Calendar management for the youth work professional.

Here is a little something that doesn’t get taught in school but will change your way of working forever. I was listening to a podcast a while ago and this changed my life. There were a number of casts which speak about calendar management which we will summarise here.

Family first

The most important things should be on our calendar first. As such we agree with the guys at that this should be family. There is no such thing as work life balance, family just comes first. If your kids have a doctors appointment or its your wedding anniversary these things should be first in your calendar.

Schedule time for email

Most of us are bombarded by email (Just today I had over one hundred emails). Many of us have the pop up toast enabled to tell us when a new mail arrives…get rid of it. Schedule two times a day to check email. I have 10:30-11:00 and 15:30-16:00 set on my calendar every workday to check email. If we don’t schedule our email it will take us over and take our focus off the things that really matter.

Strategic objectives (first thing in the morning)

Whether you are a case manager or a program worker you have a number of strategic objectives which need to be addressed each week. If you spend the most productive part of your day focusing on your strategic objectives then you know you will be getting the best out of your time.

Network building lunch

Once a week you want to be purposefully building your network. We all have to eat so why not combine eating lunch with developing your network. Just invite a potential network to lunch and Bob’s your uncle.

Get rid of free time.

In pretty much every calendar I have ever seen there are huge swathes of unassigned time. Everyone I come across tells me how busy they are but if you look at their calendar you would be very confused. We put our tasks on the calendar eg. meetings and client time but we do not put time for things such as travel, strategic objectives or checking emails. If your calendar has a heap of free time you should fill it with strategic priorities.
If you subscribe to these few ideas about your calendar you will find that your days seem less chaotic and your work time more productive. For more on these ideas we recommend “Getting things done” by David Allen and the “The Effective Executive” by Peter Drucker.

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Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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