August 2, 2012
Liz published this at 1:00 pm
The ABCs of Scheduling
You can burn the candle at both ends, but eventually you end up in the dark with no candle.
Therefore, one of the most important skills a business owner can have is the ability to take control of the schedule.
A-Always. B-Be. C-Calendaring.
(Apologies to David Mametâ€™s Glengarry Glen Ross.)
Get out in front of your schedule
One of the most embarrassing incidents of my life was in high school (arenâ€™t they all). I was Junior Class President, riding high, and responsible for putting together the whole-school Spring Dance. Unfortunately I was also a world-class procrastinator. Letâ€™s just end this sad tale by saying that there was no Spring Dance, for the first time in years. Picture a 16 year old girl fielding phone calls from angry parents who had bought dresses for their 16 year old girls.
That humbling experience made me a goal-setting, calendar-keeping nut.
Use the calendar tools that work for you
If you donâ€™t wrangle the calendar, and your daily events, it will wrangle you. Here are a few tips for scheduling sanity:
Take advantage of your natural rhythms – Liz recently posted about kicking in your peak productivity time. Donâ€™t try to work against your body, if youâ€™re an early riser, schedule accordingly.
Have a central, master calendar – I use Google Calendar for everything, and have it synced to all of my devices. You can make different colored sub-calendars for various aspects of your life, too. I have an editorial calendar, family and kid activities, business meetings, birthdays, and personal development time displayed together in one master calendar.
Tell people how you want them to schedule with you – If you use an online appointment system like Tungle.me, or you have a virtual assistant, let people know how to get on your calendar. Ideally, you donâ€™t even have to be directly involved. The key is to use only one mechanism.
Start your month, week, and day with the calendar – Everyone should master the art of visualization. When you start out by planning and picturing how the month, week, or day is going to go, youâ€™re already ahead of the game. Put aside sacred time (yes, put it on the calendar too) that you will use to prepare your mind for whatâ€™s ahead.
Whatâ€™s on your calendar this week? How can you start making next week look even more productive for your business?
Thank you, Rosemary!
ME “Liz” Strauss