The management of work, life and productivity is a balancing act. Work, health, family and community all need managing in our busy lives. If you can do the things you plan, be in the places you need to be and meet or engage with people at the times that suit everyone, then you are almost there. Productivity and Work-life integration is a balancing act.
It isn’t always that easy, though, to balance a busy home life with the demanding, decision-making world of business. You need a productivity tool to help, and few tools are better suited to that task than the humble diary or calendar.
Long gone though are the days when people of importance carried around heavy tomes full of appointments, meetings and dates to remember. Even the humble Filofax of the late eighties has been usurped because today, like so many other convenient aspects of our lives, diaries and calendars exist online and that is a big deal in the quest for better productivity.
Here are just a few of the reasons why:
You can share them with the right people and vice-versa.
No more time-consuming phone calls to see if friends or colleagues are free for a mid-morning meeting, no more rounding up teams from different departments, see if they’re free. Simply fire off an invite and await their confirmation, attaching agendas or other documentation is just as easy and convenient.
You can schedule tentative meetings, family dinners, and social events at a glance, on the days and times you know people can make it.
Combining calendars for work-life management
The main players in calendars are Microsoft (Outlook) and Google; both allow you to combine your separate calendars for work and play. It might take a little wizardry to get up and running. Your Virtual Assistant should be more than capable of handling for you. Once it is done, though, you have one single go-to resource for viewing all of life’s appointments and plans.
Categorise by Colour coding and repeating
Both Outlook and Google Calendars enable you to easily highlight appointments for the events and in the colour of your choice. This makes it easy to differentiate between any given types of appointment. You can automatically repeat tasks too; daily, weekly or monthly basis or any given day and time that suits you.
Notifications are key productivity and work-life integration. Getting notified before events and appointments is an important part of diary management. Ensuring the right amount of warning is important. You might only need a ten minute heads-up for a Zoom call. Birthdays, anniversaries, travel plans and flights you might want to set up notification days or even weeks in advance, and you can!
Which service to choose..?
It is all down to personal choice. Outlook and Google calendar both have several add-ins and links to the Outlook apps. The Outlook calendar is in Outlook, so you need to open your emails to get to it, but as with Google, it can be shared with other calendar apps. I work with both.
There are other offerings such as Apple’s calendar. You are also able to automate and blend calendars from different providers using apps like Zapier.
Diary and lifestyle management are important parts of a Virtual Assistant’s executive service. They free up time for you to focus on growing your business and enjoying more time to relax outside of it.