If you’re anything like me, you’re probably always overscheduled, overbooked, and running from one errand to the other. Whether you’re a stay at home parent to children who are heavily involved in a multitude of activities, or a young professional trying to keep meetings and clients in line, you could probably use a few extra tips and tricks on how to stay productive and organized. Fortunately, there are simple yet effective ways to maximize productivity, while keeping all of those important dates and events in line.
Calendars can obviously be very important for that, especially business calendars when it comes to work.
Can a Calendar Really Do all of That?
Yes, a calendar can be your best friend when it comes to time management and productivity! In order to get the most out of your calendar, it is important to keep the following tips and tricks in mind.
When it Comes to Calendars, Size Matters
Though smaller calendars may not take up as much space, and be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they often prove to be impractical in the long run. People typically have more than one or two tasks to tackle every day. A small calendar may be cute, but you’ll find yourself quickly running out of space if the squares are smaller than about an inch and a half. Write too small, and it may become difficult to distinguish between multiple tasks scheduled for that day. Attempting to decipher what you’ve penciled into your calendar on a daily basis is ineffective, annoying, and a waste of your time. Consider opting for larger calendars, which include lines to write on. This will keep your calendar looking nice and tidy, with ample space for any incidental activities which may need to be scheduled in along the way.
Take the Time to Input Data at the Beginning of Every Month
I know it may seem like a hassle to take the time to pencil in every event that may occur throughout the month at the very beginning, but there is a good reason to do so. By taking an hour or so of your time to fill in a calendar month with upcoming events at the beginning of the month, you are reinforcing those tasks ahead of you. We often find ourselves more concerned with upcoming events and deadlines which are closer. Unfortunately, this often leads us to forget deadlines and events which are a little further out. This inevitably leads to panic, and even potentially having to reschedule or cancel events for a later date. This is not only incredibly unproductive, but it also shows a lack of respect or care for those who may have relied on your completion of that particular task at that date. Another great tip, would be to schedule in reminders as deadlines approach, as this would minimize the potential of forgetting in the first place.
Consider Using a Color Coded Bullet System
It may seem like an extra hassle to color code related events on a calendar, but there are many reasons why you should consider implementing such a system. This is particularly useful for parents who have several children who are involved in extracurricular activities. A great way to get more organized and productive, is to assign each child or activity their own unique color. School related activities can also be assigned their own colors. This will keep you from forgetting the next time that bake sale fundraiser comes around, and you won’t be stuck scrambling to bake cookies from scratch the night before! Color coding business meetings, conferences, and other important dates, will be a huge help in increasing productivity in the office as well.
Be Realistic About Goals, Timelines, and Expectations
For those of us who attempt to overload our calendars with a plethora of activities, events and goals to tackle on a monthly basis, it may be a wise idea to reevaluate those goals and get honest with ourselves. Regularly overloading your calendar and falling short of lofty goals and expectations is a surefire way to lose motivation, which inevitably affects your rate of productivity. Evaluate whether some activities, events, or goals could be spread out over the course of a few months, or even a year. Spreading events over a decent length of time will not only motivate you as you check those tasks off your list, it will also keep you motivated to reach those long term productivity goals.
To Avoid Burnout, Schedule in Down Time On Your Calendar
Last but not least, consider scheduling in time to rest and relax, especially around particularly stressful and more consequential events. We’ve all experienced a bit of burnout from time to time, and while it may seem counterproductive to purposely schedule time to relax, it is incredibly important to do so. When you are stressed out and running from place to place, it may become more difficult to devote all of your focus and attention on those important tasks. This would actually lead to less productivity. To make sure you stay productive and reach your goals, down time is crucial.
A new month full of tasks, events, and goals can seem quite daunting when you first look at it. With these simple tips and tricks, you can easily turn your calendar into your new secret weapon, which can help you effectively increase your productivity, reach your goals, and ensure success in every realm of your life.