Control your calendar…
Sometimes it seems like the days fly by and you don’t really get much done. You start with a fully loaded to-do list and a lot of motivation to get started today, but you get swamped by phone calls very fast. Or an inbox that fills up. An emergency meeting that comes in between. And before you know it, the day is over and you haven’t even finished half of your to do list….
Super frustrating… And very recognizable…
Are you done with this feeling and do you want to take back control of your agenda and your day? Then it is time to stop trying to work harder, but to work smarter!
To really work smarter and more efficiently, it is important to ensure that you have clear objectives and a solid action plan in place. Your business and private goals determine your planning and how you organize your agenda. Make sure your objectives include what it takes to be successful in your position. The actions needed to achieve your goals have priority in your planning and should be the first thing on your agenda.
Making a periodic planning is essential to be successful. Make sure you plan big goals and the corresponding actions per quarter and per month. Then translate this into a weekly and daily schedule. Also make sure that you build in sufficient evaluation moments so that you can adjust where necessary.
Make sure you have a solid routine for your day. Starting your day with stress is a huge killer for your productivity. Make sure that you can start your day in a good way and that you have a fixed schedule for this that brings peace. The most effective way is to build a routine that includes a number of elements. Sports, reflection, planning and time for self-development are an important part if you really want to make steps in how productive and creative you are.
Master your calendar
- Work from your objectives and prioritize the associated actions in your planning. Determine what is really important to your success and put that first on your agenda. Also, don’t forget to schedule time for yourself!
- Take your level of productivity during the day into account. I am a morning person and I am a lot more creative and productive in the mornings than during the afternoon. Use this to organize your calendar. Plan strategic and creative work when you are most productive.
- Plan your week ahead and include a day-to-day planning. Give all your appointments a place first and then the tasks that has priority. Also keep room for things that come unexpected. Don’t fully plan your days, but leave room for flexibility to avoid stress.
Tips and tricks
- Determine which tasks and activities have priority and always schedule them first.
- Make a top 3 to do list per day and choose 1 or 2 bonus tasks for the day. If you have time to spare, you can grab it, but it’s okay if you don’t. The top 3 should have the focus and priority.
- Avoid distractions as much as possible. Put your phone on silent, close your mailbox and limit social media. Find a quiet or inspiring place for yourself to work so that you can work from your focus and flow.
- Save less inspiring work for times when you are less productive. You can also easily bundle smaller tasks so that you can get rid of them one after the other. Think of bundling e-mails, callback requests, etc.