3 Top Tips For Diary Management

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘time is money’ many times before, but for business owners it’s never been more appropriate. With so many constant demands on our time and attention, every second you spend on one thing is time and money you’re taking away from another. So your time becomes a commodity – and that means you need to manage it wisely. Diary management is one of the best ways you can understand and reclaim some of your own time, and keep your business organised at the same time. But if you’ve never done it before, you might not know where to start, so here’s 3 tips for effective diary management, from the professionals.

Plan Your Diary In Advance

Most people will manage their diary on a reactive basis – so they will add things in as and when they need to, filling the time gradually throughout the week. The problem is, this can lead to your diary becoming overwhelming, and to you missing things because you were focussed on fitting in an appointment, and not on what else needed to be done in that day. Now, we know last-minute meetings or urgent calls will always come up, but if you take even 5 minutes to plan out your diary in advance, you’ll suddenly find yourself with a lot more free time.

Try to sit down at the beginning of each week and make a list of everything you know you need to do that week. Start with meetings you need to have, and get them scheduled in now. Then look at your workload and see if you need to block out any time to bigger projects. Do you have a deadline coming up that you need a clear afternoon for? Block it out. This way you’ve protected that time during the week, and you won’t end up working a weekend because you booked in one too many meetings. This helps you visualise what the next 7 days look like, and means you can schedule in all of those meetings, appointments and calls at times that are convenient for you.

Colour Code Your Life

Here at Starfish Admin we’re absolutely mad about colour coordination, so it’s no surprise that we do it for all our clients! Most calendar software has a whole host of functions you probably don’t know about, and colour coding is one of the most useful. Colour coding allows you to see what types of activities you have planned on any given day at a glance, giving you more time to prepare. Meetings with potential investors, conferences, client meetings and even important family events can all be categorised so that you’re able to recognise them easily – saving you time at the beginning of each day. People who colour code their diaries tend to be more organised and in control of their own time – exactly what you want as a business owner.

The practice of colour coding your diary has a hidden benefit as well. It provides a great guide to help keep you balanced and mindful. With everything set out in bright, contrasting colours, you can see exactly what types of activities you’re spending more time on, just by how much of the calendar is dominated by that colour. You might notice that you’re spending a lot of time in client meetings, but not getting a lot of work time booked in during your peak work times. It might reveal that you’re packing too much work into one day and not leaving yourself any leisure time – which can cause stress and burnout. By trying to keep the colours in your calendar as balanced as possible, your life can feel balanced as well.

Get Detailed

When adding something your diary, it’s really tempting to be vague. Writing ‘Meeting with Jane’ might be easy at the time, but when it’s time to have that meeting you have no information about what it’s about, why you’re meeting, or even when and where it is. So, when adding something to our diary, try to make a note (in the notes section of the event) of:

  • Where the meeting is being held
  • Date and time, including how long you need to leave to get there
  • The topic of the meeting
  • Any prep you might need to do
  • Other attendees
  • Contact details of the other person
  • Link to online meeting software (if applicable)

This might add a minute onto the task, but it means you have all the information at your fingertips no matter where you are, ready for quick and easy reference.

If you’re struggling to find enough time in the day, seem to be constantly double-booked or working much longer hours than you would like, then you could use our help. At Starfish Admin services we provide admin support for all areas of your business – including getting you organised and on the right track! We can work with you to understand your time and your priorities, and set up a default diary to get you started. We can also take care of the ongoing diary management, like scheduling appointments, setting reminders and blocking out work time, so you can be confident that your time is well-managed and your diary is always correct. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today for your free consultation.