Managing your Calendar is relevant for everyone, not just Senior Management.
We saw in Effective To Do List – Kick Ass Lesson 4 http://prosperitykitchen.co.uk/lifecoaching/2016/10/21/2771/ how important using your Calendar is for organising your tasks and ensuring you do them.
But it should also be used to manage other people.
The more senior you become the more demands there will be on your time, particularly meeting requests.
It’s vital therefore, that you Police your calendar properly to ensure you are not being pulled in a million different directions.
- Block out time for MIT, E-mail and Meetings etc.
For the sake of your own efficiency pre block out in advance your To Do List items as per Kick Ass Lesson 4.
This will ensure that your important tasks and your work load takes priority in your work day and not someone elses.
2. Block out “Unavailable” time.
Something Jeff Weiner does the CEO of Linked In. See his article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130403215758-22330283-the-importance-of-scheduling-nothing
Block out periods of time in the work week where you keep your calendar intentionally blank.
This is a period of time when nothing is planned and you can choose to do what you want to do.
It’s your “luxury work time”.
It could be a time to read industry magazines, network, research or walk round the office and catch up with other teams.
This is the time to do the things you want to do but never have the time to do.
But specifically it’s no meeting time.
3. Annotate your Calendar appropriately.
If you are encouraged to maintain an open calendar system in your company (so everyone can have access) it’s sensible to:
- Grant permission levels of access. You may not wish your employees to have the full details of your calendar entries for example.
- Make sure your Calendar is clearly annotated so there can be no ambiguity over your availability. If you are Senior enough allocate specific Meeting Time Slot
4. Automatic Calendar Responses
If you’re confident your Calendar is populated properly, switch on the automatic meeting response function to meeting requests.
This means if your diary is free your calendar will automatically accept (make sure you get notification) or if your calendar is busy an invite is automatically rejected.
5. Educate your colleagues, employees and bosses
Explain your calendar management system to those people who need to know and make allowances where appropriate.
For example, you can’t keep rejecting a meeting request from your boss even if it falls within your “unavailable time”.
But perhaps if you explain the rationale behind the system she will try to accommodate your system going forward where she can.
Lastly it’s important to educate your colleagues and employees re the number of meeting requests or the type of meetings you will accept. Basically you won’t attend a meeting unless it’s important that you be there. Otherwise you will read the minutes.
There is no need to attend meetings for meetings sake.
The same principle can be managed upwards.
If you feel you are required to attend too many pointless meetings, tell your boss. Explain how “meetings” are interrupting your work and provide an alternative solution to you attending.