How to Recommit to your calendar

Calendar

Does your calendar reflect that you are in control? Does it have notes written all over it? With all the extra events happening, it may be the ideal time to recommit to however you schedule your time and activities.

What do I mean by this?

When things get busy (I mean really busy) so busy that you start to forget things, it’s time to rely on getting everything out of your head and on to your paper or electronic calendar. Don’t leave anything to chance. Write everything down. Not just on a to-do list. Actually, schedule a time when it’s going to happen. You may feel like this is a bit of overkill, but trust me it’s not. Seeing everything committed to a day and time that it will get done can help you map out your day, your week, your month.

Does your calendar reflect that you are in control? Click To Tweet

I recently recommitted to my calendar.

Here is what I did. I have a second monitor at my desk. Its main job is to show my calendar. It has the work schedule of all my employees (including me) and a personal calendar for myself. Each person has a different color, so it’s easy for me to see availability. You might want to do this for each family member and also share it with everyone else, so all can be up-to-date with the schedule.

For a long time, I have been putting my business admin work on my personal calendar. I don’t share this with anyone else. It’s for me to do my business administrative work and planning and to note personal events and meetings I want to attend. But what I have realized lately is that I need to separate these two categories, so I can better see and understand where my time is spent and to (hopefully) better commit to getting the business admin stuff done in a timely manner. The photo is a sample of my weekly calendar.

One thing I like about using an electronic calendar is that I can switch between daily, weekly and monthly views. In addition, what I have found is that I focus more on each task at hand if I am looking at the daily view, while still being able to change to the weekly view for planning.

How do you keep your schedule? What is the best calendar tip you have? How often do you “recommit” to the system you use?

To read more of my thoughts on this subject check these out:

Optimize Your Calendar

Reviewing Your Schedule Will make You a Star

Marrying Your Personal and Business Schedule

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

16 Comments

  1. Janet Barclay on June 9, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Nearly every task that I enter in my to-do app (Todoist) is immediately assigned to a date, and I can see at a glance how many tasks are entered for any given day so I don’t overcommit. When I’m adding something, it will even suggest a date, based on my existing entries. I love it!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 10, 2017 at 11:55 am

      It’s funny how different things work for different people. A To-Do app doesn’t work for me. I need a paper To-Do list. But a electronic calendar works great for me. That’s a lot of what we do with our clients, find the system that works the best for them. Glad you like Todoist.

  2. LISA GESSERT on March 29, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Great topic! We were on the same track this week with scheduling! It’s always great to have a master plan to manage time!

  3. Sabrina Quairoli on March 29, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Writing everything down is so important. It does sound like overkill, but it really does work. For recurring events, I like to add them permanently to my calendar and then add the other things as needed each day. If I need to move on to another task, I write down where I left off and add it to the next day’s time slot. It helps me start the project off quickly without wondering where I was in the process. Thank you for reaffirming what I am doing is the right way to manage my time.

    • Janet Schiesl on March 29, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      I like to add things I’d like to do on my weekly calendar. So I don’t forget about them. I’m in a networking group that offers a lot of educational seminars, so each Sunday I schedule the seminars I’d like to attend. But if I don’t get to them that’s OK. Having them on my calendar reminds me of the possibility.

  4. Seana Turner on March 29, 2021 at 9:30 am

    My best tip is to put everything on there! The calendar is a wonderful tool if you use it and trust it. We get in trouble when we use it haphazardly or periodically. We need to be able to trust that everything we need to remember is there. I use a paper calendar (old fashioned), but I love it. The thing actually brings me peace just having it in my hand:)

    • Janet Schiesl on March 29, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      Yes, I totally agree. You must use your calendar fully to see the magic! I also tell people to only use one calendar. Having more than one is a recipe for disaster.

  5. Margarita Ibbott on March 29, 2021 at 10:53 am

    I have a few Google calendars on the go. One for business, one for work and one for my mother’s appointments. I do love it when someone sets up a meeting and they share it so I can add it directly to my calendar. I was a paper calendar girl for years. I am finally joining the 21 century.

    • Janet Schiesl on March 29, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      I love google calendar and use it for my whole team’s work schedules. One reason I like it is that people are so familiar with it that I don’t have to train anyone on how to use it. I also have one calendar for my personal appointments, so I can see them when scheduling anything.

  6. Julie Bestry on March 29, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Writing down everything that must be done is essential, but I don’t calendar the individual tasks; rather, I time-block so that I know that I’ll be working on “marketing” when my calendar has a marketing block, or “financials” during that block, but which specific tasks I am going to do depend on the list of options. I calendar specific appointments and events by time and day, and follow-ups on issues (where a specific time is not needed) go on the appropriate day. But after that, I look at the block I’ve created: marketing, financials, writing, research, networking, personal. Some blocks only go on particular days; other blocks appear almost every day. I agree that commitment to your calendar is key, but that commitment is going to look different for each person. (I have no family and no team members, so mine is fairly simple; for clients with businesses and relationships that are more complex, their calendaring system will have to be adapted accordingly. But you have to commit to the system to trust it, and you have to trust it to really fully commit.)

  7. Janet Schiesl on March 30, 2021 at 7:25 am

    I agree Julie. Whatever works for you is best. My calendar has my team members’ work schedules on it, so I use my CRM task list for recurring tasks that I do regularly. They pop up on the day I need to do them. It works for me.

  8. Melanie Summers on March 31, 2021 at 12:58 am

    These are excellent tips. I’m a HUGE fam of color coding for different people/categories/activities/etc. I love Google Calendar for the simple fact that I can view all my calendars at once (work, family, social) or just focus on one view at a time. When I need to get really granular, for a big launch or something of that nature, I pull out my Trello boards and designate dates for deadlines. I’m a big fan of both, depending on what I’m keeping track of.

  9. Janet Schiesl on March 31, 2021 at 8:19 am

    I also like the digital ability to color code. For people who are visual learners it is really helpful.

  10. Phaedra Studt on April 1, 2021 at 12:10 am

    This is something I definitely need to revisit. I occasionally “put my to-do list in my calendar,” though I will also rearrange those items if the timing isn’t exactly what I planned for.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 1, 2021 at 6:42 am

      I review my process often since life changes all the time. Does your to-do list work on your calendar?

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