How to Manage Your Workday using Outlook

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Do you have ever feel like you are not meeting your commitments daily?  Do you feel exhausted at the end of the day and didn’t get anything done?  Do you try and try but just can’t seem to get everything you wanted accomplished in a day?  Well this article can help you.

First, make sure your outlook calendar is up to date with all your appointments daily.  You can go through your email in the AM and make sure that you have accepted or declined all appointments or you can set up your email to automatically accept all appointments and decline them later on your calendar page.  I would recommend both.

Second, print out two copies of the daily appointment page, one to record what you did and one for review later (see my article on prioritizing your work day).  Put both copies in your three ring binder.  You will carry this around with you daily as a cheap day planner.

Now step three becomes the difficult part.  You must write down hour by hour what you actually do.  You will keep a “To Do List” on the side column under tasks.  Mark off each item as you accomplish them.  If appointments get cancelled or rearranged, as we know they do, record this information on the daily printout.  (See tips below)

Tomorrow, repeat steps one through three.  If you follow these steps you will find that your day will be easily managed through Outlook and you will feel like you have accomplished more because you will physically see what you are doing.  The next thing will be to work on prioritizing your day (I have written and article on this as well).

Tips and Tricks:

*  I have been in management for twelve years and this process really does work.  It helps to plan your day, make sure you are getting things done, makes prioritization easier, helps with documenting your discussions with your employees, and even helps you to evaluate your projects and how you are getting them done.
*  PLEASE stick with this process for at least one month.  Scientifically, it is proven that the average adult forms a habit in 21 days.  Some of the steps on this process may seem tedious and redundant.  If you don’t stick with it you will not find success with this process.
*  Weekly go back and review how you spend your days.  This is a time analysis.  It will help you to identify gaps in your time management that can help you become more efficient.

Words of Advice:

*  Be careful with only using the automatic accept all appointments option on your email.  I have missed appointments because reschedules have not been processed correctly.  It can also upset the person running the meeting if they see you on the attendance list and you don’t come to the meeting.  Declining the meeting is just good office etiquette.

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