calendar management 101

6 tips to use your time more effectively 

During lockdown most of us were surprised at how much we could get done in just a morning or afternoon! Especially at the start, when we were all still getting used to zoom or teams meetings.

For most of us our calendar is free hunting territory; any free space is up for grabs. And be honest, if you are not respecting your own time, how can you expect others to do so.

So, it is time to take control of that calendar and ensure you are using your time more effectively, both with meeting, work and me time.

Step 1: Instigate a meeting free Friday, for yourself and for your team, and see if it takes across the business. You may just have to start with a meeting free afternoon or morning, but carve out some “sacred” space.

Step 2: Structure your day, put blocks of time in your calendar

  • Each morning to tackle the email stream and deal with those things that only take a couple of minutes to do. 
  • Blocks of time for doing project work, reading, planning, etc.
  • Time to have lunch (go outside, grab a bit of fresh air as well as some lunch!)

Step 3: Structure your weekly and monthly calendar. Schedule your regular recurring meetings on the same day. For instance, I would have book all my monthly one on one catch up with my various staff members on Tuesday mornings over a coffee. Heading out for a quick cuppa, it would save on trying to find a meeting room and also helped in building a better working relationship with that person. 

Step 4: Keep on top of your priorities and deliverables. You should have at least one monthly catch up with your direct supervisor, and one with each of the staff members who report to you. The objective of these is to ensure you catch up on progress on the kpi’s, agree on next steps and decision points, as well as to recognise and compliment on achievements.

Step 5: When you receive a meeting invite: make sure you are actually required at the meeting, don’t be afraid to challenge attendance. How many of us have actually turned off the camera during Zoom meetings and gone about doing the laundry or something else? Well, you can’t really do that back in the office, but you should be able to get an honest response if you challenge your attendance requirement. 

Step 6: Allow yourself time to reflect, rest and reset between meetings to ensure you go into each meeting with a clear head. This could be only 1-5 minutes and could take place in the bathroom if that is the only place you can have some “me” time!

  • Reflect – capture actions
  • Rest – go to a happy place
  • Reset – get mentally ready for the next meeting 

Reflect – Rest – Reset

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