Time Management Tip: The Right Way to Review a Schedule

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Reviewing your schedule on a regular basis is a great way to manage your time.

The only question is, are you reviewing your calendar correctly?

(I’ll give you a hint: it doesn’t involve quickly glancing at your calendar for two seconds and nodding your head knowingly.)

In this post I’ll show you a better way to review your calendar and manage your time.

Take a bird’s eye view.

The best way to review your schedule is to not look at the details, but the big picture. Open your calendar and take a look at the next couple of weeks or upcoming month, focusing on large blocks of time rather than individual meetings and appointments.

Look for any obvious patterns: are there certain times when things are busy versus when are things are relatively quiet? Are there certain periods or areas that concern you more than others? Take note of these busier times.

Make sense of all the components in your calendar.

There is a marked difference between looking at a schedule and understanding all the information in a schedule. Looking at schedule is a quick, fleeting action, while understanding a schedule requires a bit more thinking and comprehension. You’re not just looking to see what meeting and appointments you have coming up, but looking at how all the other pieces and activities of your schedule go together.

To make sure your schedule is in ship-shape order, take a look at one or two of those busy times you’ve identified above and ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have enough time to travel to/from my appointments or meetings?

Do I need time to secure information and/or collect and prepare materials?

Do I need time to communicate with others in advance?

Do I need time to take care of or address any other issues?

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Edit your schedule accordingly.

It’s now time to make some necessary adjustments to your schedule. Don’t be afraid to set aside time for you to work, play or just plain relax. Remember, the goal of your review is to anticipate trouble spots and neutralize potentially difficult time situations. Depending on how busy things are, you might need to reschedule non-essential meetings for a future date to free up some time. If you’ve got a lot of free time in your calendar, take a moment now to block out some time for travel or other work so you can complete tasks.

How about you? How do you approach reviewing your schedule or calendar when it comes to managing your time? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.