Effective Use of a Calendar
A large number of managers I’ve trained over the past couple of decades have generally used their diaries or calendars to usually book internal or external meetings with others. Whether this is a customer meeting, or time reserved to meet with their manager, the vast majority of men and women in leadership roles tend to limit their diary usage for this type of meeting. But what if you could get more out of your diary or online calendar, and use it to get much more done each day?
During our popular “7 Pillars of Management” management and leadership training program, I’ll often share with the managers, supervisors and team leaders attending a simple and powerful trick they can add to their time management repertoire. It’s called time boxing!
“Timeboxing” is a really practical and useful method to make sure that significant activities that have to be completed I done so with minimum fuss and exertion. Here’s how it works. In addition to blocking off time to attend internal or external meetings with others, start creating meetings with yourself in your diary or calendar.
Most managers tend not to have massive gaps of time available during the day, so if you’re going to set a time aside for yourself, and start by blocking off around 30-minutes a day and put this time aside to work on something of significance.
Whether you’re preparing a report or a proposal, planning for the month ahead, or just using that time to think and clear your head, if the time is reserved in your calendar then is not going to be taken up or consumed by other things.
If you’re like a lot of managers and know that it’s hard to find time for yourself, time boxing in your calendar each day can help you find that all too precious time for yourself and your projects.
So, don’t just use your calendar for meetings of others. Use it for yourself. Of course, you can also apply this idea to your life outside of work. Consciously block off time for example for when you exercise at the gym or take the dog for a walk. For those managers still studying, consciously block off time either before or after work to attend lectures or complete assignments.
This year, decide to get much more out of your diary or calendar.