Every time I talk to my acquaintances and hear them complaining about how unorganized their life is, I recommend them to use one simple tool called online calendar. I am sincerely surprised that a lot of people just do NOT take advantage of planning with the help of the online calendar. They are trying to keep all the appointments and deadlines in their head, forgetting about them, messing up and ending up disappointed. Although a simple calendar would easily solve this problem.
If you don’t use an online calendar you have to constantly keep in mind all your appointments. And that can be not an easy task at all! As I love planning and even use a few calendars I prepared a few simple tips which will help you get most out of your calendar and get more things done.
1. Schedule Only Time/Date Specific
The main purpose of a calendar is to create appointments or actions which should happen at a specific date or time. If you do not schedule a task for a particular time, you most likely will postpone it, especially if the task is not urgent and important. Even if a task is important but the deadline for it is only in a few weeks, for example, the chance is high that without devoting it a particular time you will either complete other urgent tasks first or procrastinate it until the deadline is very close.
That said, roughly estimate how much time a task will take you and book a particular slot for it in your calendar.
2. Record An Appointment In Your Online Calendar Immediately
Do not overrate your memory and do not believe that you will remember all your appointments and what’s more important, the time they are scheduled upon, till the end of the working day. Write them down to your calendar as soon as possible. This will let you not to miss an appointment or double book it in your online calendar. You avoid stress from your memory by taking a few moments to record an appointment. Also, having all your arrangements in the calendar gives you a clear understanding of which slots you still have available for new bookings.
So, take a moment after you have something new scheduled and write it down immediately.
3. Use A Scheduling Tool
If you make appointments with your clients, you usually do not have access to their calendars to check their availability. If you try to arrange an appointment time which would suit both of you it can be really irritating. It is even worse if you are in different time zones.
Fortunately, using a scheduling tool, you can give them access to your online calendar. You provide them with a link which allows them to see an up to date version of your calendar and book an appointment time that suits them and which is automatically entered into your calendar. This saves you a lot of time and hassle and increases the chances that both of you will turn up and have a productive meeting.
4. Save Information About An Appointment In Your Online Calendar
You may consider saving the following information in the description of the appointment in your online calendar:
- if it is a call: phone number or username in the service where you will have a call (e.g. Skype);
- if it is an online meeting/training: link and credentials you need to access;
- if you go to a meeting: location and itinerary;
- copy of the agenda;
- link about the website of the company representatives you’re meeting with so you can refresh the information in your memory;
- anything you feel might make the meeting more efficient.
To my mind, an online calendar is an essential tool for maximizing your productivity. You know WHERE you have to be, WHEN you have to be there and WHY. When something is date or time specific you have to make sure that it gets done on time. Do not trust your memory, just schedule it!