7 Tips to Managing Your Calendar
It’s your responsibility to plan how you’re going to spend your time. You can binge-watch Netflix all day, but that’s most likely not the best use of your time. The best way to achieve a directional balance to your work and life goals is to organize and maintain your calendar correctly.
1. Break down your activities into simple problems.
Generally, large tasks don’t translate well onto a daily calendar. To make an ongoing, or excessive job more manageable, set aside a block of time to do a set portion or task that helps you to eventually reach your end goal.
2. Color-code your Calendar.
Color-coding your calendar is a proven and effective way to create balance and differentiate all of those items you scheduled on your calendar. Use the ROY-G-BIV color order (for all my people that like an aesthetically pleasing calendar!) with each color representing something different. Red is a good color for urgent things like work meetings or appointments. If you have kids, use a different color for each child so that you can keep them straight. Each color can represent a different aspect of your life – health, work, appointments, social, and home are some good category ideas. As you look at your calendar it creates an easily seen balanced and stress-free day.
3. Eat your veggies first.
Work on your most important task for the day before anything else. Conquering your most challenging job will allow you to go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that the most difficult things are complete. We often have the most energy and focus in the morning and it’s the best time of day to keep distractions at bay.
If you have several important tasks, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Take action immediately. Maybe you find it helpful to block out nine am to noon for your top priority for the day. Take breaks, and know you may finish before noon. Creating this routine in your schedule helps to ensure that the tough stuff will be completed.
4. Time blocking vs. to-do-lists in your calendar
While to-do-lists can be an asset during your time blocks, they can become a source of stress and disappointment. If you go over your list at the end of the day, and only crossed off a couple of items, how do you think you’ll feel? Research has found that we do not complete 41 percent of our to-do-list items. Top performers schedule their calendars with time blocks. This means that there is a specific amount of time per task. You are having a meeting with yourself to work towards a specific task. Identify when you’re most productive so that you can block out that time for your most important task. Track how long these tasks take you to complete so that you can allocate enough time. Most importantly, create a schedule around these blocks and stick to your schedule. Schedule your work — and work your schedule.
5. Schedule Everything in your calendar
If something is important to you, and you want to get it done, schedule it. For example, If you want to workout everyday before or after work, it needs to go on your calendar. This way, you are more likely to follow through with an event since you have been reminded of it.
6. Build unstructured time into your calendar.
When you’re constantly busy and have no free time — as in every minute of every day is scheduled back to back — you max out your brain and you become more likely to make errors and are less insightful. Add unstructured time into your schedule each day to think, learn, meditate, or explore. This time allows flexibility into your schedule, but try not to just use it to waste time – use it wisely.
7. Use the right calendar tools.
Finally, if you truly want to stay on top of your game, then make sure that you’re using the right tools. The appropriate tools include:
- A calendar app. Whether it’s Google Calendar or Microsoft Calendar, this allows you to manage your calendar anytime, anywhere.
- Scheduling tool. Calendar is a smart calendar that uses machine learning to make smart suggestions on when, where, and how to schedule a meeting.
- Note-taking apps. Whenever you have an idea or thought, get it out of your head by using an app like Evernote or Google Keep.
If you are a paper calendar person, take a look at our planner review in our Instagram Stories!
Still need help? Contact us at [email protected] or 913-353-5753. We can get you organized and teach you methods for long-term success!