Measuring the success of tasks is not difficult when you look at their results. However, you might change your mind and forget about many metrics when you take a second look at the watch and see how much time you’ve worked. There are so many aspects that interfere with work – from urgent meetings and emails to apparently innocent procrastination moments. You can regain control over your work tasks if you turn to one of the most efficient time management tools – the printable calendar.
Time management has been subject to so many discussions that it still raises concerns instead of solutions. To-do lists are highly editable and take time to complete and update. Weekly planners often get confused with lists and end up being full of notes that you no longer understand. So, why not use a printable calendar which can help you manage your work and minimize stress and time pressure?
Below you will find a guide that helps you plan, evaluate and improve your tasks and overall work by keeping a calendar at hand.
Optimize through scheduling
Scheduling your time helps you stay focused on your work with little effort. Calendars work as both tools and constant reminders of your responsibilities. The first step to schedule your tasks is to print a monthly calendar. According to Calendar Table, calendars need to be versatile, so you can opt for vertical, horizontal or day planning form for additional details.
The calendar needs to be integrated into your weekly routine. Consider developing a ritual on each Monday morning to update and consult your calendar. You monthly add data, but you need to ensure that you’re up-to-date with the information you write. There are a few things to consider when writing in a calendar:
- First, leave out weekends, national holidays, and vacation days.
- Consider family events, medical appointments and any other such activities.
- Begin with business meetings, training, workshops, conferences and other events which involve a road trip.
- Add internal duties and recurrent tasks such as activity reports and employee meetings.
Maintain your rituals
One of the most common rituals is answering emails. According to a study, employees who constantly need to deal with emails have higher potential to suffer from anxiety or stress. This is because they don’t consider email responding as real work, but rather see them as hard work. You can minimize time pressure when dealing with emails by creating work rituals.
- Begin with answering yesterday’s emails. This way you remain updated with information and avoid urgent upcoming situations.
- Continue with answering internal emails from your team. Colleagues are motivated by quick responses, even if they are one-word emails.
If possible, designate time for reports and meetings according to your schedule. Other studies have shown that employees consider meetings as inefficient. Minimize your presence in company meetings or designate a colleague to attend on your behalf.
One task at a time
Multitasking is not a solution as you will lose focus on important matters. Handle one task at a time. If you group responsibilities by similarities, you will find it easier to complete your day’s work.
Everyone usually deals with tasks from different fields – emails which require business communication skills, data and reports that need analysis and even client or business partner meetings. By prioritizing and working on one task at a time, you avoid situations when you forget what you told a client or what a report resulted in.
Those who directly work with clients cannot access their phones or emails during meetings. Also, marketers lose track of their team’s work while they’re pitching for a project. Such breaks help you keep in mind all the details which you might forget if you choose to take the multitasking path.
Evaluate success and potential failure
Whenever you begin a project, you have expectations. Time management using a printable calendar is a project, so you might expect to lead to a specific set of results. Before evaluating your last month based on the calendar, make sure you eliminate expectations.
Keep copies of the former calendar sheets and study how you’ve managed to keep track and complete responsibilities. See where you were successful and what areas need an improvement. You can write conclusions down and make sure you follow them within the next month. Keep your schedule realistic when choosing timeframes for the next months.
Take note of your tasks and how they are shown into the printable calendar. See how the method influenced your time and work – life balance. Remember that you cannot completely fill a calendar, nor does it serve such a purpose. The calendar should also include scheduled free time and at least an hour per week for unexpected situations.
The calendar is highly beneficial especially if you decide to color code your tasks and to prioritize them. Using this method simplifies your work by saving the time you spend organizing to-dos. It doesn’t involve a learning process and it is reliable whenever you need to access time information immediately. You can set up a meeting over the phone, without logging into an account or opening your computer.
There are so many technologies that might change your work forever. Consider using them to optimize your duty solving while you manage time with a printable calendar!
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