Getting caught up in the chaos of the moment can lead to missing out on what you want to achieve. This happens when we confuse busy-ness with true productivity. One typical symptom of busy-itis is when you’re putting in full days but still not getting the right results. Conducting a regular review of your appointment book will show you how you’re doing and give you advance notice of any needed course corrections.
The calendar review
There are two steps to the calendar review. First, a look backward to see if your appointments for the last quarter have been in alignment with your annual commitments. Were these productive, forward-moving meetings that created action items and results? Did you attend any meetings where you felt your presence was not necessary? You want to see a healthy mix of meetings you set up to help you achieve your metrics versus those you were invited to by others that will not feed your results. The second step is to look forward. You should see activities planned out well in advance that will lead to the right results. If you’re in sales your calendar should be full of client appointments for the next month. If you’re in operations you should see a regular schedule of metrics reviews with the right people. If you’re a front line worker you will want to see your time blocked out by responsibilities (payroll on Mondays, check for billing errors on Tuesdays, etc.).
If you don’t like what you see when you do the review — start making some changes. There’s nothing like exerting a little control to reduce stress. You might also think about sharing your review with your manager. If you’re not satisfied with your results chances are good that your manager is having the same thoughts. Taking a proactive approach to share what you’ve discovered and what you’re working on shows leadership and maturity.
So, go for it! Maximize your talent.