If you have a look at your calendar, what does it tell you?
Is it full of client appointments?
If so then chances are you prioritise your clients’ time over yours (and that of your business).
Do you have time blocked off for tasks?
Are you an organisation demon? Do you religiously plan your days?
Do you have your business development, your ‘working ON your business’ time scheduled?
Do you give your own business the same respect and attention you give your service delivery?
If you struggle to finish each day feeling like you’ve achieved what you set out to do, here’s some tips that work well for me:
How to manage your calendar like a pro
- Do one thing which helps you reach your goals before you do anything else that day
- Set reminders for each block of time and adhere to them
- Give yourself enough time so you don’t feel like you’re constantly under pressure
- Have one person managing your calendar for you and keeping you accountable to your time blocks (and outcomes)
- Put all recurring tasks and events in your calendar
- Batch tasks for more efficient use of your time (for example block out 4 hours to write your blog posts for the month)
- Be flexible (and allow time for that flexibility)
- Capture information as it comes in in your calendar. Tip: I copy information from emails etc into the calendar so I can close my inbox while working on tasks.
- Turn off any distractions (social media, phone alerts, emails, messenger ….)
- Share your calendar with your team so they have access, and know what you’re working on … when.
- Establish clear work boundaries (and importantly, give yourself permission to prioritise your business when you’ve blocked time in)
- In the agenda note the outcome you want to achieve with this block of time. Productivity as opposed to activity.
It’s 8.30 Tuesday morning, my 1 thing to accomplish is this blog post but I know if I open my inbox the post won’t happen. So I’m being very disciplined! I have an hour to write, publish and share it before my 9.30 block starts. I tend to prioritise client tasks over mine (another reason to have my 1 task completed before I get distracted) and I work hard (and frequently fall off the wagon) to schedule my weeks. But if I don’t, I know how easy it is to get to Friday afternoon without having made any progress on my goals. So I hope this article helps you to make progress with yours … and finish the week feeling proud of yourself for having got shit done!
The question I ask myself like almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’ Unless I feel like I’m working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I’m not going to feel good about how I’m spending my time. ~ Mark Zuckerberg