GUEST BLOG: Are You on Top of Your Time?

People use many types of calendars to keep their lives on schedule. Whether you use paper or an electronic calendar or an app, it is important to stay on top of it. There are several ways you can make sure you do not miss an appointment and schedule items in a time sensitive way.

Ways to be one step ahead of the next meeting:

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When working with a calendar, it is best to make it part of your morning and end of day routine. In the morning before starting your day check your calendar to see what your day looks like. See if you have to reprioritize something or add more time to a certain meeting. Life happens and not everything we schedule is cut in stone. At the end of your day look over your day and make any important notes from the day’s activities that will help in the future. It is best to look at the next day’s schedule to know what is waiting for you in the morning, have a mindset about what your next day looks like.

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When scheduling your time it is important to have all activities matching your goals and values. I have come up with a 4 step process to manage your time more effectively.

T – To do list. Write out a detailed list with all activities that need to get done in the next while.

I – Itemize each activity. 1 is for items that need to get done in the next day or two. 2 is for those that need to get done in the next week or so. 3 is for items you may be able to delegate, hold off on for a bit, not sure if it is matching your goals and values and need to revisit it.

M – Measure how long each task will take. If some tasks are large you may need to break it down into smaller tasks. To be on the safe side always add 10 minutes to a longer task to assure you will have enough time.

E – Execute on a daily basis. You now have a prioritized list of tasks that need to get done and a time length associated with it. It is now time to schedule these tasks in your calendar. You will be able to get your tasks completed in a timely manner and work toward your goals on a daily basis.

The key to this process is scheduling items into your calendar; if you don’t then you have a list of tasks you need to work on “when you find the time to”. Scheduling your tasks keep you accountable to your goals.

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Using paper or an electronic calendar is each person’s preference. There are positives to each method. I find with a paper agenda you can purchase it with a platform that makes sense to your business. Some people like to see one day at a time and allowing more room to write in details for each task. Others like to see their week at a glance so it makes scheduling appointments easier for them. There is also a monthly view that works for those who are booking appointments well in advance. The downside to which view point you want for yourself is that the more of the month you see at one glance the less room you have to write details in.

If you run your own business, having a paper agenda makes it easier for when you are audited. You won’t have to keep downloading and printing off your schedule for your records each year.

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We live in an electronic world and using your phone’s calendar or an app. makes it easy to use on all your systems; your phone, tablet or laptop. Electronic calendars sync up and keep you updated at all times. Another great feature is you can set reminders for yourself before a meeting so you have time to prep and no chance of getting busy and lose track of time and miss the meeting. The downside to electronic calendars is that it is hard to see what you have scheduled for the week or month at a glance. You can see when a certain date has nothing schedules but if something is schedules on a day you have to open that particular day to see what times are available to set up a meeting. It is easier to carry but takes more time and effort than a paper agenda.

What is your favorite medium for scheduling and why?

Any neat features on your electronic calendar you want to share with others?

I hope you found this helpful. If you like to stay organized and want information on how to do this. Sign-up for my Monthly DIY Organizing Tip Sheets!

Stephanie Butler

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Professional Organizer with Serenity Organizing Solutions.

Find her on Facebook for weekly LIVE videos with tips and challenges.


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