When you are running your own business, the only commodity more valuable than money is time. In fact, time might be even more valuable as you can make more money, but once time is gone it’s gone.
Since you cannot add more hours to your day, you have to stretch out the 24 that you do. The best way to do so is to keep an organized calendar. Not only will your day stay on track, but putting everything you need to get done on paper will help you more accurately determine how much time your need to dedicate to each task.
The sooner you work off of a calendar, the sooner you’ll feel like you have more time to get things done, even though more hours weren’t added to your day. Check out these five steps to help you manage your calendar more effectively.
1. Set up a routine
No schedule is set in stone of course, but if you have a consistent routine you will save yourself time in the morning because you won’t spend it figuring out what you need to do. You can get to the office and get to work.
2. Carve out times for specific tasks or activities
Do the planned tasks and anything that is unplanned, you don’t do. If you need some, “me” time during the day, add it into your routine. Don’t stray from the plan as best you can. Don’t push something you’ve scheduled aside to make space for that free time.
3. Avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings
Meetings are a way of life at almost every business. If this is true at your office, spread out your meetings if you have more than one in each day. You should do this so you’re not away from your work too long, plus when you have consecutive meetings; you run the risk of the first one running late. That just means you’re going to be tardy for the second one, too.
4. Get help with your schedule
If you find yourself missing appointments or that you don’t have enough hours in the day no matter how well you manage your schedule, seek out assistance to get your calendar in order. This help could come from a personal assistant you hire to work in your office, a virtual assistant or one of the many online scheduling platforms that allows you to set up your daily schedule with reminders.
Sourced. also offers personal and office assistance services to help you manage your schedule, including writing to-do lists, manage family calendars, set date reminders and more.
5. Take inventory of your schedule at the beginning of the week
Get out in front of your week’s tasks and review your schedule at the beginning. You can use this time to see if there are meetings you do not need to attend, reschedule any meetings that would double-book your or decide if an hour-long meeting could be cut down to 30 minutes.
Taking action at the start of the week will give you and your staff more time to adjust or reschedule than you would if you made these changes the day of the appointments.
6. Be realistic about how long tasks and projects will take
Nothing can derail a schedule faster than underestimating the length of a particular task or project. If you believe something you’ve never done before will take a certain amount of time, add an additional hour, day or week to your production to the schedule just to give yourself a cushion.
If you underestimate how long a task will take and now you have to need more time to complete it then you are forced to start something else late and suddenly your entire schedule is thrown off track.
You don’t have the time to waste as a small business owner. Keep your time in check and keep your daily schedule organized. When you do, you will feel more productive, less stressed and like you have more than 24 hours in a day.