Managing Calendars Part 2: Scheduling More Than Meetings

By | Nov 4, 2009

In my last post, I talked about using discretion in scheduling meetings.  Today, we’ll go into other ways to manage your boss’s calendar to increase his productivity.

Keep the Calendar More Full Than It Looks

Let’s face it.  If there’s a blank spot on your boss’s calendar, someone’s going to want to schedule a meeting there.  The higher up in the company your boss goes, the more true that will become.  This is where you come in.

Like I said in my last post, your boss can’t be ultimately productive if all he does is attend meetings.  So to keep people from trying to schedule meetings for every moment of her day, you’ll need to tie up some of her calendar.

Scheduling Work Time

Sometimes, the only way you’ll be able to set aside work (that is, non-meeting) time, is to actually schedule time for it on your boss’s calendar.  I like to schedule two hours of work time every day on my boss’s calendar.  The time I schedule is going to depend on your boss.  Some prefer work time early in the day; some prefer it later in the day.  Some prefer one longer amount of time scheduled; some prefer two shorter time periods to be scheduled.

Whatever your boss’s preferences, be sure to set aside some time every day for work time.  Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t sometimes have to schedule over the work time.  Sometimes meetings will take priority.  But when that happens, always try to move the work time to later in the day or week.

Using Recurring Meetings

Generally, I use the recurring meeting function in MS Outlook to put work time into the calendar.  It’s quick and easy to set up the time, and then you can change just the individual occurences if they need to be moved.  Just open a blank meeting and click the “Recurrence” button on the toolbar to set up a recurring meeting.

Other Calendar Tips

  • Always leave 15 minutes or so between meetings.  This gives your boss time to return urgent calls, make notes from the previous meeting, or review his files before the next meeting.
  • If the meeting isn’t in the office, give at least 30 minutes before and after the meeting for travel time, longer if the drive time is longer.
  • Remember, your boss needs to eat, too.  It’s true, regardless of what office gossip may hold, he’s human just like us.  So, always remember to schedule time for him to have lunch.  Trust me, she’ll thank you for it.

Share Your Calendar Management Tips

What are your tips for managing your boss’s calendar?  Leave a comment and let us know how you manage things.

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2 Comments so far
  1. Richard Rinyai (4 comments) November 16, 2009 9:17 am


    One thing that helps my manager in her calendar is to block off the entire day with the “out of office” function. This way, people won’t try to schedule in meetings, just in case my manager is late getting to or coming from the meeting. They would have to check with me instead to see if she could accommodate them.


    .-= Richard Rinyai´s last blog ..Feeling Overwhelmed by the Mess on Your Desk? Fear Not! =-.

  2. Carole Serauskis (1 comments) March 18, 2010 8:50 am

    Great article. I will be using this to keep my boss stress free.


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