In a typically busy office, a work calendar can feel like less of a useful tool, and more of a working hassle. With back-to-back calls, video integrated meetings and meetings scheduled at the last minute, it can be difficult to navigate your Outlook calendar and manage your time effectively. However, there are simple and efficient ways to easily control your work calendar, and therefore maximise your time in the office. Here are four tips to help you get the best from your calendar management:
1. Schedule, schedule, schedule
In an ideal working environment, this would go without saying. However, due to the hectic demands of today’s modern workplace, it’s unsurprising that many employees fail to schedule their calendar properly, particularly if using outdated calendar software. Train yourself to get into the habit of scheduling everything – not just meetings and calls, but also time for daily admin and responding to emails. Obviously, you’re not required to stick to your schedule rigidly – but to have it organised in an ‘at a glance’ format can help make things easier.
2. Share, share, share
Another obvious, but sometimes overlooked process. Sharing your calendar with your colleagues is imperative, even if only to avoid those over-long email chains trying to organise when and where your next meeting should be. Not only should you be able to see your colleagues’ calendars and vice versa, but you should also be sure to share relevant calendar information with clients, where applicable.
3. Leave space where possible
Not a lot of space, but just enough buffer, particularly around meetings, calls or video conferences. You never know when meetings will overrun, or something unexpected will come up – while a well-scheduled calendar is always a good idea, one that is too-tightly packed is definitely not. Remember to create breathing space.
4. Integrate and sync
Managing your calendar via appropriate software is key. You may have different platforms for your overall diary – meeting room booking systems, team or department calendars along with personal ones. Where possible, you should be looking to integrate and sync any separate calendars or diaries. Try to streamline each calendar or software as much as possible, and always look for office solutions that have integration functionality with the email and calendar systems you use.