Learning the ropes of calendar management is a crucial skill that can set you apart in the world of administrative support. A well-organised calendar is the heartbeat of a successful professional, ensuring smooth operations, optimum time utilisation and effective time management. In this blog post, we will walk through the essential steps and strategies to becoming a pro at calendar organisation.
Understand the priorities
The first step in effective calendar management is understanding the priorities and preferences of the individual whose calendar you're managing. The best way to do this is to sit down with them (whether that's virtually or in person) and discuss their long-term goals, as well as any upcoming projects and critical deadlines. Managing their calendar will soon become a breeze once you understand their objectives.
Implement a colour-coded system
Visual cues are a lifesaver when it comes to calendar organisation. Implementing a colour-coded system to distinguish between different types of events or appointments helps to allow for quick comprehension of the day's schedule. Such a simple yet effective technique - a piece of advice that we share with any of our clients.
Centralise and consolidate
We've worked with executives in the past that have a work, personal and a family calendar, and it can get quite confusing when trying to schedule meetings or events. For this reason, we suggest, where possible, to consolidate calendars. Most calendar apps have the ability to set invites to private, so if your executive is worried about the rest of their business being able to see their private invites, this is a great solution.
Allocate buffer time
Time and time again we see calendars with back-to-back meetings, which we appreciate sometimes is unavoidable, but it fails to allow time to reflect upon meetings, or prepare for upcoming ones. Allowing 10-15 minutes between appointments can help reduce stress and increase productivity, as well as providing the executive with a short break.
Many of us are most productive first thing in the morning, with a lag in energy coming shortly after lunch. Bear this in mind when scheduling appointments for your executive. Whilst we aren't suggesting avoiding morning meetings, we suggest keeping mornings as time for your executive to carry out their important tasks, and scheduling meetings for later on in the day.
Regularly review and adjust
Our days are constantly evolving, with changes in deadlines, new projects and unforeseen circumstances throwing a spanner into our meticulously organised calendars. This is why it's essential to regularly review and adjust appointments as needed. Assessing their appointments can also help you to determine whether meetings are entirely essential, or whether your executive could sit that one out this time around.
Be respectful of personal time
Whilst demand for meetings in an already busy calendar may have you tempted to slot meetings in for lunchtime or even out of hours, it's important to ensure that your executive has time for breaks. Let's help our executives avoid burnout and stress, and give them adequate time throughout their day - whether that's to grab a coffee, make a sandwich or even head out for some fresh air.
Mastering the art of calendar management can take time - whilst you may have the skills to finesse diary organisation, every executive is different so a one size fits all approach may not necessarily work. Understanding their priorities and working closely with them will benefit you both in the long run and you'll soon become an indispensable asset to them when it comes to scheduling their day-to-day.