One of the most dreaded tasks in the office is managing the ever-present calendar. Your work calendar is full of meetings, reminders, tasks, errands, deadlines, contact information, and much more. All of this makes it an essential part of your day, but keeping it totally up to date with all the frequent schedule changes can make you feel like you’re glued to your device.
One of the things that we do at Red Butler is manage calendars for busy CEOs and leaders. Here are some quick tips for managing this chore that we’ve seen work time and time again:
1. Group Tasks into Blocks
Often we see calendars that are overflowing with small tasks, making our clients’ lives much harder. But the secret isn’t getting rid of some of these essential tasks – it’s learning to do them more efficiently. For example, do you make phone calls or answer emails multiple times every day? Block off a significant portion of time once per day to do all of your calls or emails. You’ll work faster, and have more focus during other parts of your day to do other tasks. This method works for every type of task you do. Group like with like and get it done all at once.
2. Remember to Schedule Time Off
There’s an old business saying that tells busy entrepreneurs, “If it’s not on your calendar, it won’t get done.” This applies to everything, not just your business tasks. If you want to take a longer lunch, get home earlier, or work out in the mornings, put it on your calendar and stick to it. It’s much easier to turn down a business meeting or a few extra hours on the clock when your calendar is giving you a convenient excuse to say no.
3. Condense Meetings
It’s become so ingrained in the corporate culture to hold hour-long meetings that you may not even realize you’re following that pattern out of habit rather than need. Unless you have a significant amount of discussion that needs to take place, most business meetings can be condensed. If you give your team a deadline of half an hour, they’ll cut the small talk and get right to the point. Just because your calendar automatically defaults to hour-long blocks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to take back those lost minutes. Even 15 minutes here or there can add up.
4. Perform a Regular Assessment
Periodically, it’s good to step back and assess your time, just as you would your company’s financial statements. Instead of reconciling with your bank account, reconcile your calendar with your goals and company mission statement. Are you spending your time on tasks that truly matter? If not, how could you change it? If your time is filled with meetings that could be condensed, calls that an assistant could be making for you, or repeatable tasks that could be put on autopilot, it may be time to make some changes.
5. Delegate Your Calendar to a Virtual Assistant
Finally, one of the best ways to truly manage your calendar and get out from under the ongoing chore is to delegate it to a virtual assistant. Calendar management is just one of the things we do here at Red Butler. Use Google, Outlook, or any shared calendar app, and we can access it, organize it, set up conference calls or meetings, contact your clients on your behalf, and much more.
We’ll make sure that everyone in your appointment book stays on task so that you can, too. We can also help you keep on track with your own goals, supporting you in your business and your personal life.
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