7 Tips to Manage your Calendar and Get More Done
When running and growing a small business, you can expect a packed work schedule during the week, and a packed social calendar on the weekends. It can become very overwhelming; taking work home, reduced time for family, unmet deadlines and so on. How is it possible to manage conflicting time demands, accomplish tasks on time and leave enough time for self-care, family, and a social life?
In this blog, we’re going to share 7 tips to manage your calendar and get more done.
1. Plan the Week Ahead Every Sunday
Set aside some time every Sunday evening to plan and review your week ahead. Use this time to check what tasks you need to prioritise, what meetings you have coming up and where you need to be when. Schedule activities around your meetings to ensure you achieve your weekly goals. By doing this every Sunday, you’ll set yourself up for a really productive week. Take the time to also review the week just gone. Did you waste any time? Could you have been more organised? Did any of your meetings run over? By reviewing how productive you were the week before, you’ll be able to make changes and achieve more during the coming week.
2. Set Yourself Reminders
No matter how organised you are, there will be times that scheduled meetings slip your mind because you’re busy doing 101 other things. By setting yourself strategic reminders, you’ll reduce the chance of human error. So, set yourself a reminder an hour before a meeting; this will give you enough time to make any necessary adjustments or do to any last-minute preparations if you had forgotten all about it.
In terms of other tasks that you have scheduled, it’s a good idea to set yourself a reminder when you should be starting a new task- otherwise it’s easy to overrun. Being more disciplined and stricter on yourself will help you manage your calendar more effectively and get more done.
3. Colour Code Your Calendar
Most us find it easier to absorb visual information, therefore colour coding your calendar is a simple but effective way to increase your productivity. It means that within a glance, you can quickly establish what you’ve got on that week. It also means that you can easily see how good your work-life balance is. If you feel as though you need to allow yourself more time with your family, you can make yourself more aware of this and vice-versa. Your colour coding should be more detailed than simply red for work and blue for personal, however. Choose one colour for meetings, another colour for project work, another for networking, another for personal life etc. This way you can see what is taking up most of your time and make any necessary adjustments.
4. Schedule Gaps Between Commitments
You’ll read other articles that say you should have no whitespace in your calendar in order to achieve maximum productivity, however we’re going to tell you that you should have some. If you don’t allow yourself enough time in between meetings or other commitments, the chances are you’ll be late and your perfectly planned schedule will go down the pan. If for example you have a meeting half an hour a way, it’s always best to give yourself that half an hour gap rather than scheduling in work right up until the start of your meeting. Manage your calendar this way and you’ll put less stress on yourself. If you arrive at a meeting early because you scheduled too much time, spend it checking emails so that your time isn’t entirely wasted.
5. Use Only One Calendar
Some of us are guilty of having multiple calendars- one on our desktop, another on our phones and another physical one. Or, having separate calendars for our work life and personal life. Doing this becomes complicated and difficult to manage. Storing all your commitments under one roof will mean you can stay more organised and plan your time more efficiently.
6. Save Important Information in the Notes Section
There is nothing worse than seeing you have a meeting or a call scheduled with someone and having to trawl through emails to find where the meeting is or the phone number of the person you are supposed to be calling. Saving important information in the notes section of your events will save you a huge amount of time, effort and stress.
6. Schedule Some Downtime
It’s vital to allow time for yourself in order to remain productive and motivated in your working life. Whether that’s time spent with family, time for the gym or time for a hobby, if it’s not scheduled on the calendar, it’s unlikely it will get done. So, allow yourself the time because if you’re tired and overworked, you won’t perform at your best for your clients.
So, there’s 7 tips to manage your calendar and get more done. Good time management is the key to increased productivity. If you can muster calendar control, you are on the path to a more accomplished working life with time left over for family and social life.
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