Are you looking to pick up your pace in the back half of 2018? These 6 calendar managment tips will help you manage your time better and seriously boost your productivity!
Do you need calendar management tips?
Time flies when you’re unproductive. You may be busy doing stuff all day long, but you can’t seem to get anything done.
You may be the time who starts a project and can’t finish it for lack of time.
Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA said that we should plan our time “into 10-minute units, and sacrifice as few of them as possible in meaningless activity.” You may not have to get that extreme to cut down on wasted time.
Here are 6 tips to help you get the most out of your personal calendar.
1. Block Out Your Most Productive Time
Studies have shown that employees tend to be more productive between 9 am and 12 pm. After that, productivity drops.
Your productivity depends on what you do in those three hours, so make sure you schedule the time to focus on your most important work.
If you fill it up with endless meetings and emails, you won’t get to what’s important to move forward.
Use the Big Rock Method
When you’re planning your day or week, you can use the Big Rock method. Steven Covey came up with this method. This categorizes your priorities into different areas.
- Sand – Small priorities like email, and menial tasks. You probably have a lot of these.
- Pebbles – Fall in between the menial tasks and critical projects.
- Big Rocks – You take the most important things that are most important. They can be relationships, health & fitness, projects or meetings.
If you were to take a glass jar and fill it up with sand, you wouldn’t have room for much else. That’s how most people approach the day. They fill up their days with sand and they never get to the big rocks.
They may get a few pebbles like working on a LinkedIn profile, but that’s it.
Now, if you’re to fill up your jar or calendar with big rocks first, you’re sure to get those important tasks done and have time to do more in your day.
2. Stop Multitasking
How many times have you sat at your desk and tried to write an email, work on a spreadsheet, and write a blog post at the same time?
It’s nearly impossible to do well. Your brain isn’t wired to handle multitasking. It can reduce your productivity by 40%.
You can manage your calendar by scheduling your important tasks and sticking to them.
The best things to do is to limit your distractions. Put away your phone and turn off notifications on your computer.
If you get an idea that makes you want to jump to another project, write it down and return to it later.
3. Set Good Boundaries
People are going to want your time and attention. If they send an email, they expect a response within the day.
If they call, they expect an immediate callback.
Your colleagues are also going to want to schedule meetings with you, sometimes at the last minute.
Effective management of your calendar means setting a schedule and sticking to it. You might have to say no to scheduling meetings when other people want to meet.
What you can do is offer a couple of alternative times that work well for you.
When you’re in meetings, it’s also important to have good boundaries. Some people like to schedule meetings with no agenda.
If you’re invited to a meeting, make sure there are a purpose and an agenda. Otherwise, you could be wasting your time.
4. Use Calendar Reminders
Nothing can waste your time more than scheduling a meeting where the other party doesn’t show up.
Not only could you use that time doing something else, but you could have wasted more time if you had to travel to the meeting spot.
Plus, there’s time to prepare for the meeting. Add that up and you can waste hours.
One way to avoid that is to send out meeting reminders. It may be too much for you to do yourself. There are appointment reminder tools available that can do that for you.
For example, Apptoto integrates with your calendar and sends text reminders and confirmations without you having to think about it.
5. Color Code Your Calendar
The nice thing about having a calendar is that you can color code your tasks. You can assign a color to your big rocks, another color to the pebbles, and another color to your sand tasks.
Color coding also helps you separate personal tasks from your business tasks.
That’s much more efficient than trying to keep two different calendars.
6. Stop Setting Yourself Up to Fail
The last calendar management tip will help you set the tone for your day.
Are you the type of person that writes down lists of tasks to get done? Does that list contain a dozen things?
If it does, you’re setting yourself up to fail before you even start. You may only get to half of them.
By using a calendar for those tasks, you’re able to manage your time better. You tend to drag your feet with a task list. Plus, you have no idea how much time you’re taking to accomplish those tasks.
When you have your tasks planned out on a calendar, you’re giving yourself a time limit to complete those tasks. You’re also able to measure how long each task takes.
Set yourself up for success by trading in your task list for the big rock method and putting those rocks in your calendar.
Calendar Management to Maximize Productivity
If you’re having trouble finding the time
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. What you choose to do with them and how you manage your personal calendar will help you find the time you didn’t realize you had.
You just spent time on the less important tasks first. It’s important to remember that calendar management is an acquired skill and it might take some time to get the hang of it.
If you want more great tips on productivity and running a business, check out our blog today.