We use our calendars to manage our time but sometimes, we spend a little more time trying to manage our calendars than we would like.
Keeping your calendar on track may seem like a perpetual to-do on your list. And it should be. You do use it everyday. However, it doesn’t have to take up as much time as you let it. Calendar management is actually quite simple. You don’t need an assistant to do it and you don’t need to spend hours each day on your own trying to clean it up. Here are 5 tips to effectively manage your calendar:
Block out time for yourself.
Do you always scarf down your lunch at your desk or find yourself going from meeting to meeting? If so, it doesn’t have to be that way! You need time to yourself to either work or take a break. If it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find that time, then you have to schedule it. Block out time for yourself – take an hour each day for lunch or block off your Friday afternoons just to get things done. It may seem like just a couple hours but it will make a very significant difference.
Share your calendar with others.
It’s not a good idea to make your calendar public (after all, you don’t want everyone to know where you are all the time!). But it may be a good thing to share your calendar with select people, such as those who work very closely with you or family members. You might be running late from another meeting and unable to reach out to your team. They’ll be able to take a quick look at your calendar and know you’re coming from another engagement.
Don’t be afraid to decline meetings.
Never be afraid to say no, especially to meetings. You probably don’t need to go to at least 50% of the meetings you are invited to. So don’t. If you feel like you don’t need to be there or you’re wasting your time, politely decline. It’s your call, not someone else’s.
Always include an agenda.
If you are putting a meeting on others’ calendars, always be sure to include an agenda, date, time, and location. Be as detailed as possible so that attendees can decide whether or not to attend and what is expected of them. If you don’t include an agenda, people will be inclined to decline.
Set up recurring reminders for yourself.
Your calendar can double as you to-do list as well. If you prefer seeing your meetings and tasks all in one place, Outlook and Google Calendar will allow you to combine the two. For recurring tasks and meetings, you can set it up one time and never forget about it again.