November 9, 2015

Since I was largely away for a few weeks during my dad’s stroke, hospice stay and funeral, I moved all non-essential meetings during that time frame. Now that I am “back”, I have been trying to reschedule the meetings, follow-up on the ones I never planned as I knew I couldn’t add them in during that time frame etc. My strength is organization and yet I am struggling with schedules as there are so many parties involved and so much is up in the air. Thus, I have a new appreciation for the value of schedules!

If you have a good idea of what you’ll be doing and when, it makes it FAR easier to plan other meetings/ events. Since one of the themes in today’s marketplace is volatility, it certainly carries over to schedules. I started with the urgent, sent out notes on just the top few and slowly added the rest as I was able to confirm time frames. This process typically works really well; however, as meetings move around, it leaves me with a new appreciation for the value of scheduling in creating efficiency.

One tip to implement this week:
My clients typically have a lot of events on their daily calendar; thus, it is worth thinking about scheduling and how it can be improved. Start by looking out a week at a time and see how you’ve filled your calendar. If you’ve scheduled back-to-back meetings, you’ll likely “fail” somewhere along the line as perfection doesn’t exist in meeting start and end times. Instead, schedule into your calendar time in-between meetings. I realize this could be a real challenge but since you’ll have to prioritize anyway when a meeting veers off-schedule, it is a good idea to think about it upfront.

Also, take a look at transition points between one day or one week or one month to the next. Simple things can be very confusing depending on how you review your calendar. Are you looking to see if you have to be in another facility, state or country next week? If so, you need to plan in travel time. Is there anyone you need to communicate with prior to, during or just after a transition point?

Following just these two suggestions can give a lift to your efficiency as your calendar falls into place. With that said, we are all dependent on other meeting participants, and so remember to communicate!