Do you ever reach the end of your day and wonder where all of the time went?
Even when you have a well-planned out to-do list and a tightly curated calendar, you might still find yourself overwhelmed with unfinished work at quitting time. It’s amazing how all of the little, mindless tasks we do throughout the day can eat up time and throw our schedule out of whack. Incoming phone calls, back and forth emails, spreadsheets, and accounting… These tasks take up precious minutes that can quickly add up.
To maximize your productivity, you need to find ways to build a more productive calendar day. Here are a few tips on how you can get a handle on your calendar and boost your productivity.
1. Figure Out Exactly How Long It Takes to Do Similar Tasks
One of the keys to effective calendar management is to figure out how long it actually takes to do your usual work. It’s easy to estimate that business calls, for example, will only take half an hour when it really takes 45 minutes to an hour. When you run over the scheduled time you’d allotted for a task, it can make you feel like you’re running behind, increasing stress and dropping productivity and motivation.
Over the next few days, use a timer to figure out exactly how long it takes you to complete the tasks you find yourself doing every day. Once you have a week’s worth of data, calculate your averages. This will give you an accurate measurement of the length of time you need to book in your calendar for specific tasks, increasing the chance that you’ll be able to keep right on schedule!
2. Identify the Tasks You Don’t Need to Do
Have a look at your calendar over the last month or so. Do you see any tasks that were time-consuming? Do all of those tasks really require that you personally manage them? When finding ways to optimize your time, identifying the tasks that you can delegate can be a huge step forward in your personal effectiveness and your business growth. Now might be a great time to hire a Virtual Assistant to take care of those tasks for you.
It’s absolutely amazing how much time in your daily schedule you can free up when you delegate certain tasks to your VA. From answering emails, answering the phone, booking appointments, or conducting research, a VA can help you reclaim control of your calendar to let you focus on the tasks that are really important.
3. Group Your Calls, Meetings, and Email Times Together
Telephone calls and meetings can easily interrupt your day and break up your momentum and workflow. By putting all of your calls and meetings together in your schedule, you can get through them all in a row, reducing disruptions to your schedule and helping to keep your calendar in order.
The same goes for other types of tasks, such as email. It can be tempting to respond to every individual email as it comes in, but this can instantly break whatever work momentum you’ve created. Of course you should keep an eye on emails as they come in and be sure to answer any that are time-sensitive, but for all of the rest, book a solid block of time in your calendar to get through all of your correspondence in one go.
4. Build Personal Time into your Calendar
Small business owners can be workaholics in the best possible way. Their passion for their business can drive them to great success, but it can also drive them to even greater stress. Being able to effectively work personal time into your calendar will guarantee that you find time for yourself.
Personal time isn’t just about scheduling an hour at the gym every few days. Put time in your calendar for your friends, family, and partner to make work-life balance a priority. Personal time is important, so make sure that you don’t neglect what’s really important by scheduling time into your calendar.
5. Get Some Help Building An Effective Calendar
Actually maintaining your calendar can feel like a full-time job. How long do you think you spend booking appointments, moving things around, and trying to figure out what’s the best use of your time? It can get to the point where you actually need to schedule time to organize your schedule!
Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to this problem: hire a Virtual Assistant to do it for you!
I offer calendar management services including managing schedules, booking appointments, setting reminders and followups, and planning notifications and alerts for important events. By syncing your calendar to multiple devices, I can make sure that you always have your schedule within hand’s reach. If you need anything moved or added, you simply message me and it will get done immediately. So, if you want to get control over your time again, try giving control over your calendar to me! I promise, your time will be well spent in my hands.