Productivity is probably one of the most common used words in the business environment. There are no criteria for those who are interested in maximizing their productivity, exploiting their time to the fullest and minimizing any damage to their work. There are thousands of articles, online tools and apps. Yet, there is one reliable solution which is so accessible that you might oversee it. The printable calendar can be the solution that might solve your work problems by adjusting your productivity level.
Managers, employers, entrepreneurs and freelancers want to increase their productivity and use their working hours to complete as many tasks as possible. This doesn’t occur many times. Aside from apps that empty your phone’s battery and online tools which need logging time, you might find a trustworthy ally in a sheet from a printable calendar. Here are the most common productivity mistakes many of us do and can fix by properly using a paper calendar.
Postponing What’s Not Urgent
Many of us have two or three tasks which aren’t urgent and lie there for months, waiting to be solved. They might ironically optimize our workflow most of the times. These tasks can regain their importance by taking part in the next months’ time planning. So, before handling everything else, download and print out a few sheets from a calendar website. Ensure they cover at least the following three months. You can then evaluate results.
Make a list of the tasks you need to handle then prioritize them using the Eisenhower scheme:
- Important and urgent: Actions you need to take which have long-term effects – crises, issues, deadlines.
- Important but not urgent: Projects and responsibilities which bring success, lacking short-term effects – projects, business relations, breaks or relaxing team activities.
- Urgent, but not important: Interruptions from your activity that imply short-term changes – meetings, business events, short interruptions.
- Not urgent and not important: Time wasting activities which might be trivial or pleasant and don’t have severe consequences.
Not Considering Your Available Time
The key lesson of using a printable calendar is to remember that you shouldn’t completely fill it. This is also one of the most common mistakes that people make when working. They postpone a task for the next day, then discover it’s a national holiday or even a Saturday. Or they must celebrate a family event.
Avoid working when unnecessary or making tasks urgent because you cannot handle them on a day off. Mark national holidays, weekends and any type of major family events in your calendar. While looking at the time left, remember that you cannot plan an entire month. Unexpected tasks are common. Bad management of such tasks lowers your productivity.
Not Scheduling Mandatory Monthly Reports and Meetings
There are recurring activities which you know about every month. Yet, you may manage to be surprised every time they appear. Monthly reports or meetings take time that you might estimate.
Mark such events and responsibilities in your calendar in a realistic manner. Consider the time you take to compile a report or sum up a meeting’s conclusions. This way you prevent any risk of multitasking or decrease in productivity.
Scheduling Too Many Meetings
Meetings are almost useless, according to a study. Execs spend around 23 hours a week in meetings and the number seems to increase every year. As their number rises, meetings seem to decrease in importance and take away time.
Make sure you establish a clear schedule and even delegate someone else to attend them for you. Avoid taking your laptop to meetings and multitask. Nevertheless, you consider whether a meeting is important before writing it down in your calendar.
Not Updating Others with Your Schedule
How many times did your assistants over schedule a meeting because they didn’t have access to your schedule? So, you end up multitasking, postponing or even procrastinating due to too much pressure. The printable calendar stands on your wall to remind you about responsibilities, meetings and events.
Inform your assistant about the calendar’s location and invite them to consult it. They can update with your schedule before answering your phone and scheduling a meeting. However, refrain from providing them with access to edit it. You might not understand other people’s notes or writing.
Not Learning from Your Mistakes
You forget about lunches with customers or business partners. You remember about a conference or event a day or two before attending it. Meanwhile, you had reports to make and no time remaining. An updated calendar can show you specifically when you can perform a task.
The calendar works as another secret weapon. It allows you to evaluate your past time and improve it for the next month. However, if you plan to minimize the time you spent on a specific part of your work, you should keep it realistic. If a meeting lasts for an entire day, you shouldn’t schedule it for four hours in the next month.
Not Yet Working with a Printable Calendar
Printable calendars are reliable and versatile. Yet, you cannot take them on a business trip. They usually save the time you spend logging in, learning a new app or software or waste battery. Still, you cannot edit a note in your calendar. This can work for you, as it doesn’t let you to postpone or over schedule. You can still benefit from the printable calendar’s benefits by taking a picture and consulting it while you’re at home or on a business trip. If you mix it with an app, you might just maximize its results.
Printable calendars are traditional tools that work for many execs or even families. You can organize plenty of activities in the office or household based on a sheet of the calendar. They manage to survive in the age of technology for a reason. You can confide in a calendar with time management and notice its results. Also use it to avoid making the most common productivity mistakes and use your time to the fullest!