How to Simplify Your Calendar and Be More Productive
Simplifying your life usually means making some changes, and your daily calendar is a great place to start! The key to staying organized and staying on top of everything you need to do is keeping a productive calendar; it keeps you on schedule, and it prevents you from forgetting what you have going on day to day.
There are two types of calendars to use: a digital calendar on your phone or computer, and a physical paper calendar. Either one is fine and can work to your advantage; if going digital is easier for you and your lifestyle, then do that. If you prefer a physical planner and writing out, your tasks, that works just as well!
Simplifying your life usually means making some changes, and your daily calendar is a great place to start!
A digital calendar is great if you find yourself constantly on the go. The calendar on your phone is great because it goes where you go, but at my last job I utilized the outlook calendar on my computer. My secret weapon: I color coded everything!
Color coding is awesome for keeping you on task! Assign a color to each category of your life: work, family, fun/me time, life necessities(things in this category includes things like paying bills and doctor appointments).
When each category has its own color, it prevents you from double booking and overlapping important things, therefore preventing you from getting overwhelmed. For example, if you have a work meeting at 3pm in yellow, but your son has a dentist appointment at 4pm in green, you’ll know that you have to leave then meeting by 3:30 in order to get to the appointment on time.
Also, try to remember: make sure you have something at least once a week in the fun/me time category. Whatever fun looks like for you, make time for it! Whether that means a bath, reading a few chapters of a book, or hopping on a video chat with a friend, doing something for you refills your soul and resets you for a new day!
A physical planner works just as good as digital, as long as you intentionally use it each day. Writing things out physically can give you a sense of accomplishment, as can the feeling of crossing out each task you complete! Seeing things written out on a calendar can also help you get a grasp on all you have to do for the day, week, or month, and give you realistic expectations.
Time for some real talk: when you get to adulthood, you have be on top of things. We all have out slip ups, and there is always a time when things can be particularly hectic in your life. However, if you are constantly late or dropping the ball on things, it catches up to you.
How You Spend Your Time
Spending your time wisely is crucial to simplifying your calendar and your life! Think about it – how many times has something come up and you’ve said ‘I don’t have time for that’? Usually, it’s not that there aren’t enough hours in the day, to complete the task; it actually has to so with how you choose to spend your time.
So, take a look at how and where you are spending your time. What isn’t a necessity? Is there something scheduled that you truly hate doing? When you eliminate what doesn’t serve you or your best interest, that is where you get your Me time back.
There are always things we don’t want to do but we have to do, like going to the dentist or vacuuming your house – I’m not talking about boycotting every things that isn’t fun. Instead, look at things that maybe should be bringing you some kind of joy but are not. Are you part of a book club with people you can’t stand? Do you have a monthly dinner with a group of people who bring you down? If you do, these are the kinds of things to take off your schedule. Think about what you can be doing with those hours that are spent doing things you don’t want to do. Instead, you could be spending that time being productive or rejuvenating your soul! If you have things you don’t like doing, have no benefits tp you or your family, or are only doing for others, it’s time to eliminate them.
So, let’s review!
Start by utilizing a calendar, either digital or physical (whichever works best for you). Then, continue by categorizing and color coding your calendar. The colors will help ensure that nothing overlaps and conflicts with other important tasks. Finally, take a look at your calendar. What can you eliminate? Do you need to put new boundaries in place? How can you incorporate something fun for yourself into your week? Follow these steps and not only will your week be more organized and simplified, but your life as a whole will be, too!