Work Life Balance: Managing Multiple Calendars

Keep Your Identities Separate but Synced

Are you leading a double life? If you are like most people, you are… a personal life and a professional life. These dual tracks of your time allotment sometimes intersect but necessarily need to remain discrete. Most people find themselves managing multiple calendars as a result – and it creates a struggle to find any semblance of work-life balance without exposing your knitting lesson to your colleagues or developing stress injuries from switching tabs to check all calendars.

In a world where people often work flex-time, taking time off during the week to pursue hobbies, charitable endeavors, or to attend family events, it’s challenging to keep work or your business from bleeding into your personal life and vise versa.

Part of finding that balance involves careful scheduling and time management. And it can start with sharing your own calendars with yourself in a way that keeps the multiple calendars separate while allowing you to access the information you need at a glance to plan your day or week.

Maintaining Separate Calendars

When you’re at work, you may not want to think about the next Lion’s Club meeting, that upcoming family reunion, or the fact that you need to find the perfect birthday present for your spouse by next Wednesday.

Likewise, when you’re home, you don’t want stressful reminders of that proposal due Tuesday, your Monday morning meeting, or the string of back-to-back-to-back client calls on Thursday.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, c-level executive, middle manager, or an administrator, you undoubtedly have a lot to keep track of in your professional and personal life. Keeping it all separate can help you maintain your sanity, stay focused on one task at a time, and even be more productive.

By the same token, it’s important that the people you deal with have visibility into your schedules – not necessarily the “what,” but the “when.”

For instance, what if that prospect you’ve been courting for months now wants a meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, but you’re scheduled to take your children to the doctor for their summer camp physicals? You want your prospect to be able to easily choose another date and time without knowing the reason you aren’t available.

Life consists of a series of value judgments – and those camp physicals have to get done before June 15, with a doctor that requires you to book six weeks out. Only if your personal and work calendars are synced but separate will your prospect be able to choose a more suitable date without learning too much about your personal life that you may not want to reveal.

There are many reasons to maintain separate calendars – both for your own time management and focus and to keep the many areas of your life separate. But it isn’t always easy to do when you also need those calendars synced so you can plan your life without missing a beat.

How to Keep Your Calendars Separate – But in Sync

There are many ways to sync your calendars while only keeping certain aspects visible to specific people. For instance, you can duplicate calendar entries and only show yourself as “busy” on your business calendar when you have personal appointments scheduled. You don’t have to share all the details on every calendar.

But that requires making double entries as you maintain two discrete calendars or sharing your personal calendar with your work mates. They don’t have to know you are squeezing them into your only available half-hour slot on Monday. Or that your calendar is virtually empty on Friday because you’re taking the day to relax on the beach.

A good personal assistant would let your colleagues book appointments with you without viewing your external calendar. This is exactly why allows you to connect multiple calendars, respects the overlapping availability of all of them, but only adds events to one. This allows you to expose your true availability without exposing the details of your events.

When you schedule with Andrew and Amy you can even tell them to only book certain types of meetings on certain dates. For instance, if you’re out of the office celebrating Summer Fridays, you don’t want work appointments booked that day but you certainly want margarita happy hours booked!

This functionality is especially helpful for anyone interested in blocking out chunks of their time or maintaining the curtain between personal and professional life.

Maintaining this work-life balance isn’t easy, but having the right calendar scheduling software that takes a macro view of your availability can help ameliorate the pain.

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