Whilst effective calendar management is maybe a newer fascination, the use of a calendar has been around much longer. Way back in history, the sun and the moon were primary bits of help in determining the date and time.
The earlier calendars were called lunar calendars. The constant cycle of the moon helped our ancestors to figure days and months. They calculated from new moon to the next new moon.
In 46CE, Julius Caesar brought in the solar calendar to replace the lunar. Sosigenes, a Greek astronomer calculated a year based on fixed months that were not dependent only on the lunar changes. The calendar called “The Julian calendar”, based on 365 days and a quarter per year. Because of the added quarter, they kept a strict accordance with a leap year every 4 years.
In fact, a true solar year needed an added 11 minutes and a handful of seconds added. 14 seconds to be exact.
Therefore, by the time of Pope Gregory XIII in 1582C.E, clever people determined that since the start of the Julien calendar we had a 10-day discrepancy.
Thus, they changed the strictness of the leap year and threw away the extra 10 days. Afterwards, they introduced the Gregorian calendar. This calendar most countries follow today.
Since Pope Gregory XIII, the calendar has taken on many forms and arrived at what we use today. If paper and pen are still our go-to tools, then you can buy incredible illustrated calendars.
However, the majority of us use a calendar app on our smartphones, tablets and watches.
You will agree that it is one thing to buy a calendar that’s good for you, and another to make sure we are using the calendar in an effective way through our task management method.
Effective Calendar Management
Today, we will look at 4 areas of effective calendar management.
What Is Calendar Management?
Calendar management is describing the method we use to manage our appointments and events. Thus, we will understand where we should be, what we should do, who we should be meeting.
Importance of Calendar Management
Effective calendar management means less stress, allowing us full control over our thoughts which promotes good decision making.
Excellent calendar management can go a long way to building and keep an impeccable reputation of trustworthiness, excellence and value.
Importantly, we maximise the hours we own in one day.
Compare those days when you’re constantly chasing your tail to those that are so smooth you always feel the time is on your side?
When you analyse these days, you might find the hectic, stressful day only resulted in a few things done in a rush. On the other hand, the smooth day was full of accomplishment, joy and progress.
Finally, effective calendar management should be a stable pillar in a trusted and productive time management method.
Our calendar will need to be easy to read, easy to follow and easy to trust.
How To Achieve Effective Calendar Management
The basis for these following points is from the Getting things Done method. Getting Things Done is a book written by David Allen.
What do you put into your calendar? Well, to achieve quick and excellent calendar management requires 3 ways.
These are Time-Specific Actions and Day-Specific Actions or Information.
What is a time-specific action? It’s an appointment scheduled at a particular time. An appointment to meet your child teacher arranged for 8:30 am before school opens.
Maybe, you’ve made an appointment to meet the dentist or doctor for 3:00 pm. Or an appointment to Skype a family member overseas or a potential client at 8 pm, even to meet your spouse for a romantic dinner after work at 6:45 pm.
The important part to remember is a “specific time” when this task needs accomplishing.
The “time-specific” calendar management revolved around a chosen hour or minute, the “day-specific” applies to any time on a chosen day.
You need to pick up dry cleaning on Tuesday from the cleaners because you’re attending a special event on Wednesday.
Sometime on Thursday, you need to go to the Builders Merchants to collect necessary materials for a job starting on Friday.
Therefore, the takeaway point for today is that a “day-specific action” is tied to a DAY and not to an hour or minute.
#theproductivewriterhack “Only write actions into your calendar that are non-negotiable. They need doing, non-negotiable, no leeway for change.”
These are pieces of information, not actions, that apply to certain dates.
E.g. Dates for when the grandchildren are off from school, or when your favourite TV series is due for broadcast.
Your client is away on holiday, and you write the date they will be back in the office in readiness for you to call or email.
Remember, these are only pieces of information and not actions.
Before I forget, one other golden powerful rule for effective calendar management.
Your calendar must not become a “Daily To-Do” list.
Why is this an important part of effective calendar management and how can you resist it? I will write on this matter in a future article.
Effective Calendar Management Software
This is not an exhaustive list of software and apps for calendar management. However, these are software and apps I use.
The Productive Writer Summary
- What Is Calendar Management: A method put in place to manage time specific and day specific actions and information
- Why Important: Promotes productivity and enhances our reputation.
- Time Specific Action: Appointments set for a specific given hour or minute.
- Day Specific Action: Appointments not tied to a time, but apply to a day in the week.
- Day Specific Information: These are pieces of information relevant to certain dates within your calendar management.
Now, with these 3 awesome ways, you can take full control of your calendar management.
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