3 Ways to Dominate Your Calendar

If you’ve ever reached the end of a week and wondered where your 120 hours went, you’re not alone!

It’s a common problem with my clients, and one I hear about almost daily in my practice. The drill is the same every week: You walk into the office on Monday morning with good intentions, a full to-do list, and the motivation to get started. But by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, you’re feeling frazzled, run off your feet and exhausted.

Meetings, clients and unexpected distractions have whittled away the time you were looking forward to spending deeply focused on producing awesome work.

Well, this doesn’t have to be your story any more. At Any Old Task, we’ve discovered 3 tips that help any entrepreneur finally gain control of their schedules, and truly become more productive (and effective!) in their businesses:

1) Block time for specific tasks (including self care!)

As entrepreneurs who have the power to decide how our day unfolds, coming to the office and seeing a blank Google Calendar can be overwhelming. While you might think it’s best to just dump your to-do list into Trello or Asana, taking a half hour at the beginning of each week (or the end of the week prior) to plot your tasks on a schedule helps immensely.

When you do this, you’ll have a concrete schedule of what you’re doing, when, and for how long. No matter the task – eating lunch, checking email, doing client work, or taking a meeting of any kind – goes in the calendar. This is also a helpful check for how you plan to spend your time. If you look ahead on your calendar and wonder why you’ve got something scheduled that isn’t the best use of your most productive hours, you can take action to change that before you waste valuable time.

2) Use a scheduling system

Spending your valuable time trying to arrange meetings with prospects, clients and others (then reminding them of the date as it approaches) isn’t a productive use of your time, especially since you can automate this task.

Using a system like Acuity Scheduling will eliminate having to deal with one of the most frustrating parts of acquiring and managing clients. Without any communication from you, clients can log in, see your real-time availability and self-book their own appointments…and even pay online if you charge for meeting time!

One of the best features – and there are many – they can also reschedule with the click of a button, so no more of that annoying, time-consuming back and forth.

3) Purposefully set your availability

Mindfully scheduling your time and limiting your availability to certain hours helps both you and your client. This is how:

  • You’ll get more done

….and be less distracted when you’re not interrupted with random meetings every day. Also, the quality of your work will increase exponentially when you’ve put in the time to focus.

  • Your meetings will run more smoothly

Having dedicated ‘meeting days’ will ensure your meetings run more smoothly as you’ll look forward to your meetings, because you’ll be able to tell your clients about all the work you’ve completed, and you won’t feel resentful over being interrupted. And, no more sitting in meetings worrying about the work you’re not getting done!

  • Your clients will have clear, well-defined expectations

When your clients have your schedule in plain view, they’ll see that you’re working hard, and that you’re committed to using your time as effectively as possible. What’s more, they’ll get into the habit of meeting with you on specific times and days of the week – this will also be less discombobulating for them than calling at random times and reaching you right away on some days, but waiting hours for a call to be returned on others.

No matter how long we’ve been in business or how good we get at saving time, we can always use these helpful reminders. At Any Old Task, we help our clients find out where they’re losing productive time, and how they can get it back. If you’re mystified as to why your productivity is down and profits are flat, give us a call!

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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