Use color-coding to stay organized and get a high-level overview of your week effortlessly. Simply assign each type of task you do, (special projects, Zoom meetings, email follow up, etc.) with its own color. You can even take your color coding to the next level by tapping into color psychology. Our brains naturally associate different colors with different meanings. For example, we often associate red with urgency, and blue with calmness. To apply this principle to your own calendar, you might assign your most important tasks the color red and simpler tasks the color blue.
Time blocking is a calendar management technique that involves dividing your day into chunks of time devoted solely to the completion of a particular task or combination of tasks. By focusing on doing activities as time allows, rather than following an open-ended to-do list, you can better prioritize, reduce distractions, and eliminate multitasking.
Get started by estimating how long it will take you to complete each task on your to-do list. Then figure out which time of day you tend to be the most productive at working on each of those tasks. For example, as a morning person, I tend to do better tackling detail-oriented projects before lunch, and less taxing activities in the late afternoon. Once you know how long each of your tasks takes and what time of day works best for you, block the time off on your calendar accordingly. The catch to using this method effectively is to commit fully to abiding by each time block. That means no last-minute Zoom meetings, answering emails with every notification, or rescheduling of tasks allowed, so be sure to include buffers, downtime, and breaks!
Use the Right Tools
Using the right calendar management tools can help keep your workday well-managed and organized. There are numerous tools to choose from including calendar apps, scheduling tools, note-taking apps, and even digital to-do lists. The key is finding the app, software, or a combination that works best for you. While it might take some trial and error to find the perfect fit, the right tools will boost your productivity and streamline your workday.
Our calendar management gurus suggest looking for solutions that are easy to use, allow for customization and integration, are easy to share and are accessible across multiple devices.
It’s Worth Your Time (Really!)
When you’re already pressed for time, it might seem counterintuitive to spend even more time creating a time management process and testing out calendar management tools. But remember, good calendar management typically comes with countless rewards including greater productivity and better overall well-being.