New year resolutions – How to manage your diary

Authored by: Consultnet

January gives us a new opportunity to do things differently and start good habits in good spirits. Confused as to where to start? As any professional will know, time is a valuable commodity and it must be managed wisely. Being able to manage your diary not only improves your time management skills but also gives you control over your day. Here’s a few tips on how to manage your diary:

1. Plan
In todays’ fast pace work life, it is given that last-minute meetings or urgent calls will always crop up. But scheduling and planning your diary in advance will give you an added advantage that everything is scheduled. Taking time out to plan your diary at the beginning of each week can help you to visualise what the next seven days will entail, despite having pop up events.

2. Use colour codes
Electronic or online diary management has made things easier to update and is accessible from anywhere. Online calendars ensure that you can always stay abreast with your day to day commitments. However, to get the most out of diary management software you must use the features to the highest of their capabilities. Using colour coding for your engagements, can be an extremely useful way to organise your diary.

3. Add breaks
In the fast-paced environment of any professional unfortunately it is hard to switch off and take breaks. This can have a negative effect over time on one’s professional life, as well as your health and well-being. It is vital to include regular breaks while managing your diary, taking breaks away from the office in addition to lunch breaks. You can include your day offs for the month as part of breaks.

4. Go into Detail
When making a diary entry, don’t be tempted to write vague abbreviations. You might have the important information in your head at the time but that doesn’t guarantee that you will remember them. When noting an appointment or meeting include details such as where it will be held; the topic, other attendees; the nature of the meeting and the contact details of the host.

5. Use your time wisely
Always keep other engagement in mind when arranging events or diarising meetings, e.g. if you are arranging two out-of-office meetings you may want to schedule them on the same day, at nearby locations. This will help cut down travel time to venues and ensure that you are not left idle between meetings. In addition, you can check if a meeting needs to be face- face or can be done telephonically.

6. Back-up
Technology is convenient but unfortunately also risky, as there are possibilities malfunction. It’s vital to back-up your diary as well as your calendar, in case there is an electronic or internet issue.
Having a data recovery plan and keeping your diary backed up on a cloud, ensures that you can access the document from wherever you are. This will save you headache of starting over if a hard drive or server fails and delete crucial data.

Time is precious and in business it is money, it only makes sense to use it wisely.

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