Does your calendar feel more like a burden than a useful tool lately? Maybe every day feels like a game of scheduling whack-a-mole.
You try your best to be organized, but things constantly fall through the cracks or sneak up on you last minute. Am I right?
I’ve been there myself many times over. But the good news is getting control of your calendar so it works for you instead of against you is very possible.
With some simple tricks for planning better and being consistent, you can transform into a scheduling pro! Let me walk you through exactly how to manage your time and excel in your time management skills.
Why Planning and Scheduling Are So Important In Time Management Skills?
✔Order and Structure:
- Schedules provide a structured framework for daily activities.
- Planning offers a sense of order, reducing chaos and uncertainty.
Introducing order and structure into daily routines through planning and scheduling sets the stage for a more organized and efficient life.
- Efficient allocation of time and resources.
- Prevents overcommitting and burnout by promoting realistic expectations.
Planning ensures that time and resources are utilized wisely, preventing the exhaustion that can result from overcommitment.
- Schedules align tasks with broader goals.
- A roadmap for achieving objectives through systematic planning.
Planning and scheduling act as a compass, guiding individuals toward their goals by breaking them down into manageable tasks.
🔻Pick Your Platform Wisely
Before we dig into actually using your calendar, we need to make sure you have the right tool for the job. There are about a zillion scheduling apps and websites out there, so give the following factors some thought:
- Can I easily access this calendar from my computer, phone, tablet…all the places I need it?
- Is it simple enough that I’ll stick with using it daily?
- Does it show me an overview of my month but let me zoom in to see day details when needed?
- Can I set reminders that are loud enough so I won’t miss them?
The specific app doesn’t matter as much as finding one that matches your personal needs and habits. Here are a few solid options to consider:
Ask friends what works for them too!
🔻Block Time for What Matters
Now let’s talk about putting stuff on your calendar. The most powerful tool I’ve found is “time blocking” under time management skills.
What is Time Blocking?
Time blocking just means intentionally scheduling set chunks of time for important tasks and priorities. For example:
✅ 60 minutes every Monday for team meetings
✅ 90 minutes every morning for writing work
✅ Saturday afternoons reserved for family outings
Why Try Time Blocking?
- Make sure you make time for priorities.
- Reduces decision fatigue.
- Lowers stress.
- Sets reasonable workload expectations.
Give it a shot for 2 weeks and see if it makes managing everything easier!
I bet one problem you have frequently is being surprised by appointments or tasks that seem to come from nowhere at the last minute. Am I right? The antidote is planning better.
✔Look at Full Month View Weekly
Quickly glancing at your monthly calendar view allows noticing things brewing in the future better. Do this alongside normal weekly reviews.
✔Enter Appointments Immediately
Instead of waiting, add appointments right when they are scheduled before forgetting.
✔Review Days Before/Morning Of
Glance at the next day’s schedule the night before. Then again each morning. Helps cement things and identify conflicts early.
🔻Handling Inevitable Changes
Despite great plans, unexpected schedule curveballs still arise. Give yourself grace when having to adjust plans reactively! Here are tips for minimizing chaos:
✔Build in Time Buffers
When scheduling back-to-back meetings or tasks, add in a few minutes buffer so running late in one doesn’t torpedo everything after.
When emergencies bump existing priorities, quickly but carefully reassess importance before rescheduling things.
When canceling or postponing meetings/appointments, explain reasons clearly to attendees/stakeholders so no confusion.
✔Ask For Help Managing Changes
If rescheduling becomes truly overwhelming for any reason, don’t be shy about asking others to help handle pieces. We all sometimes bite off more than we can chew alone!
After reading this, check out our other articles on:
- 9 Proven Time Management Tips For Higher Productivity In 2024
- 8 Unbeatable Ways To Have A Productive Day With 0 Effort
- What Are The Best Bookmark Managers For Free In 2024 (Updated)
- Asana Login: How To Login To Asana In 3 Easy Ways
Keep Iterating Your Process
Mastering your calendar is a process with ongoing refinement needed as life changes unfold. Be patient with yourself while building sustainable habits.
The upfront effort pays off tremendously long term in reduced stress and better achieving your goals amidst the organized chaos of life!
Let me know if any other pain points pop up as you optimize your scheduling system and better your time management skills.
😊Happy to offer more personalized tips!