Discover the top reasons why you need good calendar management, plus practical tips to help you get there.
Cory Plachy is the Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Convoso, the leading contact center software for powering sales and lead generation.
If you’re looking to improve the way you organize your daily and weekly tasks, you’re most likely after good calendar management and all the benefits associated with it.
But why is it so important to optimize the way you manage your calendar, and how can you set about making that change in a practical sense? And what sets good and bad calendar management apart in the first place?
We’ll walk through all of the above, starting with a quick definition.
When you can take a quick glance at your calendar and immediately know what the rest of your day (and week) will look like, you’ve got good calendar management.
Essentially, you’ve got to keep all your plans, events, meetings, and tasks well-organized and properly recorded to have good calendar management. If your calendar app makes you confused or requires you to spend ages searching for what you need, you need to improve the way you manage your calendar.
Is it really so bad to only worry about your core priorities and leave the rest of your calendar management up in the air? Well… yes, it is.
The following consequences tend to affect anyone whose calendar management is shy of optimal.
While scheduling mistakes aren’t always avoidable, they are always frustrating, and a cause for added stress. One of the biggest symptoms of poor scheduling choices and calendar management is double bookings, which happen when you’ve planned to be in two (or more) places at once.
Double bookings mean you necessarily have to let at least one party down. You can’t be in a conference call and a one-on-one meeting at the same time, after all. This leads to disappointment and frustration, and creates an impression of you as a poor communicator.
If your appointments aren’t being properly logged in your calendar, you’ll be more likely to miss them – which is especially awful if they were difficult to arrange, high-priority, or time-sensitive.
Double bookings can also easily lead to missed appointments if your appointment times overlap.
In some cases, missing multiple appointments in a row can have serious consequences. Not every company has the resources to accommodate this mistake over and over, particularly when you can’t honestly promise that this time was the last time.
When you’re not sure whether a project is due this week, next week, or next month, you can’t plan when to prioritize it. You also can’t dedicate the right amount of time to it, which can lead to worse-quality outcomes or even missed deadlines.
For example, let’s say your team is helping with contact center optimization within the company. You’re pretty sure the whole optimization process is set to be completed this quarter, but you’re unsure about internal deadlines, or about when your teammates plan to have their share done.
The result? You’ll most likely either be pulling all-nighters in the immediate lead-up to big deadlines, or be unable to get the work done and miss the deadlines.
The situation above can very easily lead to friction within the team, especially when your coworkers are keeping their calendars organized. This negatively impacts teamwork, which in turn makes it harder to get anything done.
Frustrating your teammates also adds stress to your own work life, which makes it harder to get organized and work to deadlines in the future.
Aside from simply wanting to avoid the consequences above, there are plenty of good things that come from taking the time to manage your calendar as well as you can. Here are a few of the most important ones.
Having better time management as a direct result of keeping your calendar highly organized gives you back more hours in the day you’d otherwise spend scrambling to get things done or planned. This means lower stress levels, which boosts productivity.
With less stress also comes more capacity to take on exciting new projects. So, in other words, well-handled calendar organization can create all kinds of workplace opportunities for you.
An organized calendar lets you know at a glance when you’re free, when you’re busy, and what time you’ve blocked out for which tasks. That means quick, reliable planning.
Let’s say you’re asked to participate in a very exciting, but very time-consuming, project. You know you’ll need to free up at least a few hours each week to dedicate to the project.
With good calendar management, you can quickly figure out when you can block time for the new project, and when you’ll definitely be too busy to work on it. This helps other people working on the project to plan around you, so they know when to contact you and when they can schedule meetings. That makes for a happier, more efficient team as well.
Busy schedules can make it very tough to plan when you’re going to get your tasks done – unless you can neatly slot them into a polished calendar.
You’ll never have to worry about keeping teammates waiting anymore. If you promise to send someone an eFax by a specific time, great calendar management helps you make sure that you keep that promise, which leads to happy teammates through good task management.
This also means being able to impress any clients or customers you might work with, because they’ll know they can rely on you.
Busy calendars don’t manage themselves, as nice as that would be. You’ll have to put in the work if you want to enjoy the rewards of a well-organized calendar.
The following best practices will guide you towards great calendar management that keeps your important tasks in order and helps get you where you need to be.
Keeping track of all your scheduled events on your own can be challenging, especially when new items keep being added to that list.
This is where an intelligent virtual agent comes in handy.
By letting an AI-powered agent handle all your scheduling for you automatically, you can take a lot of the work out of good calendar management. These agents can set reminders, optimize bookings and events, arrange meetings, and much more.
You can’t always be available, especially not if you’re hoping to stay highly organized and pay attention during every important meeting. That’s why blocking time specifically to plan is so helpful.
Even with an AI handling the bulk of your scheduling for you, you’ve still got to be the one to attend everything that’s in your schedule. By blocking out specific slots in your week on a regular basis, you can give yourself the space you need to plan when you’re going to do what, and where you need to be at what times.
This saves you the hassle of getting to work in the morning on a Wednesday, only to find that you were meant to be at a conference halfway across the city five minutes ago.
Scheduling by hand isn’t everyone’s strong suit. That’s not a bad thing either, particularly when purpose-built tools exist to help you out.
By using appointment scheduling software, you can make sure that your calendar is structured just the way you like it, without needing to spend hours trying to achieve the same results manually. This saves time, while helping you focus on the areas where your strengths do lie.
Plus, it’s always helpful to know that your daily tasks, weekly appointments, meetings, and more are all organized for you without needing any further input on your end.
Time blocking, or splitting up your workday into structured blocks of time, can really help you figure out what’s happening when, and keep your calendar looking great.
Blocking out specific sections of time also makes it clear how busy you’re going to be on a given day. This lets you plan appropriately. For example, if you know on Monday that your Tuesday is fully booked, you’ll be more inclined to go to bed early and leave yourself time on Tuesday morning to mentally prepare for the day ahead.
The same strategies don’t work for everyone. Maybe your colleague swears by a physical diary, while your best friend says they can’t get along without an online whiteboard tool to visually map out their schedule.
Be sure to try out a few different tools and approaches. When you find the one that works best for you, structure your calendar management around it so it’s perfectly suited to your specific needs and preferences.
Keep in mind you may need to maintain a degree of flexibility here and adopt a shared calendar management tool, particularly if you work on a team with an inter-dependent schedule. These tools give specific people access to a shared calendar, which ensures everyone on the team knows who is available and when.
Of course, these shared tools can still be tailored to your personal needs. But the key benefit is that they can improve the efficiency of project planning, resource management, or simply take the stress out of trying to corral multiple team members into the same place at the same time.
Good calendar management is always worth it, because it helps you work at your best.
You can’t easily plan or get work done when your calendar is a mess, because messy calendars mean your plans are in disarray and you don’t know what’s expected of you. This leads to worse performance and increased stress.
On the other hand, great calendar management helps you get everything you need done on time, without double booking or leaving anyone waiting on you. That’s why it’s so important, and why scheduling software and calendar apps are always helpful.
Cory Plachy is the Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Convoso, the leading contact center software for powering sales and lead generation As an adaptable and naturally curious Marketing Communications Manager, Cory channels years of content creation, marketing and sales experience into the world of SaaS communication. Here is her LinkedIn.