Managing time effectively is crucial for productivity and success in today’s fast-paced work environment. Your work calendar is a powerful tool to help you stay organized, prioritize tasks, and optimize your workflow.
However, it’s not just about filling in time slots; it’s about using your calendar to maximize efficiency and ensure you make the most of your valuable work hours.
This article will explore ten practical strategies to help you make your work calendar as efficient as possible, allowing you to accomplish more and quickly achieve your professional goals.
10 Ways to Make Your Work Calendar as Efficient as Possible
1. Plan a holiday to get things done
Everyone has things to do that need to be completed or projects to run to build the business of their dreams, for example. But we rarely have time to do all that.
A simple formula can solve the problem: time × maximum concentration on a single task. You need to increase your engagement if you don’t have enough time. And to do that, you need to remove all distractions.
Start by asking yourself what you need to learn to advance your career. You’ll come up with some vast, difficult tasks when you don’t have the time. And here we come to the most crucial thing – time off to tackle important tasks and problems.
Here’s how to organize it:
- Allocate 2-3 days or any time in your calendar to help you make significant progress.
- Add another day. Why? More often than not, we overestimate our strengths.
- Entirely focused on the task at this time.
Treat this period like a regular holiday. Finish all ongoing work projects in advance. Warn clients or co-workers that you will be out of the office.
Put an answering machine in the mail so you won’t be distracted. Multitasking and social media are also strictly prohibited. Your job is to focus on your work and progress.
2. Schedule things a year in advance
Planning out your whole year in advance sounds like a monumental task. And you can never predict what will happen in the future. Of course, these are all outstanding arguments. However, a long-term plan can be the key to time management.
It doesn’t mean you must schedule every minute of the next 365 days. Add only the essentials to your calendar: regular meetings, appointments, birthdays, holidays, travel, events, and repetitive tasks.
This approach will help reduce stress levels and ensure you work on the things that matter daily.
3. Create the perfect week
Now that you have an overall plan, it’s time to narrow down your perspective, which is to plan your week. You can do this every Sunday.
Treat planning like allocating a budget. Only in this case do you need to give your time. And just like with money, you first “spend” it in your plan, written down on paper.
You can also develop themes for each week – big tasks you will work on over the next 7 days.
4. Simplify the schedule for the day
Making a simple and long plan is fine. The simpler, the better.
For example, writers at the paper help review service to use a scheme where you have to highlight the three main tasks of the day. This may be effective, but this method has a couple of drawbacks. For example, you may choose the wrong functions.
Or you may need to judge the time it will take to complete them. There are other things to do, so what should you do with them?
It is easy to make a simple but effective plan. Look at the precise daily schedule of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. There’s even room for healthy habits.
- Set up for the day: shower, breakfast, personal tasks, get ready for work (3 hours).
- Morning tasks (4 hours).
- Handling of current projects and lunch (2 hours).
- Afternoon tasks (4 hours).
- Dinner, rest, and end of the day (4 hours).
- Sleeping (7 hours).
You can use this schedule as a template and then supplement it with your tasks.
5. Be aware of circadian rhythms
Each of us has a unique ‘clock’ that allocates energy throughout the day. These are circadian rhythms. They maintain our body’s essential functions, such as sleeping and awake.
If you’ve ever traveled to a city or country with a different time zone, you’ve probably realized how difficult it can be to readjust to a different rhythm.
The same goes for the work calendar. Try distributing tasks in it according to circadian rhythms: plan the essential things for noon or 6 pm, the easiest for early morning, 3 pm, or late evening.
Best of all, track your activity levels throughout the day. You may be much more productive at midnight than at noon.
6. Take breaks
Many of us mistakenly believe that taking breaks is a waste of time. After all, spending those 15-20 minutes on essential tasks is better.
This approach to productivity needs to be updated. What’s more, regular breaks can significantly improve efficiency. But they need to be handled responsibly, too.
Plan your breaks, preferably according to your circadian rhythms, and decide how you want to spend your free time. For example, take a walk outdoors or work out at the gym.
The main thing is to find the right balance. You shouldn’t overdo it, but you won’t be satisfied with non-stop work either. Set a timer for your break and treat it as another important meeting or task.
7. Stop using time management
This may sound counterproductive, but the truth is that time is almost impossible to control. Which means you need to focus on what you can keep under control. To make yourself and your calendar better, pay attention to a few areas:
Energy. Instead of bulldozing through more and more tasks, take a break if you’re tired. That way, you’ll recover your energy and increase your efficiency.
Priorities. Put them on your calendar and work on your preferences first. Save energy on tasks that you can delegate, reschedule or ignore.
Brain. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to create new and repair lost neural connections. The more often you train yourself to do specific tasks, the easier it becomes to work on them.
Bottom line. Remove unnecessary rubbish from your calendar, such as too-small tasks, and focus on what’s vital.
Focus. Different techniques can help here. For example, Pomodoro – 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest. Or the 52/17 rule – 52 minutes of work and 17 minutes of rest. This will allow you to keep your focus throughout the day.
Emotions. Negative experiences are not only distracting but also exhausting. Add fun activities to your calendar and set aside time to care for yourself. This way, you can avoid burnout.
8. Push yourself to change tasks
To motivate yourself, set reminders on your smartphone calendar or a regular kitchen timer. The key is not to be annoyed by the sound but to gently tell you when to switch to your next task. This will help you follow a schedule without a drastic break from previous studies.
9. Don’t be afraid of gaps
If you plan things carefully, you probably notice gaps in your calendar. And that’s perfectly fine. Within reasonable limits, of course. If there’s a two-hour break between tasks, it’s worth thinking about it, but a 30-minute break is natural.
It’s an excellent time to prepare for a new meeting, deal with urgent matters, finish a difficult task, meditate, do stretching exercises, or review the day’s progress.
10. Avoid Patterns
Electronic calendars allocate a standard hour for each task by default, which could be a better invention. There are plenty of things to do that can be dealt with in 30 minutes. And the most critical information from a business meeting can easily fit in 15 minutes.
Don’t rely on standards – allocate as much time to work as you need.