The overwhelm and stress of never having enough time to do what needs to be done. Feel like you lack the art of calendar management and therefore not using your time effectively?

Mastering the Art of Calendar Management

Following on in the mini-series (which you can read in any order that best suits you – let’s look at the insights of mastering the art of calendar management.   A particular skill and strength of character are needed to maintain control over a calendar. Managing a calendar is as simple as riding a bike. The effort and discipline that comes before will determine what you continue with.

Why Calendar Management is Essential for Success

Sure, you can have someone look at your calendar, but it will never work if you fail to feed any information or ignore what is scheduled. I’ve had years of practice with an array of individuals. And so I speak from experience when stating it’s essential to build a relationship with the person in control of the calendar.
Like many aspects of the business, you will eventually realise that the level of control you maintain over your schedule will be fluid. When set up correctly, you will merely feed information to the gatekeeper of your time. This will allow you to give your full attention to what matters most. However, failing to implement basic rules will see you entangled with unnecessary challenges.
See Time Management on how to build trust with your internal community and, more specifically, in this case, your chosen delegate. This is merely an overview of calendar management, as we must first respect that everyone’s preferences differ. Next, it’s finding what works for you so that you can do it for yourself and then find someone to support you effectively.

During my time in support roles, ground rules were laid out and implemented if a diary was part of the package.

It’s not a power trip. It’s because of the following:
  • Managing a calendar is a significant task and time consuming
  • You will try to squeeze in meetings and end up being late, rushed lacking focus
  • You will find it almost impossible to say no
  • Forgetfulness – the calendar in your world is not a high priority
Sometimes even the leader needs someone to take the reins and guide them.

Set Ground Rules and Build Trust with Your Assistant

You have to be able to say no. When you find yourself triple booked with several pending invitations while awaiting your response, that frustration will lead you to dump the hassle on someone else. Therefore you need someone who is not afraid to tell you no.
This is a huge challenge and one of the benefits of having an assistant. First, consider whether that is a real person or a scheduling system. You must feed information to be productive with the available time. AI cannot determine what is essential and so you will it up to ignore or avoid conflicting times. A human will do pretty much the same, marking meeting invitations at best as tentative or, at worst, giving no indication of your intentions at all.
Gain peace of mind and a balanced day when yo set the HouseRules for your calendar and how it is managed effectively
Although it may appear time-consuming, you must feed information into your schedule to effectively support your productivity. You have to lead by being open and honest with your assistant. In the early stages, you can monitor how intuitive and compassionate the support is to your needs.
Until time has passed, an assistant cannot determine what is essential, what is good to know and your most productive time for meeting, thinking or eating. Failing to be transparent with the person organising your life is counterproductive. This is precisely why calendar management is most effective when handed over to the right individual to manage you.

Leveraging Available Resources for Effective Time Management

Again we return to the planning aspect, as your budget will impact what action to take. Some helpful scheduling tools are available if you are bootstrapping your business.
However, there will come a time when you will need the support of others. Understanding yourself and the direction of growth will help you to determine the best support for you and the business.
A selection of the favoured schedulers for 2023
Start by understanding yourself before engaging others. Do you prefer morning meetings or afternoon? How far are you willing to travel, and what is the preferred mode of transportation? And although we are living our best lives working from home, does your work and your personal preference prefer online meetings, telephone calls or in-person?

Does every appointment schedule really have to be 30 or 60mins? Play with the time that works to your advantage, and remember to allow time to consolidate and/or prepare. A personal pet peeve when using the Google Calendar is that an appointment is either busy or free – what about when you’re out travelling or visiting? This is where colour coding helps to have an idea of what is going on at a glance.

The scheduler I use sends reminders for appointments, something I wouldn’t do personally because there is a notification prompt on most calendars. However, where one person will customise this feature depending on the appointment, others will have it stuck on the default and therefore get into the habit of ignoring the alert.  
Being uncertain of your next move can be frustrating especially when you don't feel you have enough time. Let's talk about your options.

Harvard Business Review surveyed 182 senior managers in various industries: 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. In addition, 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking.

Meetings themselves are a separate topic to be given its spotlight. However, regarding calendar management, if you somehow get the notion to cram your diary with meetings because you believe it will be beneficial, plenty of stats out there say otherwise. If you can’t be honest with yourself, put someone in place to make your decisions.


My Happy Clients!

Cas managed my diary alongside two other Heads of Function. She had a systematic approach and identified the important versus optional well. She is experienced, communicates clearly and anticipates issues to resolve them proactively.
Tamya Kerr
EDF Energy

Area of Expertise!

With over 20yrs in various roles and industries. Being in the thick of it is second nature.

As if working on demanding projects was not entertaining enough.  In the midst of it all, I continued to study, completing all the formal and vocational training undertaken by a legal professional in England and Wales.

Combining passion, expertise and experience to work with business owners of smaller businesses to recognise that they can be mighty with the right structure and integrity.

As an entrepreneur, you get to do business with confidence and understanding because the company has been built on your rules.

Save money as you build an internal community of individuals who relate and what to be a part of this venture.


The Ethical Strategist working with you to strengthen that love for your business with HouseRules.

Your time is precious,  so I hope you can take some value from what you have read.  If you would like a guide to get you started, then join the monthly mailing list by clicking the button, and you will be given access to download.  Until next time…

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