NYC business owners have enough to worry about with making sure they get paid on time by their customers. Missing a client meeting or an important event shouldn’t be one of your concerns. Whether you have a digital or traditional paper calendar, these tips will help you manage your calendar more efficiently and stay productive.
Color coordinate your calendars
If you use google calendar, outlook or another calendar tool, use colors to coordinate your calendar. Use multiple colors to differentiate your events so it’s easy to see your day at a glance. For example, select red for urgent tasks that require your immediate attention or green for meetings related to your finances.
Color coordinating also helps you see at a glance where you are spending your time. Are you spending too much time in one area and need to prioritize your tasks? Are you neglecting some tasks?
Whatever color scheme you choose, it must make sense for you otherwise it will be difficult to manage and understand. One of our clients uses turquoise for all her daughter's events because it’s her daughter’s favorite color. Whenever she sees turquoise on her calendar it’s a visual reminder of sacred family time she doesn’t want to move for business meetings.
Work in time blocks
Schedule time blocks during the day when you only work on administrative tasks, marketing, social media, etc. Set a timer on your phone and once the allotted time is up, move on to the next task. Eventually, you’ll find that there’s enough time to finish tasks in all areas of your business and less items are neglected from your to-do list by following this method.
Write down appointments immediately
While we’d like to think we’ll remember to put an event on our calendar later, reality is that we’ll forget about it less than 10 seconds later. As soon as you have an appointment, make a habit of putting it on your calendar immediately or at least blocking time on your calendar and putting the details in later. This will help prevent missed appointments and double bookings significantly. Alternatively, hire a virtual assistant to place the meeting details on your calendar. Just forward them the logistics and have them put it on your calendar, color-coordinated and with reminders.
Set multiple reminders
How many times do you hit snooze each morning? No judgement if you said more than twice. Similarly, we recommend setting as many reminders as necessary to make sure you are on time for all appointments. Let’s face it, you’ll probably ignore the first notification so you’ll definitely need a backup. For our own calendars we set at least two reminders for all in-person meetings. One for two hours before the meeting (to allow travel time) and 10 minutes prior (to give us enough time to prep).
Recurring appointments for birthdays, anniversaries and special client ticklers
Our clients are always amazed that we remember their birthdays, anniversaries or random special events like the day they stepped out on faith and became a full-time entrepreneur. The answer is quite simple. We place these events on our calendar with reminders anywhere from one to three days prior to the event. That gives us enough time to send a card or an acknowledgement email. Ultimately, we shine in our client’s eyes for not only remembering them in a special way but also that we pay attention to details.
Schedule personal time
As much as we like to think the entrepreneur life is all work and no play, there has to be balance for your overall well-being. Make sure you place important family and friends events on your calendar so you’re not tempted to miss important events and memories outside of your business. Don’t be afraid to also schedule gym time, devotions or even reading a book to make time for important things in your personal life. Just be sure to treat it as any other appointment and keep it!
Pro tip: Schedule vacation days on your calendar just like you would in a corporate job and actually take the days! It may be tempting to work non-stop when everything depends on you, but you will need the days to disconnect and refuel for your next project. We advise our entrepreneur clients to give themselves at least 2 weeks of vacation days and use them at their discretion throughout the year.
Written by: CH from Organized Kingdom.
Organized Kingdom provides entrepreneurs with operational and project management support as well as professional organization services for individuals. Visit www.organizedkingdom.com for more information about Organized Kingdom and how we can create functional spaces in your home and business.