Planning in 2018: Do More Than Survive, Thrive

Most, if not all meeting planners, enjoy feeling like they’re in control of their day, their week and their year. At least at the start.  We’d all love to be committed to organization and streamlining our lives, workplaces and schedules every day, every week, all year long.

The first step is to try to avoid chaos—a state of complete disorder and utter confusion—a total lack of organization. I had a past boss that would say, “First, you agonize and then you organize.” Organization and productivity are all about efficiency—doing more, faster—and with less. And with increasing demands from today’s anytime, anywhere workplace, it has never been more important.

Having a master calendar for 2018 is a quick cheat sheet that offers an overview for tracking events, organizing your year and sticking to a schedule. You may choose to use the large whiteboard calendar  hanging in your office,  an Outlook calendar, a personal hand-held calendar for your purse or wallet, or choose a calendar app for your phone. Or, a can’t-miss combination of all of these.

Start with putting all dates you want to avoid scheduling meetings on aside. This will take some research on your part but will be well worth your effort.

  • Add national and religious holidays on your calendar
  • Add all industry conventions, trade shows and events that your company or association attends or that compete with your organization
  • Don’t forget online meetings, trainings and webinars you know your employees may be scheduled for or will want to participate in
  • Add all your own confirmed meetings, dates and locations to your calendar. You may have one, two or many meetings already planned and contracted
  • Create timelines for all the information listed above for each month. If you want to be more detailed, add important deadlines for each meeting to keep you and others on schedule
  • Anticipate additional potential meetings that haven’t been scheduled and list them at the bottom of each month on their expected date according to history

Pro Tip: you may want to note your CEO’s, spouses or children’s birthdays to either avoid or plan to celebrate at your event. You may also want to find a digital assistant for your busy life. Let’s face it, the calendar app that came with your phone isn’t always the best choice for managing your schedule. Replace it with one of these helpful alternatives:

Kerry Clark

Latest posts by Kerry Clark (see all)

Smart Meetings Related Posts

image of Plane overlaying Flight information

Minneapolis Airport Ranks No. 1 in Satisfaction in J.D. Power Report

The 17th-annual study J.D. Power ranked mega, large and medium airports in the United States and Canada by six criteria with a possible score of 1,000: terminal facilities, airport arrival and departure, baggage claim, security check, check-in and baggage check, F&B and retail.