Yesterday was National “I Forgot Day”. (Yes – yesterday – I say with a giggle! ) How many times do you feel like your life is running out-of-control, important appointments are falling through the cracks?
Recently, I had a conversation with a client who is in a leadership position with a direct sales company . . . it went something like this . . . names have been redacted to protect the guilty . . .
- Client X – “Yesterday was crazy! I had an 5 people show up at my showroom at 10 am for an appointment, my office assistant was working in my office, and 3 of my team members came for training.”
- Me – “Really, I thought yesterday was scheduled as an office day. I didn’t realize you had sales and training appointments scheduled.”
- Client X – “It was an office day! I must have forgotten to write these appointments down, I’m so glad I had dressed professionally! But you’ll be so proud of me – I had written a list for my office assistant the night before, so she could get some work accomplished, plus I had my team members watch my appointment as their training, so it all worked out in the end!”
- Me – “I am proud of you – but let’s circle back to the 8 people who “surprised” you . . . “
I would love to think this is an isolated occurrence – however many of the clients I work with struggle to maintain a balanced and clear schedule once the activity in their business explodes. When they were holding 1 or 2 appointments a week – they had no problem remembering their appointments . . . but once they start to hold 6 – 8 appointments each week – the system fell apart. Usually the breakdown occurs in two different situations –
- Someone reschedules – which was the case of the 5 people coming to the showroom as a “surprise”. Client X deleted the first appointment from her calendar, then when they rescheduled via text message, she didn’t have her calendar handy, so forgot to enter the new appointment.
- Multiple things are happening at once – which was the case of the 3 team members showing up for training. Client X was holding her sales meeting (so she was responsible for training and recognizing team members and meeting and demoing products on guests). During this meeting – one of her team members asked about extra training and Client X said, “Sure – stop over tomorrow morning, I’ll be in the office all day.” Again, she didn’t enter it into her calendar because it wasn’t handy . . . and in fact . . . completely forgot about the conversation until this team members arrived, bringing two more.
If you find yourself in this situation – some possible solutions . . .
- Keep your calendar with you at all times – and get into the habit of entering new appointments immediately.
- If you tend to check your phone when you are on the go – then create a routine where you go through all the text messages and email messages each night and capture the information. Don’t rely on memory.
- Carry a post-it note or use an app such as Evernote to jot reminders to yourself – then enter these reminders into your calendar.
- Practice looking at your calendar before committing to anything. Make sure the new commitment fits into your schedule and your priorities.
- Train your stakeholders (team members, family, co-workers). If they don’t see you write it down – give them permission to remind you to write it down.
Is there a specific situation where you find things “fall through the cracks”? Do you have a solution that works well for you when you are on the go? I’d love to hear about your successes and challenges! Please post below!
P.S. Another great resource on this topic comes from Brenda Sprandrio at The Declutter Lady. Check out “Four steps to finding time to accomplish your to-do list while using a planning calendar”.