The world we live in leaves no room for hesitation and makes organizational skills essential for success. Calendar management is an important aspect for any practitioner, which is why it’s essential to get it together and make sure your agenda is on fleek. We listed some useful tips on how to handle calendar management like a pro, so please indulge in the wisdom below.
If you are familiar with overcrowding your schedule, double-booking, running late to appointments and even missing some events where you have already confirmed your presence, than you most likely need to get your calendar management skills activated. Private practices where it’s common to wait more than half an hour to see the RD rarely become a go-to choice for patients and definitely don’t bring in good reviews. Whether you are a freelance nutritionist or an employed specialist, you can benefit from the tips below.
The ABC of calendar management
There are tools and tips that can help you plan better and use your time efficiently, without losing patients or money. First of all, you have to understand the basics of staying organized.
You need to have time for emergencies. This can be an important factor for patients—knowing that if something urgent happens, you can see them and seeing you does not imply taking a day off from work (just to wait around, hoping you will catch a break at some point).
Important matters are not the same as urgent matters. This is not to say that what is urgent is not important, but it’s relevant to make a clear distinction between the two. Important issues are scheduled days, weeks or even months in advance and need your full attention. These are considered a priority compared to the everyday agenda.
Know when to end a meeting. If your scheduled time is running out, but there’s still a lot to clarify and talk about, it’s time to schedule another meeting. Do not bite into the next appointment. This ‘snowball’ effect is a common mistake in calendar management and it has the potential of messing up your entire schedule for the day.
Once you set the date and time for an important meeting or find out when a major event is taking place, write it down in your agenda immediately. Include here meetings with key people related to your practice, difficult cases, trainings, conferences. Vacations and relaxation time should also be part of the agenda. Working a lot may bring you financial rewards, but it will wear you out and impact your health. This is a price you should not pay, so don’t skip breaks and holidays. We all have tough days or a tough week, but time off compensates and balances the equation.
Regular activities are the first that get marked on your agenda. This includes the above-mentioned holidays, events and meetings. Make sure you also mark the necessary time to follow up after a meeting or the time needed to prepare a meeting. If your appointment includes getting from A to B, this also needs to be part of the time slot for that particular calendar entry.
Check you agenda at the beginning of each week and at the start of each day. For efficient calendar management, always keep some free hours in your week for unexpected and urgent matters.
It’s the era of technology and nothing can make calculations better than some smart software. You can get a simple and efficient calendar management app that can help you create charts and records for each patient. A well thought out app can successfully replace an assistant. Keeping your agenda and records in order, keeping track of your work and sending reminders for important or urgent matters are just few of the positive aspects of a calendar management app.
What an efficient calendar management app can do for you:What an efficient calendar management app can do for you:
- save time
- help you be more organized
- no more missed meetings
- get better results
- improve your work
- be more efficient
- save space (occupied by countless notes and papers)
- become a modern practitioner
- improve and build reputation
- save money (spent on paying an assistant, for example)
Be active online
Make time to interact and communicate once or twice a day. Whether it’s with patients, collaborators or peers, make sure you are present and interact or respond. Reply to emails and messages and stay in touch. A busy schedule is not an excuse to disappear. Communication is an important part in any freelance position. If you dedicate time to this task, you will avoid wasting time by interrupting what you are doing to read an email or reply to a message. It will take more time to get back to what you were doing, not to mention it’s not professional to interrupt a meeting or consultation to reply to a text.
We would like to hear from you in the comments section below where you can share your own tips and strategies for calendar management.