The much anticipated 2014 Raven’s schedule was released this week. I personally had been anxiously awaiting its arrival so I could plan my football related travels for the season. It’s quite an undertaking for the NFL to release a schedule. They have to deal w/ individual stakeholders at the team, stadium and network level – and there’s a whole lot of $$$ on the line too.
This got me thinking, really, other than the stakes, there’s nothing different about your managing your own schedule be it personal or business (or if you’re like me trying to balance “all of the above”.) Effectively managing your calendar takes practice and a few tips never hurt.
Here are 5 tips to better manage your calendar w/ Outlook:
- EVERYTHING goes on the calendar – meetings, time not to be scheduled so you can work on that big project, due dates etc.
- Assign color categories – Perhaps it’s simple 2 color system for business and personal OR perhaps it’s an all out color scheme based on project, customer or job junction. Which ever way you choose, just make sure it’s clearly defined and you’re using the system. This will allow you to see at a glance what you’re spending your time on.
- Set re-occurrences and reminders – Maybe it’s a reoccurring meeting you have with your team or maybe it’s a reminder to follow up on a particular action item but either way, let the technology work for you. Scheduling these appointments once w/ a re-occurrence or and set the reminder on any appointments to be appropriate for the item. “Lunch w/ Bob” maybe that’s a 15 minute reminder so you can wrap up your work. Or maybe it’s setting a reminder 2 weeks out to remind you to firm up plans and book airfare for an upcoming conference.
- Plan time backwards from due dates – Big deadline on the horizon? Start at the due date and plan backwards to your calendar taking into account how much time is needed to complete the project and what are the other obstacles on your calendar that you will need to plan around.
- Send meeting notices – Rather than relying on the body of an email conversation or a phone conversation saying “Yes, let’s meet on Wednesday at 10am” follow up w/ a format meeting request to make sure this is on your calendar and also is a courtesy to the other person as well. Going a step further, when trying to schedule a meeting you can share your calendar w/ an external contact – simply click on the INSERT tab and select the CALENDAR icon, specify the dates you’d like to send, and voilà your contact can see an overview of your schedule with when you are free vs. busy.
As for the Ravens? I’ll see you in Miami in December . . . its already on my calendar! How about you?
Teltek is a Certified Avaya Business Partner, NEC Dealer, and Microsoft Partner with two locations in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. We specialize in providing one call technology support for small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofits in Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania.