for Efficient Appointment Scheduling
failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. ~ Benjamin Franklin
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.
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
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
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
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?
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.
Track of Appointments in One Master 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.
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.