Use Your Calendar to Schedule Out Blocks of Time
I use a very simple, but extremely effective, method of planning out my day that has helped me immensely when I worked in the corporate environment using Outlook’s calendar feature, but also will be an essential part of my success as an entrepreneur.
I wanted to share it with you, because whenever I have told others about it, they find it very different and a helpful way to organize their time to be the most efficient.
Schedule Out Your Time Visually – Here’s What I Do:
I plan out my week ahead of time, by putting blocks of time on my calendar labeled with “tasks” or “big picture” labels for what I need to accomplish. I have been consulting long enough now, that I have a sense of how much time it takes me to accomplish things. Though it is not fail-proof, it works. This time management technique also helped prevent me from having my calendar TOO filled up with appointments and meetings when I worked in the corporate world. Not that it completely prevented it, but it helped others respect my time when they looked at what I was doing on my calendar to schedule appointments.
Schedule Out Your Time Visually – Here’s What You Can Do:
- Determine how long on average it takes you to accomplish your work in 1/2 or 1 hour increments
- Schedule your time out ahead of time in blocks on your calendar (Use tasks or simply appointments)
- Adjust as required
To some, this concept may seem to simple or maybe you already do something similar. We all manage our time differently. There are many advanced task options, categories, and other time management options in Outlook and other office clients that help immensely as well. This technique that I listed above has been the single most helpful way to manage my daily work load that I have found. Now, to manage multiple clients and multiple time frames for projects, I use a project planning tool.
A Note on Monitoring Your Email Inbox
One last thought that I have heard from many works wonders in freeing up your time to be more efficient with the workday.
Only check your email at certain intervals in the day.
Let’s say you block off 15 minutes in the morning, before lunch, after lunch, and about 1-2 hours before you leave. If this is a possibility for you, it can extremely help you focus your time and stop allowing for constant distractions.
What other techniques do you use to organize your calendar?