Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing the right calendar for you, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- I imagine it's not a big surprise when I say that your calendar is the most important tool when it comes to time management. It's such an important tool that it deserves your careful consideration and selection. There are two main categories of calendar, paper or digital. Most people are using digital calendars now. But let's discuss a paper calendar for a moment. Paper planners are affordable, fast to access when you need to write down an appointment, and require little training to use.
If you do choose to use a paper planner, get a weekly view planner that shows the hours of each day. If a planner doesn't show the hours, it ceases to become an effective time budgeter. Because you really don't have any idea how much time you have left. However, there are some big disadvantages with a paper planner. First, it has limitations when it comes to recurring appointments. Let's say every Tuesday at 3 o'clock, you have an appointment with your co-worker.
Putting that into a paper planner is very difficult. You'll have to recopy that appointment every single week. Second, paper planners can also be pretty bulky because you're carrying around many weeks at at time. And third, if you lose or accidentally destroy that planner, you lose all that information, ouch. This is why I now only recommend the use of digital calendars. The ideal option for your digital calendar is a smartphone calendar that syncs automatically via the cloud with your laptop or desktop computer.
This will ensure your calendar is perpetually up-to-date, looks the same no matter what device you're using, and that your data is easily recoverable in case you should lose or accidentally destroy your phone. The option you choose for your digital calendar is completely up to you. Just be sure you choose something that is fast, easy to access, and portable so you can have it on you at all times and be able to make updates quickly. This is one place where I recommend you don't skimp.
Make an investment to get the best technology you can afford and that is most comfortable for you. I do recommend you try as much as possible to stick to one operating system or provider. For instance, if you've been using Google Calendar, then the best choice of phone and tablets are Android. If you've been using Apple, stick with Apple devices. While it's possible to make different devices work together, the goal here is to reduce complexity and the number of potential attention switches in your day.
Take a moment right now and decide and commit to which calendar option you're going to use for your time budget. If you haven't been using your calendar much, get ready because I'm about to help you to become much better acquainted.
Learn how to get more done in the shortest time possible and avoid the obstacles and distractions that can get in the way of good time management. Dave gives practical strategies for increasing productivity in three main areas: developing habits to be more organized and reducing clutter in your workspace; staying mentally on task and eliminate the to-dos you have floating in your head; and developing a time budget to get the most done during your workday and focus on your most valuable activities.
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- Finding your productivity style and motivation
- Understanding the principles of time management
- Avoiding the pitfalls of multitasking
- Narrowing your gathering points
- Consolidating email and voicemail accounts
- Practicing mind-clearing techniques
- Choosing and using calendar software
- Saying no with tact
- Mastering the what, when, where processing system
- Processing email vs. checking email
- Maintaining productivity gains