It’s fair to say that CEOs are busy people. According to Harvard Business Review, time management is often reported as one of their biggest challenges. It’s easy to understand why. If it’s not balancing meetings with fellow executives, it’s dealing with stakeholders, meeting with the board or giving a strategic overview for a variety of different issues.
There’s a lot to be done and that’s before all the endless meetings are taken into account. It’s no wonder that as many as 70 percent of executives openly spoke about leaving their jobs due to burnout.
With meetings such a dominant factor in any CEO's schedule, it seems like the obvious thing to fix in order to reduce stress and make for a much happier and more productive leader.
Whether scheduling on your own or with the help of an executive assistant, there are a number of efficiency tools here to help. Here are our five tips for mastering executive time management.
Create a Booking Page
A Booking Page is a powerhouse when it comes to CEO calendar management. In simple terms, a Booking Page automates your calendar to make it easy to find a time to meet. For a CEO this is vital to streamline meetings and eliminate the endless back-and-forth emails.
Whether your arranging a meeting on your own or have your assistant doing it on your behalf, simply set your availability then share your link and the Booking Page takes care of the rest. On a Doodle Professional plan, you can make as many pages as you like - meaning it’s easy to segment different pages for different things. So if you always want to have time for the board but restrict availability to an external stakeholder - you can do that.
A Booking Page is excellent, but one with finely tuned power settings is the best. Adding a cap to the number of meetings held in a day or buffer times to prevent them from falling back to back is key for all executive calendar management.
Also, being linked to your calendar means that Booking Page can also take account of your availability - so if you add something in, your Booking Page will automatically remove that availability from any link you share. You never have to worry about double bookings!
Send meeting reminders
Nothing is more infuriating than preparing for an important meeting only to have a no-show. CEO time management is hard enough without wasting time preparing and attending meetings that no one attends.
Using meeting reminders whether time has been agreed via a Group Poll or Booking Page reduces the number of no-shows. Attendees will receive an email before the meeting reminding them it’s coming up.
Get the important information upfront
The best meetings are the ones that are well-prepared. This is even truer for busy executives who can easily be overwhelmed by them from one week to the next. According to Entrepreneur, events with a clearly defined agenda are far more likely to be effective than those without.
More successful meetings mean less follow-up for a CEO. This is vital to allow you to get on with the other important tasks associated with running your business.
Tools, like Doodle, offer the ability to add custom questions or invite fields. This lets you ask for all the necessary information upfront meaning you’ll know exactly what the meeting is about and how to come to it prepared.
Schedule time for essential tasks
If you are like most executives, it will feel like your day is nothing more than jumping from one meeting to the next - perhaps with a few spare minutes to grab a coffee in between. It’s a wonder anything ever gets done in a business…not to mention time with your friends and family.
By automating scheduling, it frees up time for executives to get on with running their businesses. Even those with assistants no longer need to be constantly asked when they are free because meetings are booked automatically.
It should also become a habit to routinely schedule time for important tasks. If you have to review a report or take time to provide a team with feedback, block out the time in your calendar. This will make an automated scheduling solution even better for managing your day.
Add flexibility to meetings with video conferencing
If freeing up your busy CEO schedule by automating your calendar is one way to get more time, then video conferencing is another.
By integrating the likes of Zoom or Microsoft Teams, even the busiest CEO doesn’t have to worry about running from meeting room to meeting room or client to client. Instead, you can plan your day around a variety of in-person and virtual meetings or even do them all online if needed.
On top of that, for those at the head of a global organization, video conferencing integrated into your scheduling means less need to travel the world to check in with different locations. Instead, teams can present virtually what they are doing. Less long-distance traveling will not only help CEOs, like you, focus on running your business but give additional benefits such as more time with friends and family and less chance of burnout.
Managing your schedule. It may be what most CEOs claim is the hardest thing when it comes to their jobs, but with a few adjustments, you can lead the way in making it become one of the easiest.
Automating your calendar makes arranging a time with someone as easy as sending a link. Adding video conferencing and email reminders means a greater level of flexibility to meet where’s convenient and make sure no-shows are a thing of the past. Asking for the essential information first means meetings can be a well-prepared and efficient use of your time.
Streamlining calendar management like this opens up executives to more productive days. That’s more time spent on important tasks to grow your business, less chance of burnout or stress and, on a personal level, more time with family and friends.
You can create your very own Booking Page for free with Doodle. Click here to get started today.