Our personal lives are busy enough not to talk about our work lives, so I can imagine how much of a struggle it may be to have a great schedule or keep one. Some people say 24 hours in a day isn’t long enough. Well, I wouldn’t be the judge of that but what is really important is making the best use of our days and ensuring we have adequate rest while at it.

Recently my schedule has been a terrible mess and it was no news when my best friend reminded me of this fact. It became unbearable when he made it a conscious effort to remind me or better put, sing to me on a daily basis of how terrible my schedule was. At that point, I knew that I had to make a few changes if I was going to survive juggling work and life.

It all got worse when I started mixing up appointments .

One day he abruptly said to me, “Zinny, your schedule sucks!”

That one got to me, I think that was when I had to set some rules for myself. I have been able to come up with a plan that has been helpful so far. Without doubts, I expect that it will go a long way . Honestly, I have seen some improvements and as usual, I am willing to share with you.

Below, you will find tips and suggestions on how you can have a great work schedule, have peace of mind and just move seamlessly through your work life. If you happen to do other things by the side, like have a personal business or passion you pursue then these tips are a must read.

Set a Personal Calendar

Thankfully google has made life somewhat easier and we are all happy about that. It’s even more thrilling for me because lately, I have been taking advantage of all of the company’s services (Thanks to having an IT guy around). You don’t have to rely solely on your Microsoft Outlook only. It’s time to make use of your google calendar and take advantage of it. I not so tech savvy, so as expected, I wasn’t using my google calendar initially even when I had a Gmail account. Now that I know better, I have never looked back.

It just makes your planning easier and reminds you of your appointments and the right time to leave especially if you already set the location. So why not?

Never set an appointment without first looking at your calendar

Sometimes the human mind deceives us. It’s normal. Don’t fret about it or get all gloomy. The solution is to always ensure that before you set up a meeting or an appointment take out time to look through your calendar. Never make the mistake of arranging a meeting date first before looking through your calendar. This means your google calendar should always be open.

It’s expected that you would have a smartphone, so this should have synchronized to your regular phone calendar. I know right, technology is so good. It’s bittersweet to some. Oh well, take the best out of it!

Two-hour rule

If you set a lot of appointments regularly, or even if you just have to set appointments for personal reasons, allow at least two hours in between your first and second appointment. You need at least 2 hours so that you have ample time for any eventualities.

I made the mistake of giving about 1-hour time space between appointments and I ran late for the next set appointment. It was bad for business at least if not for anything, you should strive to have a good name so that your clients can be pleased with you. You don’t want to arrive late for appointments or even miss one.

Scheduling appointments

Scheduling appointments can be another tricky thing. Lately, I have been setting up a lot of appointments and quite frankly I have learned a lot from it. Sometimes, you may have an appointment in the afternoon and then need to make another appointment the same day. The best thing to do is to schedule your new appointment in the morning and ensure that you have at least two hours time in between this new appointment and your afternoon appointment.

For example, if you had an old meeting set for 2pm, you can set the new appointment for 9am to last for about 3 hours. So the meeting should end at around 12pm and you would have two hours before the next appointment.

Ordinarily, if you have scheduled several appointments for a day and adding a new one will get into non-business hours, then you can move it to the next day. You should always maintain ethics and also try to rest because it’s a necessity.

Keep your phone charger close

Simply because you never know what may happen to your phone even when you ensured to charge it fully, always have your phone charger with you. Maybe have a spare one that will always be in your bag if possible. It will certainly come in useful. I already said you should set a personal google calendar, so definitely you will need your smartphone and if the battery gets flat then you may run out of luck. To avoid this, please keep your charger close.

Keep a journal

Understandably, we are encouraged to promote a paperless community which is also great for several environmental purposes. But if possible, maintain a journal and write out all necessary appointments or meeting dates, time and location. Keep this close. There may be a time you may need this. I know I said to keep an electronic calendar but then again, you never know. Just have one around as a backup plan and regularly update it. You don’t want to realize it is outdated the very day you need to refer to it urgently.

Always refer to your calendar daily

You don’t want to have a calendar that you don’t look at. What’s the point in that? Try to go through your calendar daily or bi-weekly to have a rough idea of what your week would look like. You would get reminders depending on your next appointment but it’s always good to make it a habit of looking at your calendar. Familiarize yourself with your appointments and preparations you need to make.

Plan out your day the night before

Take out time to plan, plan and again plan. Visualize your day. Work towards it. Prepare your breakfast ahead of time if you need to. Write out goals for the next day. Sort out what to wear if necessary. Be certain of what time you need to leave your house to make it in time for your meeting.

Share your calendar

You should share your calendar with someone so that you can be reminded of an appointment if necessary. You can also use this as a medium to chat over plans together. So maybe your spouse, partner, best friend or someone you can rely on would be just fine. You can guess who I share my calendar with. Yes, you’re right!

Also, for security reasons and in case of an emergency, it’s adviceable to share your electronic calendar.

I hope you find these tips helpful and I expect that your work-life becomes less tasking. You may want to read this article on 6 simple ways to feel involved in a meeting. With these tips, I anticipate that your work-life will feel much more organized and fulfilling.

If you need to ask questions or make suggestions please feel free to do so in the comment section. I will be delighted to hear from you and know how you manage your time and schedule. Please feel free to contact me via the Contact page or simply send a mail to zinnyfactor@gmail.com and I will be glad to respond as soon as possible.

I wish you a great week ahead with so much accomplishment!

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Photo Credit: Allen Obayagbona @Obaallen