Who doesn’t like to feel in control of their life, their day, their week, their year? Meeting planners especially feel the need to be organized and streamlined—it’s in our DNA; it’s essential for our jobs.
As an entrepreneur with a thriving business and a busy two year old, I’m committed to one tool that has helped me tremendously to be more efficient, ensuring I never miss a meeting or appointment--business or personal.
I live by my calendar—if an event is not on my calendar, it well not even exist. I start by planning out the year and block off:
1. National holidays
2. Religious holidays
3. Family birthdays
4. Big events within my clients’ industries
5. Meeting planner conferences I want to attend
6. Personal holidays and trips
7. Montessori school breaks
For example, I knew that I needed to severely limit my travel the first four months of this year due to a personal project. I was able to conduct all my site inspections for Q1/Q2 2018 in Q3/Q4 of 2017. I declined nearly all FAM, and conference invitations through April 2018. I limited nearly all client projects that required me to travel in Q1.
As for day-to-day organization—I have everything on my calendar. And I do mean everything from 8am Body Combat Class, to reoccurring client meetings, to Giovanna’s ballet class at 4pm. I block my calendar if I need a massage, or have a doctor’s appointment. I make time for me—and because it’s all on my calendar—it’s easy to see where I can fit in these personal errands and make sure they are achieved.
It’s difficult when you work from home to actually take breaks and take care of “life maintenance”. That’s why it’s key to put everything on your calendar. Sure, clients may need to move a meeting, a project may take longer than you thought, and some days you just won’t feel well. Life happens. But a surer way to meet your deadlines—all of them—is to start putting everything on your calendar.
If you’re struggling to stay organized, give calendaring a shot. It just may change your life.