Manage your time effectively. Choose the right calendar for your work style and plan now how you will use it. Follow these guidelines:
- Pick one that you can take with you. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a paper or digital calendar, but always carry it with you so that you easily can check your commitments and add appointments. Writing a note to add something to your calendar later is an unnecessary step.
- Use only one. You can’t be in two places at once, so don’t schedule work and personal commitments on separate calendars. Instead, use color coding or categories to distinguish between work and home obligations.
- Share the openings. Digital calendars make it easier to show people when you are available, either directly through a program such as Outlook or through a Web-based system where you allow people to see your openings and request meetings. If you choose a paper calendar, designate specific times each week that you leave open for meetings, such as Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
- Schedule yourself first. Before you begin filling in other appointments, block out time for yourself to work on important projects. Doing so ensures that you have enough time for that work. Key: Reserve the days and times when you are most alert for the tasks that require your full concentration.
- Adopt routines. Ensure that nothing slips through the cracks and you aren’t pushing tasks back each week. Set regular times for dealing with common tasks, such as managing your email, approving budget requests and managing your files.
- Widen the view. Adopt a habit of looking ahead on your calendar at least once a week. Check the following week and two months ahead to prepare for what is coming up.