voracious reading and strategic thinking inspired her to launch her business, Pivoting Strategies.

Our best days lie ahead.

Catch up on past episodes of The Tightrope with Dan Smolen Podcast. Find us on Apple PodcastStitcher, on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts.

DAN SMOLEN is founder of The Dan Smolen Experience. He is also the executive producer and host of The Tightrope with Dan Smolen podcast. Listen and subscribe to us by keywording “The Tightrope with Dan Smolen” on Apple Podcasts. Also, please rate us and offer suggestions for future guests and topics.

Photo credits: Calendar, iStock Photo; Carla A. Fleming, Pivoting Strategies LLC.