Businesses often deal with new projects that wait for development. That’s also the time when your work becomes chaotic, and you get lost in tasks, deadlines and brainstorming sessions. Having a tool to plan your time helps you stay in charge of each step of the project work. Where to find that tool?
Below we discuss the printable calendar and its hidden methods to improve your time management and productivity rate.
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The printable calendar works as an efficient alternative to digital apps and tools. The secret lies in its paper format, which provides you with instant access to the information of interest, leaving no room for postponing essential activities. The calendar works best for planning, as it provides you with an overview of the entire month. There’s no learning process involves, since all you need to do is make notes and tick them. When your smartphone battery fails, or your laptop notifies you today about a report due today.
A Definition of Your Work Tool
Before we begin, we need to clearly define your time management and project planning tool – the printable calendar. Printable calendars are the tools you can access anytime with little prior research. They also work as environmentally-friendly options, as you can use the other side of old documents or drafts. Find specialized websites such as Calendartable.com to download printable sheets for the next three-six months.
You should know that the calendar is:
- A time management tool which works best for events and tasks which require at least over an hour to complete.
- Not a daily planner. An overcharged calendar will become confusing and impossible to use – since it’s not editable.
- An exclusive tool. The calendar remains exclusive even if your assistants can access it to consult with your schedule. If they make notes on the calendar, they will interfere with your daily planning.
- A long-term tool which you can later use to evaluate and improve your work efficiency.
- An unmovable item which you can back-up by taking a photo of each update and keep it in your smartphone.
The calendar works best if you turn to color and symbol coding for every note you make.
Set Your Expectations
Each new project generates expectations. On the one hand, you have plans for your work and involvement rate. On the other hand, the project has goals and objectives you need to set. Begin your planning by identifying your project and its outcomes.
Plan the project’s work:
- What team is involved?
- Who is responsible for each task.
- How the team communicates.
- How you will monitor the project.
- What you expect from the team.
- What the micro-goals of each team member are.
Estimate the Projects’ Results
You will need to schedule each step of the way: planning, implementing, completing and evaluating the project. Analyze the time you need to get into details such as:
- Overall work you will need for the project.
- Finishing and analyzing deliverables.
- An extra time in case the deliverables need a revision.
- Work on finding resources and allocating them.
- Who are the decision-makers in the project and how many meetings you need with them.
Research the Time You Need for Tasks
There will be many tasks you can predict and unexpected turns of situations. That’s why you should refrain from filling up the calendar to save time you might later need for work. Concentrate on the main tasks you and the team will face, from all fields. Begin to think about marketing, sales, accounting, and management.
According to a study, multitasking affects your brain’s cognitive function and, consequently, your career. Instead, you can plan similar tasks for specific days and weeks. Once you build the project team, you will delegate roles and responsibilities that ease your work if you focus on constant communication.
Schedule Everything You Can
Planning ahead of the project helps you better integrate it into your regular work. Aside from the steps that your project involves, you will also need to complete daily or monthly company tasks. The room left available in the printable calendar can work for these responsibilities. Also, you can schedule:
- Regular intervals to check on the progress of the project.
- Help the team members make their own schedule and include update meetings with you.
- Schedule weekly or daily brief meetings to ensure constant communication.
- Set deadlines a day over the time an employer actually needs to complete work.
- Prepare for project killing obstacles.
- Plan time to provide guidance and monitor progress.
Remember that any schedule might face challenges that adjust it. Once a stage finishes, notice any potential risks and methods to improve your work. You can even communicate with your team via email about the schedule and mention the calendar.
Optimize the Calendar Work
Remember that there are obstacles which might ruin your work. The most common ones are visible in any business, regardless of its industry. Here are a few solutions.
- Prioritize: Always remember that essential work matters more than urgent tasks. Prioritize anytime you have the chance along the calendar noting process.
- Shorten meetings: Keep the sessions short and useful. The quicker they get, the more time everyone has to work on deliverables. Let the team share ideas and provide them with immediate feedback.
- Delegate: Regardless of how much you schedule, there will always be unexpected tasks to solve. Delegate as much as possible, so that you can focus on important responsibilities.
- Refuse: Whenever a task that doesn’t directly target you learn to refuse it. Distractions are standard, as well as not sticking to the plan.
Consult with the Printable Calendar
The printable calendar is only practical if you consult it whenever you have the chance. Make a ritual by looking into the current month’s calendar every morning to stay up to date with the work progress.
Once the month ends, feel free to evaluate your work. Keep copies of past months’ sheets to review them later and discover new methods to optimize your work. Then, get to the project!