Peter Drucker said it best when it comes to the work we do today, “In knowledge work, the task is not given. It has to be determined.”
We are in a world where there is a lot of information flying around. Sometimes, we are being social. Other times we are trying to get clear.
One of the best leadership habits you can drive to get deals and projects done is to put full attention on a goal. And the way to lead efficiently is to master your online calendar. Make it a leadership tool by setting time and space to have meaningful focused conversations with your prospects, clients and partners.
I use Google Calendars within my Google Apps workflow. Most of the business world either uses Google Apps or Microsoft Outlook. Either one works. The key is to master appointment setting in either scenario.
Here are best practices you can use to stop wasting a lot of energy and time on back and forths and drive decisions with a set aside meeting time:
- Move from ambiguity. If you find yourself going back and forth in emails and texts, simply say you will send a calendar invitation so you can discuss and make a decision.
- Write clear subject lines. Put the goal in the Calendar invitation subject. Making it something like “Deal Decision with Don” keeps the focus on the outcome you are wanting and avoids wasting time.
- Fill in the “Where” field with what is easy. If you have to show something on your desktop then simply use a tool like join.me which also has a Google Chrome extension to auto-fill calendar invitations in an integrated way. Or you can put your phone number or the invitees so you don’t have to remember it. When the calendar event comes up everyone knows where to call. Make it easy so you don’t have to think when the time comes.
- Write a clear personal note in the Description field. If you are like me and have many meetings, you don’t want to have to think. You are moving fast. Write a clear personal note that informs you and your invitees what the meeting is about and what the goal is. This way you can move from meetings and be oriented to what you want to accomplish. Using numbered lists and goals is also a great way to focus the conversation. Give you and everyone in the invitation what you need to make it a productive time.
- Add invitees. The mechanism for inviting people is extremely helpful. They can accept, reject or tentatively accept the meeting. This drives commitment to a time to talk. You can avoid inefficient back and forths, especially with a large group of people. Everyone can use the calendar invitation automation to converge on a time that works. Your invitee list will display who has accepted or rejected. You can simply move the meeting to better times accordingly as well.
If you take a few minutes of work to ensure you understand the features of your calendar invitation system it can pay immense business dividends. Effectively, you become a knowledge worker that is leading. You can drive conversations that lead to clarity, deals and opportunities. This is especially critical where there is a large amount of inattention and disorganization.
How can calendar invitations streamline your workflow and productivity? What do you think?