3 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively
My time was unorganized before I got into the consistent habit of using a calendar. Sure sometimes I used a calendar to mark down my appointments (mind you I have four) but the problem would be that one appointment would end up in one calendar another appointment would end up in a completely different calendar than the first.
Another problem was that I didn’t always have all four calendars with me at all times which have actually thrown me off track. I’ve been the victim of driving in to work in the morning having to call the front desk receptionist to check my appointments to make sure I was right on time – only to find out my client had been in the lobby waiting for me. I blame this on my lack of copying every appointment I’ve scheduled (meetings, clients, medical/dental, personal, etc.) in every calendar. To combat this dilemma I forced myself into the habit of copying each appointment into all four calendars …… every time.
It’s important to stay on top of your calendar for several reasons; some obvious and some less obvious.
- It prevents me from missing any appointments. This of course includes preventing me from being late due to the fact that my appointments are in my face.
- It gives me a clear vision of how much time I have to get ready in the morning. I strive to be up and out of bed by 5:00 every morning but that doesn’t always happen. One of the things that determines this for me is knowing what time my first appointment is. If I’ve got an appointment at 8:00 a.m. then I need to be out of bed an hour early because generally I don’t get into the office until 9:00 therefore I miss that extra hour to sleep.
- Finally, staying on top of my calendars allow me to plan ahead for my appointments. This may include researching current trends on specific topics for my clients, preparing materials I may need to bring to a meeting, gathering documents I should carry with me to a doctor’s appointment, etc. This way no matter what, I always arrive prepared and ready to go.
Adopting a habit rarely happens overnight. I’ve personally worked on perfecting my consistency of using my calendars for a long time.
Here are some of the ways that I turned using my calendars occasionally into a daily habit:
- I use four calendars: Outlook on my computer at work, “At A Glance” planner, my IPhone and an app on my phone called “Sunrise“. I began by adding my appointments to the calendar that was closest to me (whether it be at my desk or in my phone while on the go) and set a reminder for myself to transfer all appointments to all calendars at some point in the day.
- I color code my appointments – blue are for client appointments, red is for outreach meetings, orange is for company/department/team meetings, teal (green) is for medical appointments and purple is for anything personal/home. This allows me to see where my day and time is specifically going to be split each day.
- I use “Sunrise” which is a personal assistant app for the IPhone. I love this app for the many things it can do. I plug in my appointments either from the Sunrise app itself or using my phone’s calendar and everything syncs into Sunrise. It even sends reminders of appointments the night before so I never forget to check my schedule. Sunrise also syncs all social media accounts so I never forget to say Happy Birthday to anyone on Facebook anymore! It’s a clever app and I find it extremely useful!
What are some of your favorite apps to help organize your day?