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Keeping up with Paperwork

Manage Your Time Better

Tips for Moms

Tips on Being Punctual

Scheduling Appointments

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Tips for Efficient Appointment Scheduling

woman writing in planner
  By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. ~ Benjamin Franklin

First Appointment of the Day is Usually Best

1. Try to schedule doctor and dentist appointments for the first appointment of the day. That way there is less chance the person you have the appointment with will have fallen behind schedule. It is also a good idea to call first before leaving for appointments with people like hairdressers, doctors and dentists who have tightly packed schedules to see if they are running on schedule.

Make Good Use of Any Wait Time

2. Always take something to do with you in case you do have to wait. Things you can do in a waiting room include:

  • Read a book. I keep a couple of books in my car I that I only read when I have to wait for someone.
  • Listen to music or an audio book using headphones and an MP3 player. My local library has many current and best selling audio books available for download completely free.
  • Review your goals for the next week, month and year
  • Plan dinner menus for next week
  • Make out a grocery list
  • Write a letter

Confirm The Day Before

3. For activities like lunch and dinner dates, try to call the person the night before to confirm that everything is still on and to double check the time and place.

Be Punctual

4. As a courtesy to others, remember to be on time yourself. If you are always running late, read our tips on how to be on time.

Combine Errands and Appointments When Possible

5. If possible, try to schedule all of your errands and appointments for one day of the week. You'll save on time and gas by combining as many errands as possible. Even if you can't schedule everything for one day, try to group your appointments as much as possible. For example, if you have an appointment across town with your lawyer, think about what other places you regularly do business with are near your lawyers office. Is the lawyers office on the way to the drycleaners, post office, pet supply store, or hardware store?

Pick Slow Times for Nonscheduled Errands

6. Pick the best times for nonscheduled errands. Usually the best times to go to places like the post office are midmorning or mid-afternoon, if your schedule allows it. Many people who work will try to go first thing in the morning, at lunch or at the end of the day.

I've found the least busy time to go grocery shopping is late in the evening. The only drawback is that some of the produce may have been picked over by then and some of the bakery items may be low on stock. But the tradeoff is usually very short check out times. The busiest times at our local grocery stores seem to be weekends and right after work and school, around 4 - 7pm weekdays.

Keep Track of Appointments in One Master Calendar
  man writing in an appointment calendar

 

 

 

7. Make sure you write all of your appointment in one master calendar. Don't use little scraps of paper because sooner or later they will get lost or you will double book an appointment time. Also when you make your appointment write down a contact number and make sure the other person has your number, so either one of you can call and cancel if an emergency arises. Also when you make your appointment make sure you have the correct address and directions for the place you need to meet.

Make Appointments With Yourself

8. Remember to use your calendar to make appointments with yourself, too, in order to get important tasks accomplished. Block out chunks of time for your highest priority projects like working on the taxes or puting photos in a family album, and keep those times reserved. Otherwise your week will get filled up with other people's priorities instead of your own.

  Tip: Audio books are a great way to multitask. I have a number of books I listen to on my iPod for when I'm driving or walking the dog.