Organise your calendar in 7 easy steps

Discover the secrets to organising your calendar, reclaiming control of your time, and creating a better lifestyle.

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Has time been running away from you lately? Are you seeking a better way to manage your meetings, the time between you and your employees, or simply your own personal schedule? Whether you’re managing appointments, deadlines, or family commitments, a well-structured schedule is the foundation of success. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through seven straightforward steps to regain control of your time, boost productivity, and enjoy a more harmonious work-life balance. Let’s get started!

“If it’s not in your calendar, it doesn’t exist.” – Derek Duprey

What is calendar management?

Calendar management refers to the practice of effectively organising and maintaining one’s schedule. It involves tasks such as scheduling appointments, setting reminders, and prioritising tasks within specific time frames. 

Effective calendar management is about gaining a sense of control over how your time is spent by setting parameters to make your working week more productive and manageable.

Why is calendar management important?

An organised calendar helps you avoid last-minute scrambles, missed deadlines, and double-bookings.  It will give you the confidence and control to make the most of your time and achieve your goals.

Personal benefits of calendar management:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety: knowing you haven’t missed anything brings a sense of calm. A study by the American Psychological Association found that organised individuals have lower cortisol levels.
  • A sense of achievement: by scheduling tasks and deadlines, you’re more likely to stick to them. A Harvard Business Review study showed that people who set specific deadlines complete 70% more tasks.
  • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance: block out personal time to avoid burnout and ensure you don’t double-book yourself.

Professional benefits of calendar management:

  • Increased productivity: research by DeskTime reveals organised employees spend 50% less time on administrative tasks, allowing time for more strategic work.
  • Improved time management: prioritise tasks and avoid last-minute scrambling, leading to better work quality. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that organised employees are 15% more productive.
  • Boosted professional reputation: avoid missed meetings and deadlines, demonstrating reliability and professionalism.

7 steps to effectively manage your calendar

Follow these seven steps to streamline your schedule and make the most out of your time:

Step 1: assess your priorities

This step involves understanding your short-term and long-term goals, identifying personal and professional priorities, and ensuring that your calendar reflects these objectives.

  • Understand short-term and long-term goals: to guide your scheduling decisions effectively, take the time to define your objectives – whether they’re immediate or long-range.
  • Identify key personal and professional priorities: pinpoint the most important aspects of your life and work to ensure they receive appropriate attention on your calendar.
  • Align your calendar with overarching objectives: ensure that your schedule reflects your broader goals and aspirations, helping you stay focused on what matters.
  • Evaluate time-sensitive and high-priority tasks: assess tasks based on their urgency and importance, allowing you to prioritise and allocate time accordingly.

Step 2: implement time blocking strategies

Time blocking is a powerful technique for enhancing productivity and focus. 

  • Dive into time blocking: familiarise yourself with the concept of time blocking, which involves assigning specific time slots to different tasks or activities.
  • Ensure a balanced schedule: dedicate time to various aspects of your life, including work, personal commitments, and leisure activities.
  • Boost concentration and productivity: avoid multitasking by focusing on one task at a time during designated time blocks, enhancing your efficiency and effectiveness.

Step 3: let technology help you

Calendar apps and tools offer features such as syncing across devices, reminders, and collaborative scheduling, making it easier to stay organised and on track.

  • Make the most of calendar apps and tools: explore the features offered by various calendar applications and tools to find the ones that best suit your needs and preferences.
  • Sync your calendars across devices: ensure seamless access to your schedule by syncing your calendar across all your devices, allowing you to stay updated wherever you are.
  • Set up reminders and notifications: use reminders and notifications to stay on top of your schedule and deadlines, reducing the risk of forgetting important tasks or appointments.
  • Incorporate collaborative tools: If you work with a team, consider using collaborative scheduling tools that allow for easy coordination and communication.

Step 4: establish routine and consistency

Consistency is key to effective calendar management. 

  • Craft a daily, weekly, and monthly routine: developing consistency that includes your regular activities and tasks enhances productivity and helps minimise overlooked commitments.
  • Benefit from increased productivity: scheduling reduces the need to make decisions about how to spend your time, freeing up mental energy for important tasks.
  • Reduce decision fatigue: streamline recurring tasks and activities by incorporating them into your routine, reducing the cognitive load associated with making frequent decisions.
  • Cultivate habits: to reinforce consistency and discipline, build habits around calendar management. This includes reviewing your schedule at the same time each day, or planning your week ahead each Sunday.

Step 5: prioritise self-care and breaks

Prioritise self-care by allocating time for breaks and relaxation, and be mindful of avoiding burnout by balancing intense work periods with rejuvenating breaks.

  • Recognise the importance of self-care: understand that self-care is necessary to maintain physical, mental, and emotional health.
  • Allocate time for breaks and relaxation: schedule regular breaks throughout your day to recharge and prevent burnout. This could be a short walk, a coffee break, or a quick mindfulness exercise.
  • Avoid burnout: be mindful of your energy and stress levels, and listen to your body’s signals indicating the need for rest and relaxation.
  • Balance work and breaks: find a balance between intense work periods and rejuvenating breaks, ensuring that you give yourself time to recharge and recover from periods of high productivity.

Step 6: embrace flexibility and adaptability

Flexibility is essential. You must embrace the unpredictability of schedules by developing strategies to handle unexpected changes and disruptions.

  • Embrace the dynamic nature of schedules: recognise that plans may change due to unforeseen circumstances. Be prepared to adapt and adjust accordingly.
  • Handle disruptions effectively: develop techniques for managing unexpected changes, such as setting aside buffer time in your schedule or having contingency plans in place.
  • Maintain structure: incorporate flexibility into your calendar while maintaining a sense of structure and organisation. This will allow you to adapt to changes without losing sight of your goals and priorities.
  • Reschedule and reprioritise: master the art of rescheduling and reprioritising tasks as needed, ensuring that you remain productive and focused on what matters most.

Step 7: reflect and adjust

Regularly review and reflect on your schedule for continuous improvement. You need to also be willing to make adjustments to optimise your productivity.

  • Review your schedule regularly: set aside time to review your calendar periodically, assessing what’s working well and what could be improved.
  • Seek feedback: gather feedback from personal experiences and professional peers, and consider incorporating their insights and suggestions into your calendar management approach.
  • Make adjustments: be open to making changes and adjustments to your schedule as needed, whether it’s tweaking your time blocking strategy or reprioritising tasks to better align with your goals.
  • Keep improving: view calendar management as an ongoing process of refinement and adjustment, always striving to enhance your productivity, satisfaction, and overall well-being.


Once you’ve given these seven steps a go, you’ll see how your calendar can become your best buddy by helping you get tasks done, find balance, and feel fulfilled. It’s not just about filling up time slots; it’s about making sure what you do reflects what truly matters to you. 

When you start to make your calendar work for you, you’ll make each day count towards your happier and more purposeful life.

Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

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