Learning how to manage and organise your calendar isn’t always easy. As any business owner will tell you, a disorganised calendar often leads you to stress and overwhelm, but knowing how to rectify it isn’t always clear.

This is where slots come in. It’s one of the best tips for good calendar management as it uses different coloured slots for each of your primary activities. You can then see at a glance where your time is going and can assess the results, leading to a better-organised calendar.

Time slots help you become more effective and productive

If you want to improve your effectiveness and productivity level in your working week, you need to organise your calendar. One way you can do this is to use different coloured slots for the different types of activity you do. This helps you assess how you’re spending your time and effectively plan out your days and week.

You can see at a glance what availability you have. That way, if you have anything unexpected crops up (like that friend who wants to have a lunch date with you!), you can then schedule that in as a separate appointment. Because when you don’t plan, you end up stressed, unproductive and generally frustrated with yourself and your business results.

Organising your calendar helps create a routine

There’s so much you want to get done on an average day. But the sad fact is, if things aren’t scheduled into your calendar, there’s a high chance those things won’t get done.  Using different slots of time and planning them out on your calendar helps, as it keeps you organised. It shows you at a glance what needs doing and what availability you still have. You can move things around quickly and repeat recurring activities with a simple click or two; so much easier when you organise your calendar from the start.

But organising your calendar in this way also helps you create a routine that works for you. You begin to see recurring patterns of activities where your time is being spent. We all have a natural ebb and flow in our energy levels throughout the day. Planning out your day and seeing when you’re naturally most productive helps you work to your natural energy patterns. And this, in turn, also guarantees you end up creating a routine that works for you.

The slots you need

So if you’re looking to divide your calendar up into coloured slots, you need to start by clarifying what slots you need. For starters, you’re going to need ‘personal time’ and ‘exercise’ slots, as well as ‘client slots’. You’ll also want ‘working on the business’ slots – but this can often be broken down further, depending on your needs. For example:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Product development
  • Planning
  • Business operations
  • Creative time
  • Social media
  • Production
  • Team meeting
  • Email/correspondence

Just opt for the slots that work for you, and break bigger categories down into smaller slots. Give each category a different colour – as this helps create a clear visual representation of how your time is being spent.

You can then work out the time you need for each category slot. For example, you may want to spend more of your time working on your business, rather than using ‘personal time’. If you want to spend more time with your family, your ‘personal time’ may be larger than your ‘client slots’. It’s a good idea to start with allocating an hour for each and then adjusting as needed.

Assess where your time is going

Once you’ve started dividing your calendar into slots, it isn’t enough to just create a routine to follow. You also need to assess how it’s working for you and refine and improve it as required. Review how you’re using slots and if certain ones are continually being extended, minimised or ignored.

Assess whether there are activities that need to be outsourced to further free up your time. Look at how busy your calendar is and decide if things need to be dropped altogether or added in.

And also, look at how your calendar is impacting on you. Is it making you more or less stressed? Are you more productive? Are you achieving what you want from your time? Maybe you’re finding yourself spending more time in reaction mode or getting frustrated over projects and slots creeping outside of their allocated times?

Take ownership of your calendar

You may even find that organising the slots in your calendar is overwhelming for you. Yes, you need to take ownership of your time and your calendar – but that may mean handing it over to someone else to manage. It’s often far easier for someone else to do the organising for you. They are more likely to spot ways of improving your scheduling, as well as being a little more methodical and analytical with it!

Still in a confused fog of where to start – check out this article by John Rampton on 9 Ways to Organize and Manage Your Calendar Properly.

If calendar organisation isn’t your strong suit, you get overwhelmed by it, or simply want someone to set it up or manage it for you, why not get in touch? We’re here to help you manage your time and workload, so you can spend more time with your family, friends, hobbies, or just doing more of what you love in your business. We offer a wide variety of services, including calendar management – so why not get in touch and let’s talk about how we can help you get your calendar (and even your business!) working harder for you.