Of course, you know that calendars play a huge role in helping any mom be more productive.
The general rule is that you add scheduled appointments to your calendar, and your tasks should be placed into the task management system that you use. However, what often isn’t discussed is precisely what appointments you should be putting in your calendar to maximize your time best and ensure you’re staying productive.
Here are the three types of appointments you should add to your schedule to create an effective productivity system.
These are the regular appointments that you may schedule throughout your week. These would be appointments for the doctor or business lunches. They are relatively general regarding defining an appointment, so they need to be treated as such. These kinds of appointments can be moved if needed, given enough notice is provided, and both parties can make it happen, though you should try to avoid moving them in most cases.
These are the appointments that you make with yourself. They can be in the form of blocks of time that you schedule so that you can work on projects and tasks without interruption. You can transfer these kinds of appointments, but it is more beneficial if you can try to create a framework so that they stay as static as possible.
You want to pick a time during the day when you can work in 90-minute intervals on a regular basis so you can create a habit and improve your productivity. Break up the time with breaks where nothing is set in stone. You might even want to take larger blocks and break them down into smaller chunks using The Pomodoro Technique so that you can move from task to task. You want to keep these time blocks nimble enough that you can move them to other hours of the day if needed.
Family Team Appointments
Family team appointments are for when you need to bring your family together. It’s best to get these scheduled once you’ve already locked in the other two types of appointments on your calendar. While doing this can make it more difficult to plan these kinds of meetings, you can use tools like Doodle, Google Calendar or Tungle.me to pick optimal times where most of the family can be present. Scheduling fun activities and a once a week family meeting are essential to a healthy happy family. Make this time a priority each week and be sure to write it in your calendar as an actual appointment to keep.
When you can keep in mind the three types of appointments that you have at your disposal, your calendar will become a tremendous tool that will allow you to create time and space for yourself and improve your productivity.
Color Code Your Calendar
It’s not only prettier to look at and fun to create, but color coding your appointments help them stand out at a glance for you to know what is coming up soon.
Have different color for each type of appointment. Use RED for general appointments, GREEN for self appointments, and BLUE for family team appointments.
Be sure to stay consistent from week to week with your color scheme and it will be blatantly obvious what type of appointments are taking up most of your time each week. This may clue you into making some changes. For instance if you have to much RED color for the week, you may be overscheduling yourself and neglecting family needs or your own self-care needs.
Pick a Calendar You Love
There are literally thousands of calendars to choose from these days. Honestly, I get tired of seeing all the free printable calendars offered on Pinterest and other blogging websites.
Your calendar can be digital or a hardcopy. Or both! I actually use both. I use Google Calendar to schedule appointments on the spot if I am in a doctor’s office making an upcoming appointment or if I am online and register for a webinar I automatically have it added to my digital calendar.
Then on Sundays, I plan my upcoming week and write down the appointments in my Google Calendar onto my physical planner that stays on my desk each day. I absolutely love the planner I use that Ruth Soukup designed called the Living Well Planner. It is absolutely beautiful and I love filling it out each week. She even has stickers you can buy and use with your planner.
Whichever calendar you choose, make sure you use it to the fullest potential. In order to be more productive, planning is the key ingredient and a calendar will make it more fun and hold you accountable.