For those who found they struggled with organisation and time management, one New Year's resolution may have been to improve in that area and use a proper calendar. If that's your goal, here are some tips to get that calendar organised, stick to what you've planned, and some extra guidance on managing your time.
Just keeping a calendar, ensuring it's organised, and using it regularly can be quite a chore on its own. These recommendations will help with that process:
People have plenty of physical and electronic options for the kind of calendar they want to keep. Spend some time going through the different apps, programs, physical planners, and DIYs to find the best fit. Pick just one calendar to work with, though. Nothing will make someone more disorganised and confused than keeping multiple calendars, with all of them only partially full of necessary information.
Making an organised calendar is work, but it will be easier to accomplish if it's an enjoyable task. Do whatever is possible to make organising and updating the calendar a pleasant process. That will mean different things for different people. For some, that might mean making it look pretty. Others will want something super simple and easy to navigate. If you choose a calendar app, make sure it's one that will have all the features you want, even if that means spending a little bit of money on it. It will be worth it if it means sticking with it.
Review how you use your calendar as time goes on. Some people begin by tracking every move they make when starting out, but they slowly start to track only the things they find most important. As the months go on, check previous calendars to see what was normally added and what was regularly missed. Feel free to change the normal layout used, or even the type of calendar. It could be more productive to switch to something more suited to you partway through the year.
Filling up a calendar with meetings and things to get done is a completely different beast from actually following all those things that were scheduled. If your struggle is with sticking to a schedule, here are some tips to help with that:
A beginner mistake with keeping a calendar is scheduling everything back to back without leaving any time between commitments. It will always take time to go from one thing to the next. Not accounting for that will result in time lost for some activities. Instead, be sure to set some time between everything, which you can use for things like answering those emergency emails, commuting from one place to the next, or even taking a much-needed snack break.
Also remember to schedule in planning, as it takes time to properly plan ahead and prioritise. This is usually good to put at the start or end of the day.
No matter how organised a person is, they can occasionally forget important tasks and meetings that need to be done. This is why it's important to set reminders for the most important events, if not literally everything.
Some people struggle to stick to their calendar because they can't focus when they're supposed to be working. If this is your experience, there are a few different techniques to help increase focus. One example of this is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25 minutes at a time, taking a break for 5 to 10 minutes, and repeating that cycle a few times. After working for a total of 100 minutes, take a much longer break (20 to 30 minutes).
Is the problem not organisational skills but wasted time instead? Here are some ways to help with time management skills:
If you're concerned about how much time you're wasting versus being productive, consider tracking your time. This will show where your time is being spent and what needs to be adjusted so that you can be happy with how you spend your time.
If you've tracked your time and decided you want to change how you're spending it, set some goals. For example, if you find you spend too much time playing games and would like to increase the amount of time you spend being productive, you can create goals to replace some gaming time with something else productive. This can start as simple as replacing the first 10 minutes of your normal video game time with chores instead.
Being organised and successfully using a calendar is something that many people struggle with. I hope that with these tips, you’ll be able to not only organise your diary, but stick to it long term!
And if you're looking for a new IT system to support your diary, reach out to us today to talk about how leasing can work for you.