Gig Business

Simple Tips to Take Control of Your Calendar

By Brian Jenkins

Where did the time go? At the end of the day, week, or month, many of us ask ourselves that very question. Perhaps missed appointments, double-booked gigs, or late arrival times always seem to plague you. In order to take your act or business to the next level, you must stop letting your calendar control you and take control of your calendar.

Here are a few tips to get your calendar in line and move your life forward!

Reclaim your time

Before you can really take charge of your business, you have to learn how to effectively manage your time. A calendar is a basic tool but absolutely necessary to track your upcoming gigs, followup appointments, and more.

Use the right tools for you

What tools are you most likely to integrate into your routine? The only correct approach is the one you’ll actually use. Many people get derailed in their attempts to improve their organization because they are adopting a system not comfortable to them.

We’ve looked at lots of different calendar choices and there’s one out there for every personality and business type. Whether your a digital guru or love to bullet journal, there’s a tool out there that will work for you!

If you’re just getting started:

For collaborating with a team:

To build in goals and travel time:

When you’re always on the go:

If you prefer paper and pen:

Schedule everything intentionally

Remember that if you do not control your calendar, it will control you. True professionals master their calendar for optimum effectiveness. Here are a few tips to take back your schedule.

  • Theme each day. It seems simple but dedicating each day to a particular aspect of your business or act helps focus your productivity. Pay bills on Monday, rehearse on Tuesday, etc. Within each day, make sure you are scheduling time to follow up on leads and respond to clients and event planners. Rapid response is key to closing bookings.
  • Add buffer times. Make sure to include areas around each gig that allow for critical details such as travel and setup. These small amounts of time can accumulate quickly and affect the space in-between gigs, thereby creating potential late arrivals or disastrous no-shows.
  • Include improvement times. If you want to create momentum and develop your business or your skills, you will never find the time, you can only make the time. Dedicate 20% of your work hours to improving your talents or your business. Put this time on your calendar. Make an appointment to work on new material, research new skills, or read a book or watch a video on running a business. Just an hour a day kickstarts progress and takes you to the next level.

Pro Tip: Color-code each of these intentional schedules so you can see the actual flow and balance of your calendar. Red blocks are business, blue blocks are buffer, green blocks are for improvement, etc.

Create a system to double-check

With the rush of requests that come in, many inexperienced performers who are eager to close will ignore potential conflicts in their booking calendar. Unfortunately, double booking is one of the worst mistakes you can make. It not only costs you money but double booking also affects your credibility and exposes you to negative reviews. No one wants to make that awkward call to a client telling them that you have to cancel. You can avoid unnecessary conflicts by creating habits to check your calendar. In the GigSalad platform, if your calendar is up to date, we’ll show you potential conflicts right on the lead information. 

Pro Tip: Before sending a quote, take 2 minutes and check your calendar.

Maximize the GigSalad platform

In addition to all the other handy tools available, the GigSalad platform offers features that help you command your calendar. We’ve recently launched some improvements to make your calendar more accessible and easier to integrate into your normal business practices.

Mark yourself as unavailable. Whether you’re working your 9 to 5, or off on a fabulous vacation, plan ahead and mark yourself unavailable for days you can’t accept gigs. This helps keep your GigSalad inbox free from clutter and you’ll avoid accepting gigs for the time you’ve already scheduled. Always record any unavailability you will have in your calendar to avoid accepting gigs for times you won’t be free. Simply go to your GigSalad calendar, click on any date in the future, and mark it as “unavailable.”

Sync all of your calendars. As you utilize all of the calendar platforms for your benefit, dates can get lost. By going to your calendar page and choosing “Sync an External Calendar,” you can sync with either your Google calendar or an iCal calendar. This automatically keeps your GigSalad calendar up to date and integrated with your other calendars.

Block incoming leads. With GigSalad, you have the option to block leads that interfere with already booked events. This option can be a default for all booked events or can select it event to event. Using this option benefits you by only bringing leads to your inbox that you want to follow up on.

Check out our Help Center article for more information on managing your GigSalad calendar.

Missed dates, late arrivals, and bad gigs can all be a thing of the past when you take control of your calendar and reclaim your schedule!

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