Isn’t it incredible the impact your calendar has on you. When you pack it full of activity, it can feel like you’re drowning. And, important things aren’t on it like eat, exercise, respond to friends, do your own work. Using new approaches, your calendar can be your biggest ally if you let it.
During my CFO days, my assistant gave me a copy of my calendar every day. I’ve got a confession to make. It would be an emotional experience. Most of the time, I felt frustrated by what I saw. The truth is I was angry at myself and my lack of boundaries. I decided it was ok for people to take space I needed for myself.
That piece of paper looked like this – solid bookings from 9am until about 6pm. There wasn’t any or enough space for doing my own work, taking care of personal things, or space to breathe. So, you can imagine what happened after 6pm. Chaos. Over-working. Not enough sleep.
It’s easy to go on auto-pilot and keep doing the same thing that’s not working. Plus, there’s the added fear of letting people down if you don’t make the time for them. Ironically, the time you give them you’re not at your best when you’re feeling resentful about it. That energy passes on to them.
I encourage you to take a fresh look at your calendar. Shake it out and see it for the blank canvas that it is. Let your creativity loose.
5 Ways to Make Your Calendar Work For You
1. Start a Visual Map
Here’s an easy way to put balance into your day. Color code your calendar based on the type of activity. Some examples are health, relationships, work, spirituality, community, personal development. You can easily see from the mix of colors the balance you’re striking.
2. Create Coastlines
What kind of things will serve you best? Your must-haves. It may be agreeing to only 3 meetings a day, having a 1 hour health break, making space for friends twice a week, going to bed at a set time. What are some boundaries that’ll support you to show up in the way you really want? Start with a list of your top 5.
3. Make Space
You know how nice it is when you feel you’ve got space in your home. Do the same thing with your calendar. Begin associating space in your calendar with time to slow down. Relax. Rest. Imagine how your calendar is a reflection of what is going on in your mind. If stillness is in your mind, it’ll arise in your calendar as free space.
4. Step Back from Insanity
Take a look at your daily calendar. Step back and identify the most insane thing you see on it. Reflect on how it makes you feel. What’s the opposite? Ask yourself what’s the sane thing to do. Then, do the sane thing and observe the results. Ask yourself how that impacts your approach going forward.
5. Play to Progress
Pick a meaningful word that you want to come through in your day. It could be something like love, kindness, focus, presence, patience, leadership. Make a note of it at a the top. Walk through how you can bring this quality into every appointment in your day. Visualize it. Write it on each piece of paper you use in your notepad that day.
Your calendar is a beautiful, dynamic entity waiting for you to show it some love. These 5 ways take you down the path to more meaningful experiences. All you’ve got to do is own it.
This is the time to take what you’ve discovered and make it work for you. Pick one must-have and schedule it into your calendar today. Please leave me a note about the type of energy that action created. It’s great to share the momentum.