Do you need help managing time in your work or personal calendar?
Looking for a few quick and easy time management strategies you can apply to your schedule, right away?
Time management strategies or guidelines help create order and structure within a schedule.
The good news is that such guidelines don’t have to be complicated or long-winded.
They just need to be followed on a regular basis in order for you to see results.
In this post, I offer five time management strategies that can be easily applied to your schedule today.
Choosing just two of these strategies and faithfully applying them to your schedule will help you better manage your time.
Schedule break time between meetings and appointments.
Back-to-back meetings can be downright exhausting. Instead of wearing yourself out, why not give yourself a well-deserved break?
Try scheduling a five to fifteen minute break between each of your meetings and appointments at the office. The idea here is to be both ready and refreshed for your next meeting.
You can use this break time to gather any physical materials for your upcoming meeting, use the restroom, stretch your legs and arms, grab a bottle of water, or simply to take a quiet moment to gather your thoughts.
Send meeting invites.
Do you schedule meetings via a series of back and forth emails? Streamline the process by sending meeting invites via Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar. With just a few clicks, you can invite attendees, set a date, time, location, and provide general meeting notes or information.
What’s more, attendees can either accept or decline meetings. Once someone has accepted a meeting, it will automatically appear in their calendar, along with any relevant details you’ve provided, such as agenda, conference call information, and the like.
Should you have to update meeting information for any reason, you can easily resend updated meeting information with the click of a button.
Setup recurring events in your calendar.
Chances are, you’ve probably got at least one weekly or monthly recurring meeting at work, school, or home. But are you wasting time entering this information into your digital or online calendar?
Save yourself some time by adding recurring events schedule. This way, you won’t have to re-enter items into your schedule, or worry about accidental double-bookings. Should a meeting be cancelled, or rescheduled, you can just as easily delete, or adjust the meeting.
What if you use a paper calendar or planner to schedule events? Take fifteen minutes right now to add in all instances of the recurring meeting into your calendar through the end of the year. Yes, it take time to do this, but once you take care of it today, it will be finished. You won’t have to worry about scheduling items until next year.
Set specific times for meetings.
Trying to set up a meeting with someone? Sweeping generalizations aren’t very helpful when you’re trying to match up schedules! When it comes to setting up meetings of any kind, be specific as to the time of day, and duration.
Instead of saying, “Let’s meet for a couple of minutes this afternoon,” you’d want to say something like, “Let’s meet this afternoon from 2 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.” This makes it crystal clear as to when, and for how long, the meeting will take place. What’s more, meeting attendees can more accurately manage appointments before and after, the meeting in question.
Schedule personal time for yourself.
At first glance, scheduling personal time into your calendar, or setting aside time to rest and relax, may sound a bit silly. But consider for a moment the alternative: constantly feeling frazzled and overwhelmed with no break or rest in sight. Now that we’ve put this into some perspective, which would you choose? (I know which one I’d pick!)
Go ahead and block out a couple of hours of time for yourself during the weekday and the weekend. It doesn’t matter what you do during this time; it’s free time available for you to use as you see fit. You could meditate, soak in the bathtub, catch up on your favorite podcasts, take a nap, build a birdhouse, spend time with friends or family, or bake a cake.
How about you? Which of these strategies resonate the most with you? Which strategy are you going to add to your scheduling repertoire? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2015.