As a busy working woman, having a solid calendar is likely the only thing that keeps you where you need to be when you need to be there. But despite how hard you try, there are bound to be a handful of times where something either slips your mind, disappears from your calendar, or somehow gets double-booked and results in massive headaches from both a personal and professional standpoint. If this is happening fairly often to you, it may be time to consider a calendar overhaul. To help get this done effectively and efficiently, here are three tips to help you better manage your business and personal calendars.
Get Everything In One Place
Before you had a professional calendar, you likely had a personal calendar to keep track of dinner dates, medical appointments and vacation time. But for many, their personal calendar doesn’t merge with their professional calendar once the two exist together. According to BusinessNewsDaily.com, this can result in some major double-booking problems as well as confusion about what time you have available and what slots are busy. To alleviate this, try to consolidate all your calendars into one master calendar.
Put Similar Activities Together
Especially if you plan out each hour of your work day, putting similar activities together is a great way to get all like-minded work done at one time so you don’t lose as much time switching gears. Alex Iskold, a contributor to Entrepreneur.com, recommends grouping all your meetings and phone calls into one block of time so you can reserve the rest of your day for other activities that may require more attention. It will also help if you plan to sort out your schedule at the same time each day so you don’t always have to go back to your calendar to make changes and adjustments.
Consider the Default Length of Your Appointments
If you use an electronic calendar, the default amount of time given for events is likely in blocks of an hour. In addition to this, events that others plan with you, like meetings, are generally set for an hour as well. However, this amount of time may not actually be necessary to accomplish what you need.
If you have found this to be true in your life, meetings running longer than is needful, Alison Green, a contributor to Intuit.com, suggests pushing back on the time frame for these meetings. Green states that if a meeting is set to last an hour, it will generally take that long even if it didn’t need to simply because that was the amount of time set aside for it. To stop this from happening, try shifting some of your meetings to only a half an hour and see if you can become more efficient in those meetings while leaving more time for other schedule items.
Keeping your calendar accurate is pivotal to having a successful professional and personal life. If you’ve been struggling in this arena, use the tips mentioned above to become more organized today.