Managing your time and being consistently productive can be challenging. That kind of consistent productivity often requires you to juggle multiple tasks and remember critical events and deadlines in real time.
Calendar – calendar
Planning, being productive, and managing your time effectively is only half the battle. To increase your productivity and get all your most important tasks done in earnest, consider using time management tools like Microsoft Calendar.
With Microsoft Calendar, you can execute your “battle strategy” on a platform designed specifically for planning events, deadlines, and work projects in advance.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to maximize your efficiency and significantly improve your productivity with Microsoft Calendar. We’ll cover blocking out time, tweaking your calendar events based on the type of meeting, scheduling time for communication, and scheduling time to relax and spend time with loved ones. Let’s begin!
Get things done with Microsoft Calendar
Instead of using traditional lists and writing things down on pen and paper, Microsoft Calendar lets you store all your important dates, events, and deadlines digitally.
With some of the strategies we’ll dive into in a moment, you can “digitize” your calendar and make sure you can access it from all your devices. Whether you’re at home or on the go, the tips and tricks presented in this guide will help you become more efficient.
Most Microsoft Calendar users are unaware of the full depth of functionality available in the software. Additionally, most people overlook many use cases for digital calendars, some of which we will explore in detail as well.
As long as you employ the tips, tricks, and tactics that best suit your workflow, you’ll be one of the few Microsoft Calendar users who can squeeze every ounce of productivity out of this incredible software tool.
Group your calls and meetings into blocks of time
Is there anything worse than multiple calls and meetings cluttering up your daily schedule and leaving you little time to work on your most important tasks? It will be complicated to do your “core work functions” if you are constantly stuck in meetings and calls.
Time blocking solves this problem and allows you to group all your meetings and calls in a specific time period. Instead of frantically running back and forth between meetings and calls, you only have a one-time ban to worry about.
Blocking out time also promotes mental clarity and helps eliminate fatigue. In addition, you are much more effective and productive when you do not quickly switch between multiple tasks (e.g. multitasking) and only focus on one element at a time.
Optimize the length of calendar events and meetings
Have you ever changed your calendar’s default meeting length settings? With Microsoft Calendar, you can both change the default length of each meeting and, with a little planning, create multiple types of meetings with different lengths that are scheduled in advance.
When scheduling a meeting, reference your pre-established meeting lengths and make adjustments as necessary. For example, if you are holding a lunch, these may always be 1 hour long. On the other hand, if you’re helping someone who needs to ask you a quick question or get some advice, this meeting may only need to last 10 minutes.
Breaking down your meetings by type and determining an optimal length for each meeting is a great way to be more efficient and productive with Microsoft Calendar.
As a bonus, you can even go one step further and use your meeting types to create “time blocks” for similar types of events.
E-mail and communication blocking time
Far too many people have notifications in their emails and team communication apps open throughout the day, causing instant distractions and a loss of focus throughout the day. It’s difficult to be productive when your email alert is ringing every few minutes.
The solution to this is to turn off notifications until a certain time of day and let everyone know that you only answer emails or check in with team members at certain times.
Depending on your schedule and what makes the most sense, you can have a time block in the morning and afternoon. As long as you let everyone know when you’re available to communicate and respond to email inquiries, they’ll learn to hear from you at those times.
Make time for family and exercise
Staying healthy and nurturing your relationships is just as important as being productive and successful in your work life. Microsoft Calendar can help you block out family time and create a consistent exercise routine that you follow consistently.
Depending on when your schedule allows, don’t forget to add your workout/exercise routine to your calendar.
Similarly, schedule time to spend with your family, whether it’s at a family home evening, a trip to an event, or just to intentionally spend time with loved ones.
Use text-to-speech dictation
When scheduling calendar events, meetings, and phone calls, you can make sure no detail is missed by detailing the title and description of each event.
Typing each of these descriptions and notes can be time-consuming, so using text-to-speech dictation in Microsoft Calendar is a great way to quickly record all the details. Instead of manually linking information and notes, all you have to do is speak into a microphone and instantly see your words being transcribed.
No matter what device you use Microsoft Calendar on, you should be able to set up dictation. You can also train your dictation software so that your voice is recognized even better.
This training allows for more efficient recognition of your voice and helps eliminate mistakes and typos that are common in text-to-speech dictation.
Create and share team calendars
Calendar sharing is one of the best ways to quickly and efficiently keep an entire team up to date with Microsoft Calendar. In the past, this was only possible by sharing this information with all your recipients and having them copied individually to their calendars.
Today you can create a calendar, plan all your events and then share those calendars with others with just one click. Stop manually adding group or team events to your calendar and reduce manual contact when asking about availability.
We’ve discussed several ways to increase your efficiency and productivity by using tools like Microsoft Calendar.
If you want to increase your productivity and efficiency, it’s best to create a calendar that includes all your most important events and dates.
You can be more efficient and productive by grouping your calls and meetings into time blocks, optimizing the length of your calendar events, blocking time for email and communication, and planning to spend time with family.
Using text-to-speech dictation to quickly annotate your notes and creating shared calendars that can be redistributed between your team and colleagues can also help you stay efficient.
Start using Microsoft Calendar today and put these tips and tricks into action. By consistently looking for ways to improve your productivity and learning as much as you can about your calendar software, you’ll be able to become a “power user” and likely see massive productivity gains as a result.
Photo credits: Sergey Nesterov; Pixel; Thanks!
The Up Your Efficiency Game for High Productivity in Microsoft Calendar post appeared first in the calendar.