Is your calendar a mess?
Is it as cluttered as your desk or other areas of your life?
Too many appointments. Perhaps, ones that overlap to the point that your calendar looks like a Tetris game board.
Today, we’ll discuss how to take control of your appointments and get rid of that clutter on your calendar.
Are Your Appointments a Mess?
Do you find yourself running from one meeting to the next?
You are always late to your next appointment and unable to catch your breath.
Sometimes, you are double or even triple booked.
When you calendar is cluttered with appointments, your daily activities will be disorganized at best, and perhaps bordering on chaotic.
This is not a fun way to go about your day.
Here a just a few consequences of a cluttered calendar:
- Always Late – When your calendar is a mess, chances are you will be, too. If you work with someone who is always late, you can be sure that they are not in control of their appointments.
- Unneeded Stress – A cluttered calendar leads to self-inflicted stress. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.
- Wasted Time and Effort – Ever go to an appointment and find out it was moved or cancelled? When your calendar is out of control, you will find yourself making mistakes that cost you time and effort.
- Missed Opportunities – Missed appointments can be missed opportunities. You never know what opportunity may close its door because you missed an engagement.
So, how do you clean up your calendar?
Declutter Your Appointments
Being in control of your calendar is key in controlling your day.
“When you are in control of your appointments and time, you have a greater sense of confidence and purpose.”
Here are a few tips to help eliminate the clutter in your appointments and keep your calendar clean:
- Use Your Calendar – Many people are guilty of not using their calendar. Ironically, by having an empty calendar, they are actually creating more clutter in their daily lives by not tracking their appointments.
- No Back-to-Back Meetings – Outlook loves to let you schedule 9-10 and then 10-11 meetings. But, if you do not have any break between your appointments, you will always be late to the next one. Make sure you schedule adequate time between your appointments. (Better yet, cut your meetings in half.)
- End on Time -Adhering to your schedule is one of the basic calendar principles. When you let that meeting run over, you are not only disrespecting your time, but that of all the other attendees, as well.
- Decline When Appropriate – Some people clutter up their calendar with appointments that they should never have accepted in the first place. It is important to be able to say no when appropriate. This can be tricky in a corporate environment, but I encourage you to practice the “Right to Decline.“
- Block Time – One of the most powerful ways to avoid clutter on your calendar is to block out your time before others can schedule it. I usually block my time out two weeks in advance to protect my project time from last minute meetings.
- Know Your Obligations – Is your calendar cluttered with other people’s work? Know your obligations and ensure that you are not doing everyone else’s job.
Clean Up Your Calendar
Don’t let cluttered appointments overrun your calendar.
If your daily appointments page looks like a mutant Lego creation, then you are not in control.
Your calendar should be working for you, not the other way around.
Get your calendar cleaned up and you will feel much more in control of your life.
Are you appointments under control? How do you prevent appointment clutter?