I was recently working with a colleague who was trying to get more control over her schedule. She said that she did not have enough time and that she was too reactive during her day.
When we took a look at her calendar, I was astonished to see that it was almost empty.
“Why don’t you have anything on your calendar?”
“I don’t want to write on it. It might get messy.”
Huh? That’s what it’s for…
Fear of Commitment
It seems that she was afraid of putting things on her calendar either because she did not want to clutter it up or was nervous of commitment.
The only things on her calendar were meetings that others had set. She was letting her calendar run her life instead of the other way around.
Why are people so quick to put things on their todo list but hesitant to put things on their calendar?
For many people, as in this case, the only things that end up on their calendar are those scheduled by someone else.
That doesn’t sound very much like being in control.
Here are some of the reasons people use for not putting things on their calendar:
– I don’t want to commit.
– I don’t want it to be cluttered.
– I don’t want to write on it.
– The appointment is not confirmed yet.
– What if an things change or something else comes up?
Of course, all of these are excuses or forms of procrastination.
You have to use your calendar if you want the benefits of managing your time.
Don’t Be Afraid
It is ironic that many people do not use their calendar for themselves, but only to track the obligations placed on them.
After all, it is your calendar. You can put whatever you want on it. And you can change it when necessary.
Here are a few tips for taking control of your calendar:
- Don’t Be Afraid to Write On It – Especially with paper calendars, people seem hesitant to add things to them. That is why you got it… to write on it. Use your calendar for its intended purpose.
- Put Things On It – Some people are afraid to put things on their calendar because they feel like they are setting things in stone. You can change your schedule later. You can re-prioritize if needed.
- Make Appointments with Yourself – Don’t let others monopolize your time. Schedule time with yourself before letting others on your calendar. Otherwise, you will find that you have no time left for yourself.
- Make Appointments With Your Tasks – Get those tough todos done by scheduling a meeting with them. If you don’t schedule time to get things done, you will find that your work gets pushed aside by meetings and other appointments.
- Fill It Up! – Don’t be afraid of filling up your calendar. Blocking out large amounts of time on your calendar is key to getting projects and creative work done. You’ll find that a full calendar is a productive one. So, fill it up!
Own Your Calendar
It’s your calendar. Schedule your time first, before you let others take your time. Don’t be paralyzed by the fear that things might change later.
You can always change it. Either way… take control. Own it.
It’s your calendar and your time, after all.
What about you? Do you run your calendar or does it run you?