Efficient time management is vital to the individual success of anyone working in a professional capacity. When it comes to managing your time, what is the one item, the one tool that you use daily that helps keep you on track? Your calendar! Whether that be an electronic calendar (e.g., Outlook) or a desk planner, keeping a tidy calendar is important in ensuring you complete your tasks on time and that you are as productive as possible.
As part of your office spring clean, implement some of these useful tips to organize your calendar, ensuring more efficient time management:
- Delete Old/Unnecessary Reminders – Did you set a reminder a year ago to make the coffee before your weekly board meeting? Do you have a reminder set to take the trash out every Tuesday? If you no longer need this weekly hint, delete it.
- Consolidate your Calendars – If you work off of two or more calendars (e.g., multiple email accounts) consider consolidating these down into one. You’ll save time from having to flip back and forth and having everything in one, localized space will help you not double book.
- Transfer Information – Often we have scraps of paper or sticky notes scattered throughout our office with random notes, to-do lists, and reminders written down (usually jotted down at times we don’t have easy access to our calendar). Transfer all of this info to your calendar, either as a standard task or in the “notes” section, and try to set a time to do this regularly (daily or weekly).
- Prioritize! – To keep your calendar from getting too cluttered and over-complicated, focus on priorities. The simpler and more streamlined your calendar is, the more efficient it will be, which in turns means more productivity for you. Keep notes short and to the point, and avoid unnecessary reminders and comments.
Over the course of the year, our calendars (particularly electronic ones) can get cluttered and unorganized. Using some of the above tips, and once you have this resource organized, implement and stick to a system for tracking items going forward to yield the best use of your time, and to help ensure less procrastination and less stress in the long run.