Are You Making These 5 Calendar Mistakes?

Calendar Mistakes

Staying on top of your calendar can be a real challenge. Your day is full of appointments, meeting invites, and other requests for your time.

You need to manage your calendar or it will be taken over by those who will steal your time bit-by-bit until you discover that you have none left for your own priorities.

The result is that your day’s agenda becomes a mad rush from one event to the next. You feel a loss of control over your activities and at the end of your day find that you didn’t spend any time on your most important work.

Here are 5 of the most common calendar mistakes you may be making:

Mistake #1 – Accepting All Meetings

In some companies, it is considered poor form to decline a meeting invite. Yet, these workplaces are also the ones that tend to be non-productive.

You need the ability to say NO to meeting requests or appointments when they do not align with your available time or work priorities.

Mistake #2 – Not Putting Yourself First

You need to be proactive instead of reactive to your calendar. Schedule your time first and only then accept appropriate requests from others.

If you make the mistake of not blocking your calendar in advance, you will find that it fills up entirely with other peoples’ priorities… not yours.

Mistake #3 – Not Scheduling Time for Your Work

If your calendar only has meetings on it, then you aren’t using it correctly. More important than meetings, is the time you should be scheduling with your work.

Make appointments for tough tasks right on your calendar. Make sure you allocate enough time so that you can complete your most important work.

Mistake #4 – Setting Impossible Meetings

Are you guilty of making impossible meeting schedules?

You can’t be in two places at once, so don’t book yourself in multiple meetings at the same time. As well, back-to-back meetings are physically impossible.

You can’t be somewhere 9–10 and then at another meeting 10–11. Unless you can teleport from one location to another, you will be late.

Make sure your appointment schedule is possible without bending space and time.

Mistake #5 – Having Multiple Calendars

Avoid having multiple calendars in different locations. For example, separate calendars at work and at home.

You can have multiple sub-calendars that all appear in one application. In fact, syncing all of your electronic calendars to your smartphone is a great way to stay on top of things.

However, trying to maintain a paper calendar at home and an Outlook calendar at work is a recipe for missed appointments and confusion.

Mind Your Calendar

Your calendar needs attention each and every day.

Otherwise, it will be controlled by those who will sap your time for meetings, for appointments, and simply for their priorities.

Avoid these common mistakes and your calendar can be your best ally in keeping you on time and where you need to be.

Question: What else? What other calendars mistakes do you see people making? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

19 thoughts on “Are You Making These 5 Calendar Mistakes?

  1. Just curious, Craig, what do you think about using two identical calendars–paper and electronic? I like paper planners because they give a quick visual overview of the month (and week) that most electronic calendars don’t do as well. But it requires double entry. Any thoughts?

    1. Everything goes on my outlook which is synced with iphone. But I’ve instituted a multi month paper caleder (word doc) that contains my deliverables. That way I can ensure that with a glance, I can see my big rocks.

      1. Hmm you’ve just inspired me to set up a word/excel doc to combine my work and personal calendars. At the moment I can’t sync the two calendars as my office has ultra-strict IT rules 🙁

  2. I think that the list of “not to do’s” is almost as important as the “To Dos.” Helping to regain that sense of control and perspective makes the prioritization task more relevant versus just the response to anything urgent.

  3. Scheduling time for your own priorities first is huge for me – it’s something I’ve started doing recently and I’ve found being less flexible with when I can do meetings or work for others is helping be more productive across the board. Thanks for sharing!

    Natalie Morgan

  4. I’ve learned to block business time on my calendar, but I do a three step method. First come previous commitments like doctor, dentist, and family. Then my optimum work times, and finally meetings and conferences. The todos go into my task management app, though, not on my calendar. How does that sound to you guys?

  5. My first experience with calendars goes back to high school, with leather notebook planners. Having your time planned out is great, but I always like to revert my thinking to the ways I currently feel.

    This is why my To-Do list trumps my calendar. However there are those “hard edges” that simply need to be outlined visually…

    However to a degree I disagree with 5, because having multiple calendars within the same calendar app has proven to be quite good for me, as it gives me opportunity to filter out.

  6. multiple calendar will lead to problems sooner or later. in a professional work environment, co-workers schedule meetings by finding openings that are common for all attendants, anyone who keep a private calendar offline will get in trouble

  7. “However, trying to maintain a paper calendar at home and an Outlook calendar at work is a recipe for missed appointments and confusion.”
    There is a solution for that: Paper planner connected to all major digital calendars.

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