Time management and effective planning is the key to efficiency, and just about every successful professional knows it. The ones who dont are just lucky enough to have effective people managing things for them. That means that when you are trying to be the best and deliver the most in your professional life, you cant afford to lose time due to poor calendar management skills. Here are three effective habits you need to build if you are going to get the most out of your calendar.
- Learn to Trust Your Records
To make the calendar work for you, it has to be important to you. That means you need to become diligent about recording your schedule and keeping track of your deadlines. Its not enough to trust yourself to remember your commitmentsif it was, you would not be busy enough to need to worry about managing your time more effectively. If you can get in the habit of checking your calendar before committing to things and you also get in the habit of using it at start, stop, and transition points throughout your workday, then you can use your mental resources for other problems, lowering your stress and making your more effective.
- Learn to Back Up Your Records
Once you have effectively established the habit of both using the calendar and of consulting it regularly, it will become vital to your day-to-day success. Thats why you need to make sure that you back up your calendar regularly. If you opt for an electronic one, this is usually something that you can handle in your account settings for the calendar software. If you opt for paper, having a backup becomes more complicated, and you will need to make sure that you are keeping the backup updated on a regular basis, because a manual calendar will need hard copy backup. Buying a scanner is an efficient way to do this without paper, because it lets you make electronic backups. Otherwise, get used to the copy machine.
- Share Your Calendar With Your Team
Whether that team happens to be family who are supporting you in a journey through self-employment, co-workers who are working on the same projects you are, or you have a team of your own that you need to delegate authority to, sharing the relevant parts of your calendar helps to keep everyone working efficiently by letting the people who depend on you know when you will be available and when you are committed elsewhere. Remember, you dont necessarily need to share every appointment on your calendar with everyone on your team, but you do need to make a plan to keep people in the loop about those sections of it that apply to them.
When you put all three of these steps together, your calendar use will become even more efficient, allowing you to focus on your other challenges. It takes time to get into the routine, but once you are there you will be surprised at home much easier balancing your commitments will become. Start working on building your habits today.