3 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Calendar

calendar-smlMost people realize the importance of managing their time effectively if they are going to be able to meet all of their obligations and be productive throughout the day. Whether you work for yourself, you take care of your family, or you are responsible to a team in a workplace, effectively budgeting your time to be sure all of your commitments are met is integral to being successful, and the busier your life gets, the more that truth shines through everything. Luckily, there are three things you can do to make your calendar use more effective, whether you are using an old fashioned pen-and-paper version or you have upgraded to your smartphone to manage your appointments.

 

  1. Color Code Your Obligations

First and foremost, you need to be able to visually sort your commitments. This allows you to have a better handle on what items you need to put the most energy into, it lets you know which obligations are filling your calendar more quickly, and it helps to tell when you might be scheduling an imbalance between work and home commitments. Doing a color code can also help when it is time to reschedule activities or appointments because it helps you to be sure you are bumping “like for like,” ensuring that you do not wind up losing track of one commitment when another becomes urgent.

 

  1. Keep It up to Date

The biggest point of failure in calendar organization is when people forget to add items to the calendar itself. It’s an easy failing made easier by notepad apps, sticky notes, and other resources that allow you to jot down an idea or a note to yourself without putting it on the schedule. When they are used correctly, these items are tremendous organizational tools. Used as a substitute for entering information into the calendar, though, they can undermine your goals. If you need to write something down, make sure you write it into the calendar itself unless it is not related to an appointment or deadline.

 

  1. Understand Transfer Time

Not everybody finds it equally easy to move from one task to another. Different people require different amounts of time to make themselves ready to stop one task and start another, and it goes beyond the simplicity of needing to move locations. Preparation, both physical and mental, is needed when you change tasks, and often back-to-back scheduling undermines your overall efficiency by reducing the time you have to change gears, leaving your attention on the last task while you try to take on the next one. A calendar that has adequate transfer time in it will let you get more done in the end.

These aren’t all the things you can do to make your use of a personal calendar more effective, but they are the basic steps that will start you on the road to success. From here, it is a matter of building habits and learning to trust the calendar as a tool in your repertoire. That way, you know it will be there to support you whenever you need it, and you will have less stress about what comes next throughout your day.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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One comment

  1. Good article. Simple and concise.
    Even a very organized individual can lose track. Before the advent of smart phones, I was a huge Franklin Planner person. I lived by that planner. Now I use my cell phone, and back it up to the cloud.
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