It depresses me when I look up at my calendar to see that I’m booked every weekend for the next three months. It doesn’t matter if it involves traveling, working or attending some type of gathering. That might strike you as odd; but, it causes me to wonder how tired I’m going to be at the end of a season. Then to make it worse I notice that my evenings are filled with meetings and I think to myself, “Who booked your calendar?”
It happens to all of us, whether it’s overbooking ourselves in the busy season, or filling up time that doesn’t necessarily need to be filled up. So, how do you keep your calendar from driving you crazy? How do you protect your time?
- Be Proactive: You might be marking dates down as a reaction to a request of your time. I’ve done it before. When I see an empty slot I respond, “Sure, I have time.”; but, I neglect to notice that I’ve just booked myself 3 nights in a row. We need to be proactive by looking at how an obligation affects not just the date it’s booked, but the week or season it falls.
- Block Out Dates: If you can’t justify giving yourself a weekend or night of nothing, plan something simple (i.e. mowing the lawn) to fill the spot. You need to have time off. Many of us call it the weekend but treat it like a work day. Just because you have margin doesn’t mean you use it.
- Share It With Others: If you are married you should be sharing it with your spouse, if you have a roommate it’s them, and if you are living alone look to a friend, family member or coworker. If someone is aware of your calendar they can say to you, “Dude, do you ever rest?” or “Really another marathon weekend of the Golden Girls?”
- Post It Somewhere (off of your computer): This is like tip #1, because you are being proactive. The more you are aware of your calendar the more on top of it you will stay. Buy a calendar and put it in your kitchen, office, bedroom; just someplace you will see it on a regular basis. That way you won’t forget and overbook yourself.
I know it seems like one more thing to do; however, if you stay on top of this you’ll find yourself with more time. Keeping a calendar will help us through our busy seasons because it will help us maintain a pace. We need to be aware of when we are rushing through life and when we need to slow down. So put on your calendar that this weekend you’ll work on your calendar. Trust me.
What’s the largest challenge you face in keeping a calendar?