…Manage your calendar. Managing time is impossible! This is a continuation of a series of blog posts. The first post can be found here.
Here are a few more tricks that I use to better helping me manage my calendar.
- Create a task list for the month (Part 2).
The more specific your task list is, the better. For instance, if I’m preparing for a meeting I’m leading next week, I will not name a task, “Prepare for my team meeting.” I try to break apart that task and be very specific. Instead, I’ll write multiple tasks for that meeting that might include, “Reserve conference room,” “Email leaders to confirm,” “Prepare agenda,” and “Print and copy needed article for review.” Instead of one task item, I now have four. I’m not trying to make my task list more overwhelming then it was. I know the more specific I am with what I actually have to do, the more I can better manage my calendar. And you’ll notice some of these tasks barely take any time to do.
- Schedule your workday down to the minute.
I usually do mine in 15-minute increments. Since I spent a fair amount of time scheduling my tasks for the month in a way that does not compete with my events on the calendar, I can take a good look at the tasks for that day and pretty much know I can get everything done. It’s as simple as transferring my tasks onto the actually calendar as events. I schedule the more urgent and important tasks first and work my way down until all tasks for that day are on the calendar. But give yourself some wiggle room. It only takes one phone call or an unexpected visitor or problem to throw the whole schedule off. If you are new to this, only schedule about 60% of your time. If you are a pro at this, schedule 90% of your time. Never schedule every minute of the day. Plan for interruptions. See the example above.
- Take 15 minutes at the end of the day to plan the next day.
That way, the next morning when you get into work, you have a clear outline for your day and are ready to rock and roll! I’ve spent numerous wasted hours in the morning wondering what I should be working on that day.
Part #3 will be coming your way soon, so stay tuned. In the mean time, let me know if you think these ideas can work for you or not. If you think I’m crazy, let me know that too! The real key is to take ideas that you hear and adapt them for you and your work style. I don’t expect my routines to work perfectly for everyone. So if you try these idea and adapt them, let me know in the comments section below.