There has been plenty of discussion about how a calendar can fit into one's productivity system. The general rule is that you add scheduled appointments to your calendar, and your tasks should be placed into the task management system that you use. However, what often isn't discussed is precisely what appointments you should be putting in your calendar to maximize your time best and ensure you're staying productive. Here are the three types of appointments you should add to your schedule to create an effective productivity system.
These are the regular appointments that you may schedule throughout your week. These would be appointments for the doctor or business lunches. They are relatively general regarding defining an appointment, so they need to be treated as such. These kinds of appointments can be moved if needed, given enough notice is provided, and both parties can make it happen, though you should try to avoid moving them in most cases.
These are the appointments that you make with yourself. They can be in the form of blocks of time that you schedule so that you can work on projects and tasks without interruption. You can transfer these kinds of appointments, but it is more beneficial if you can try to create a framework so that they stay as static as possible.
You want to pick a time during the day when you can work in 90-minute intervals on a regular basis so you can create a habit and improve your productivity. Break up the time with breaks where nothing is set in stone. You might even want to take larger blocks and break them down into smaller chunks using The Pomodoro Technique so that you can move from task to task. You want to keep these time blocks nimble enough that you can move them to other hours of the day if needed.
Team appointments are for when you need to bring a team together. The best way to get these scheduled is once you’ve already locked in the other two types of appointments on your calendar. While doing this can make it more difficult to plan these kinds of meetings, you can use tools like Doodle, Google Calendar or Tungle.me to pick optimal times where most of the team can be present.
When you can keep in mind the three types of appointments that you have at your disposal, your calendar will become a tremendous tool that will allow you to create time and space for yourself and improve your productivity.