The saying “Time is gold” holds a heavy weight in business. How could it not be when time lost is profit forfeited for companies? Thus, project management is critical to any team, individual, or business. There is a lot to unpack when it comes to such a topic. So, for now, we’ll focus on the calendar and schedule management tactics to improve your productivity.
It may sound simple, but many fumbles the bag when it comes to having a proper schedule for productivity. Meanwhile, managing their time and project tasks effectively is second nature for some people. As such, some get more done in a day, while others experience productivity lapses.
This article will give you an overview of schedule management and its importance. Additionally, there will be a list of proven methods you can do as an entrepreneur to stay on top of everything. Ultimately, you can have a seamless system and be on the road to achieving a different mindset to help you navigate the day.
What Is Scheduling In Project Management?
Scheduling is one of the most crucial aspects of project management. It keeps everything on track and helps plan for possible delays or issues down the line. It determines which tasks must be completed at a specific date to finish the project on time and within budget.
What’s more, it’s how you ensure your team has enough time to complete their work without getting overwhelmed or stressed out by giving them too much to do at once. It also involves determining and organizing individual tasks, their dependencies, and the resources required to complete them.
Without a schedule, it’s easy to lose track of what needs to get done and when it should be done. That can lead to problems down the road and failure in achieving project objectives.
With that, it’s time to know the importance of schedule management.
The Importance Of Calendar And Schedule Management
Managing your calendar or schedule effectively requires a certain level of skill. And let’s be honest; it’s not for everyone. It can be highly time-consuming since you have to keep track of everything, from deadlines to when people are available to work on specific tasks.
Its importance, however, cannot be understated for individuals, project managers, entrepreneurs, and companies alike. Here are the reasons why it’s crucial to keep a detailed project schedule or calendar:
As an individual employee:
- Increases productivity
- Meets deadlines constantly
- Improves long-term process
- Clarity regarding individual tasks
- Improves morale when finishing tasks on time
As a company, project manager, and entrepreneur:
- Manage project teams better
- Scheduling helps the projects run smoothly
- Allocate the resources better for each project
- Practice accountability among employees and the teams
- Set clear expectations about the who and when for project milestones
- Give clarity about the requirements needed to launch and finish a project successfully
Not only are calendar and schedule management paramount in completing tasks and projects, but it also affects everyone in the company. You don’t want to waste time on things that don’t need doing, especially under time constraints.
Don’t worry; help is on the way. We have several tactics to improve your calendar and schedule management in no time.
7 Ways To Manage Your Calendar And Schedule Better
Now that you have an idea of the role of scheduling in project management as well as its importance, it’s time to answer the following questions:
- What can you do as an entrepreneur to guarantee that the projects move smoothly within the given time frame and budget?
- How does your scheduling and calendar management impact your company projects?
Well, here are the seven tactics, with examples, to help you answer those questions:
1. Prioritize Your Tasks
Prioritizing your tasks is crucial to avoid spending time on meaningless activities. It helps in productively structuring your project and business.
So, how do you make a priority list?
You can list down every task that you need to do. From there, you can separate the urgent and vital tasks from the ones that aren’t. For instance, if you’re selling face masks, which are season-sensitive items, and the goal is to increase sales by 15% within the month, you can put marketing-related tasks as priorities.
Instead of filling your calendar with a cluster of unrelated tasks, you can focus on strategy creation with the marketing team to get customers on the website and buy the masks quickly. You can discuss the following to develop the strategy:
- Are you going to utilize social media?
- What type of content are you going to release?
- Can you offer bulk options to entice face mask buyers?
- What are the best ways to improve customer engagement using digital channels?
- Is a customer loyalty program beneficial for the brand at the moment?
- Should you conduct customer satisfaction surveys to improve your website for more seamless transactions when they browse and buy the masks? If so, how are you going to do it?
Once you have a solid strategy to increase your sales of face masks, the segregation of tasks based on their importance can start, along with the timeline creation. Thus, jumpstarting the project scheduling process and avoiding delays.
2. Run A Time Audit
As an entrepreneur, you have dozens of daily tasks, which can get hectic, resulting in much wasted time. Thus, it’s crucial to know where your time goes. The way to do it is by conducting a time audit, and there are several project management tools to help you with that. However, before utilizing these tools, knowing how time auditing works is important.
It means tracking your time to know how long you spend completing each task. It allows you to effectively schedule your day by having a regulated time for most of your assignments. Plus, it will enable you to identify specific issues with your scheduling.
For instance, by running time auditing, you realize you spend more than 2 hours clearing your email inbox. You can find ways to solve that because you can devote much of that time to more pressing tasks, especially if most emails are non-critical.
Moreover, time audits impact your company’s projects as well. For example, if a project deliverable requires your input or approval within a specific date, you can adequately schedule that in advance since you now know how and where to use your time. You won’t have to do a guessing game as to when you can attend to a specific task, decreasing the risk of delays.
3. Use Project Management Tools
Technology is your friend, even when creating your schedule or filling up your project calendars. As the big boss, there’s no doubt that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with every project, strategy, task, and employee.
Fortunately, there are many project scheduling tools and software you can use, not only for your tasks but all company departments can also utilize them when doing a project. These tools will help you keep track of everything and everyone effortlessly.
Let’s take a real-life company as an example. Julbie is a lingerie company, meaning it has a product design process. That’ll include plenty of meetings and tasks to prepare a collection successfully.
To help avoid overwhelming you and reduce the risk of missing tasks, a project management tool or software can assist you in breaking each part of the process into smaller tasks, especially for complex projects like this. The breakdown can look something like this:
- Create a themed women’s lingerie collection
- Have a meeting with the design team
- Discuss the direction of designs and the theme it will revolve around
- Consider the type of materials to be used
- Have a meeting with the finance department
- Consider the budget for creating a new collection
- Discuss the different resources needed and the costs that come with them
Of course, the breakdown of tasks above is just an example. Project management tools have templates or different designs you can customize to fit your needs. Furthermore, this can guide you in scheduling each of your tasks on your calendar, allowing you to manage your time more efficiently and ahead of time.
4. Maximize The Features Of Smart Calendars
Yes, this can be under project management tools. However, given the amazing features of smart calendars, they deserve their own spotlight. People using these applications tend only to know the default options, which isn’t ideal since they’ll likely just use them as regular calendars.
You have to dig deeper than the surface-level features. These smart calendars can be customized to fit your needs as an entrepreneur. They have many attributes you could utilize to your advantage. Here are some examples:
4.1 Google Calendar
You’re already probably using this one. But do you know it supports integrations with other Google platforms and applications? You can use this on your laptop and mobile phone for your convenience.
4.2 nTask Calendar
This feature-rich app will make your life uncomplicated. It can sync with your other calendars, set follow-up actions, easily share minutes of meetings with anyone from your team, and many more. It even has a built-in task timer, making time auditing seamless for you.
4.3 HubSpot Meetings
This is more than just a scheduler/calendar. For instance, this can be a learning tool since you’ll gain access to the HubSpot Academy, where you’ll find one of the best digital marketing courses. You’ll also have other tools that cover components such as marketing and customer service.
These examples are barely scratching the surface of these applications. You can use many other features to ensure you’re staying on top of your project schedules and doing your parts as needed.
That’s not all. If your smart calendar doubles as a client appointment booking tool, you should protect their data to facilitate trust. You can integrate a consent management platform to assure them that their data, contact information, and “digital footprint” left on your application or website will be secured and safe. As such, they’ll be more enticed to proceed.
5. Delegate Your Tasks
Sometimes, it’s okay to admit you need help. In business, you shouldn’t do it alone if you want to grow. For example, you could hire a virtual assistant to manage a portion of your tasks, especially the ones that take longer for you to do. Hence, you don’t have to take more than you can handle.
And if you think the hiring process is time-consuming, it doesn’t have to be, thanks to plenty of recruitment tools to guide you in choosing the best assistant for the job. Such devices can give you your ideal virtual assistant in just a few steps.
In addition, having a helping hand has a significant impact on keeping your project schedule on time. With minor tasks out of your hands and calendar, you can spare time to monitor the project status of each department’s schedules. As such, you can schedule more meetings with your project leaders as necessary to ensure everything is moving smoothly.
6. Optimize Notifications
Sometimes the ping on your phone during meetings can be distracting, especially when it’s about something insignificant. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to be familiar with the tools you’re using.
For instance, if you tinker with the settings for your calendar app, you’ll see that you can customize how you receive your automated reminders. You can set a specific time and day and the frequency of those reminders.
It sounds easy, right? Some people don’t know how to optimize their settings to their advantage. Thus, reminders pop up randomly as no date and time were set.
So, how do you use it for your convenience? For example, if you have a meeting with your project managers at 11:30 AM, you could set your calendar app to give you a 24-hour notice as well as an hour before. Optimizing your reminders means you never have to miss a meeting because you simply forgot.
Also, you can adequately prepare for the meeting and not forget the discussion points. As such, you don’t risk overlooking details critical to successfully finishing a project.
7. Have Small Breaks
Breathe in, breathe out. Every minute of the day can’t be filled with tasks. You need to clear some space on your calendar for a break. It doesn’t have to be long. It can just be a 15-minute break. If you don’t do this, you will get overwhelmed and risk experiencing fatigue.
Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t want breaks because it’s seen as a waste of time. If not, they think not working every minute can have dire consequences. That’s simply not true.
In fact, you being overworked will have more significant consequences since it can impact your health. And the result? Without you functioning properly, the projects could be paused until your return, and other affected business operations can harm your company. Thus, valuable resources will be wasted along with an increase in costs.
So, that 15-minute break daily can go a long way to guarantee you and the company are running without hiccups. You can do whatever you want during that time as long as it’s not work-related so you can relax.
For example, you can use that time to plan a vacation. You can start looking at specific cities you’d like to visit. Then, the next day with another 15 minutes, you can start checking out luxury hotels and if their amenities are up to your standards. You can use those daily break times to arrange your travel plans. If not, you could always just sit back, relax, and clear your mind.
The topic of project management is complex, but you can excel in calendar and schedule management. If you successfully handle your schedule more effectively as the head of the company, it will positively affect everything around you.
As the big boss, you won’t be involved in the smaller tasks under the project schedule. However, your input, feedback, and approval are still needed for the big decisions to be made in every project. As such, your own schedule management is crucial to avoid delays and waste of resources.
Is it going to be easy to change your ways when it comes to time management? Not at all.
It will require a lot of patience from yourself and, help from your team leaders, project managers, and plenty of reliable technology to navigate through the day without issues. In addition, you can rely on SimplyBook.me to help manage your schedule by handling bookings and appointments. Learn more about us, and don’t forget to sign up.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. He helps innovative B2B companies implement revenue-driven SEO strategies to scale their organic traffic to 1,000,000+ visitors per month. Curious about what your true traffic potential is?