Get More Done
Five tips on how to manage your schedule like a pro.
Often find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day. Frustrated that things never seem to slow down so that you can finally catch up on your never-ending to-do list? We’ve been there. We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that the list will always grow no matter how fast you cross things off. The good news is that by more effectively running your calendar, you can virtually carve out more time in your day.
Schedule transition times
Although it might seem more efficient to schedule all your meetings or errands back to back, you will be more effective if you plan for short gaps. During those transitions, you have a chance to reply to a few emails, take a breather, or allow for delays.
Plan for and book free time
It can be draining to never have free time, so block that time off in your calendar. If you know you’ll be swamped until mid-week, schedule time off on Thursday. Don’t just play it by ear; there will always be something that needs to get done. Book that time to yourself into your calendar just as you would a dentist appointment.
Group similar activities together
It can be difficult to switch from one mindset to another, so if you’ve got a few housekeeping-type tasks, do them in one part of your day and push your client phone calls into a certain window of time so you’re in the right mode to talk business.
Colour-code your calendar
Give priority items a bold colour (think red) so that these are non-negotiable. This will allow you to get a grasp of what your day, week, or month has in store for you at a glance. Also, if your calendar is cloud-based, share it with your family and colleagues. This way everyone can easily check what your timing is like on their own, without wasting time trying to figure out the best time for a meeting or dinner, for example.
Include travel time in your schedule
Including the time it takes you to get to your appointment will give you a better understanding of how much commuting is taking out of your day. While you might consider returning library books a task that takes two minutes, when the walk to the library takes about 15 minutes, you’re now looking at more than 30 minutes out of your day. Considering travel time upfront also helps to ensure you will be on time. By increasing your awareness of how much total time a task takes, you’ll develop an awareness of how to better strategically plan your time going forward.