For busy professionals, managing a calendar is extremely important. A calendar helps manage full schedules into manageable tasks, leading to productivity. It can also save time and reduce confusion on what to do during the day. Several entrepreneurs have even credited the use of calendars to help them accomplish their tasks while maintaining work-life balance.
Here are our 7 tips for managing your calendar effectively:
Understand & Plan According to Your Energy Levels
It’s impossible to feel energized throughout the day as energy fluctuates. In the morning, most people would feel more energized as they have just woke up. As the day wears on, it will be most likely that energy levels start to deplete. So plan according to your personal energy levels throughout the day, which is what a lot of professionals have done.
However, a lot of trial and error is needed to understand own preferences. Some would prefer to do the heavy tasks in the morning as that is when they feel the most energetic. Others would prefer doing light tasks as a warm up to their more heavier tasks. Whatever it maybe, find out your preferred pace and stick to it.
Give your days a theme
For busy professionals with a lot to do, one of the most efficient ways to organize your calendar is to classify your work. Put the tasks in different groups and organize your calendar according to these groups. For example, if an entrepreneur wants to create a new product, coach clients or take marketing course – spread out these tasks in the following order: Monday for creating a new product, Tuesday for coaching clients and Wednesdays for taking a marketing course.
If dedicating one theme a day isn’t possible, try to only put in a large chunk of the day. That would include 2-3 hours in one day. Doing this will not only focus their minds, but it will also weight less on their minds because they will be less confused.
Plan it in 15 minute time blocks
o reach your destination, one step is enough to start your journey as aptly stated in a Chinese proverb A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
If it is a challenge to focus or stick to deadlines on tasks, try chunking work into 15 minutes blocks. This will prevent a feeling of being overwhelmed with the tasks at hand and ensures higher productivity. Try this out today!
Rather than doing a task for a few hours straight, you will have some time to rest and continue with your journey.
Establish clear work boundaries
It’s important to set clear work boundaries with defines time management rules so that your work will be productive. Designate specific time slots to the heavier thinking, or setting a meeting at the exact same time in the week and working until 5pm in the evening. Finally, for the last hour of work, only work that requires soft tasks. These methods can make your working hours contained and managed.
Sometimes scheduling everything seems ridiculous, however this is the best way to plan for our time – the most precious resource in our lives. It is also important to even schedule miniscule tasks such as checking your e-mails or calling people in one particular occasion in the day, as it is very easy to get distracted with the work at hand or even get lost in the endless scrolling of social media.
Color code Tasks & Meetings
Use color-coding for your tasks. Not only will it clearly show the amount of time you spend on each task, but you will also be able to prioritize which ones are important and crucial for your work. At the end of the month, you will be able to see which projects you spend your time on and estimate the results that will come from it. You can also estimate the amount of progress for each project that you have done in the end of the month.
Prioritize Daily Tasks
While planning everything prioritize the most important things in life, first and foremost. Plan day based on activities in order of importance and you will not fill your calendar with menial tasks. This will make time for fulfilling activities such as family time, chores, going on a date, etc. For most executives, this is the most effective way to maintain their productivity while enjoying their life at the same time. You can even set a ‘Out-Of-Office’ time, where you will be unavailable to work or anything related to work.
Keep a healthy balance of heavy and light work
As much as you keep a tight schedule and even factor in breaks, sometimes there is just too much work to be done to follow through. Why not divide your tasks to heavy and light tasks? That way, your brain will not be in overload mode when doing your work and leave you feeling exhausted. Try to switch up both of these tasks in your schedule, for example by following heavy work with light work.
You might be extremely busy with the tasks that you have on a daily basis, but using these calendar management list will help you plan and execute your tasks. It is estimated that a 40-hour planned workweek will generate as much as an unplanned 60-hour workweek. You will have a higher chance of reaching your goals while still maintaining your work-life balance.
Do you have any other calendar management tips? Share with us in the comment section below!