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Time is Money: How to Maximize Your Calendar Functions to Save on Both Time is a precious resource. You can’t take it back once it’s gone. And unlike many other assets, you can’t buy more of it. As an irreplaceable commodity, time is...

By Angela Ruth

This story originally appeared on Calendar

Time is a precious resource. You can’t take it back once it’s gone. And unlike many other assets, you can’t buy more of it. As an irreplaceable commodity, time is paramount to business executives. The differentiating factor between a successful leader and a not-so-successful leader is often how they decide to spend their time.

With the right calendar management skills and systems, you can take hold of your time and be more efficient. Your productivity will increase even as your working hours stay the same — or even lessen. With this saved time, you can concentrate on money-making tasks or activities to help grow your business. Of course, this all starts with a well-organized digital calendar. Think of your calendar as your personal sidekick that will help you accomplish more each day without burning the midnight oil.

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. The trick is to maximize your time with little to no effort. Utilizing your digital calendar — your trusty sidekick — can boost your productivity and your company’s profitability. Read on for ways to maximize your calendar functions to save yourself some time and dollars, too.

1. Utilize One Master Calendar Application

First, you need to choose a digital calendar that meets your needs. Having one master calendar ensures that nothing from your work or personal life is missed. It’s also a way to streamline your day. Flipping from your company’s calendar to your personal calendar before scheduling a meeting wastes time. Instead, having your entire schedule in one application will allow you to plan better and see how your day is structured with a straightforward glance.

Again, your calendar is yours, meaning you should personalize it to your needs. This may mean color coding work meetings to differentiate them from school pick-up and drop-off. It may also mean hiding your personal appointments from your coworkers using the privacy settings. Additionally, setting working hours helps establish a work-life balance, one that you should encourage your employees to create as well.

When everything is in one calendar, you can use your time wisely. To start, look at your month and see where there are days when you’re already stressed about what needs to be done. Perhaps you have a company-wide town hall on the same day as your child’s dentist appointment and a scheduled workout with your trainer. Knowing that it’s a lot to cram into one day, perhaps you can space things out a bit more. By planning ahead, you can reschedule your workout without being charged a fee — a money-saving win!

2. Try Task Batching

Nobody likes the jolting feeling of not knowing what to expect. If you feel like each day is a rollercoaster, then you’ll want to take a step back and try to establish some flow to your day. Yes, some things may appear spontaneously that need to be completed. There will be appointments and meetings that come up out of the blue. However, on a day-to-day basis, you should know how your day will go before you log on.

One way to do this is through task batching. This time management technique is ideal for those who often feel distracted or pulled into too many directions. With task batching, you lump all similar projects together and work on them for an allotted time. For example, you can respond to emails between 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Other tasks like writing reports or doing admin work are dictated to another time of day. With this structure, you can save time by working on related tasks together. You won’t have to flip from one application to another or switch your brain from submitting your expenses to working on a project.

This type of structure allows you to prioritize what gets done and when, considering your peak productivity hours. If you do your best work in the morning, then doing administrative tasks could be a waste of time. Save those for the afternoon when you feel a bit more lethargic. The same goes for responding to the dozen inbound inquiries in your inbox; relegate those toward the end of the day when you’re already in the groove of cleaning out your inbox.

3. Automate What You Can

As you go about your day, think of all the mundane, repetitive tasks you’re doing. These tasks, even if they are easy and simple to do, add up. You may think that replying to a potential client about a time to meet is productive, but wouldn’t it be better if they could find time on your calendar? With an appointment scheduling app integrated into your calendar, you eliminate the need to go back and forth to set up a meeting time.

Similarly, you can automatically sync your calendar to other commonly used third-party apps. Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, or Calendar.com can be integrated with other platforms, such as Asana, Zoom, or Slack. Connecting your digital calendar with Slack allows your teammates to see when you are in a meeting and are less likely to respond to their messages. You can also automate that all scheduled meetings include a Zoom or Microsoft Teams link, so you never risk scrambling at the last minute to add one.

By automating, you’re saving time and increasing your business’ earnings. Rather than asking your assistant to set up these meetings, you’re having the platforms do the work for you. Automation is an efficient strategy, and what you can automate will only increase thanks to AI and machine learning. As the tools you use get smarter, so do how you can implement them and make your life more productive, too.

4. Set Boundaries

A common mistake many business leaders make is letting others dictate their time. They allow their employees to schedule meetings freely, not necessarily during a time that is opportune for them. This creates a disorganized, chaotic day that requires your brain to switch from one thing to the next without much (or any) breathing room. Getting out of this pattern takes some work, but it will maximize your hours and enable you to save money.

First, it’s important to set some ground rules with your calendar and whoever has access to it. Whether it’s colleagues or your significant other, they should know when or how you want to be notified of a meeting or appointment. This is where task batching can come into play. If you want to meet with your employees all at the same time, back to back, set up a time chunk for that. Similarly, if your partner makes a reservation for date night, then put it on your master calendar so others know that you are unavailable during that time.

Setting boundaries can be challenging. However, it will allow you to allocate time for different parts of your work and personal life related to your goals. It can also create a healthy work environment. You’ll feel more energized in the morning if you took the night off to be with your family rather than replying to unimportant Slack messages.

Takeaways

Remember: Your calendar is there to work for you, not against you. With these tips, you can get more done each day while feeling less burned out and tired. You’ll save your business money as you show up being your best, most productive self each day.

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The post Time is Money: How to Maximize Your Calendar Functions to Save on Both appeared first on Calendar.

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