Is Your Calendar Controlling You or Are You Controlling Your Calendar?
4 tips to help you use your calendar to improve your life!
You are not alone
Do you crash into bed most nights, feeling like the day just “got away” from you? Do you get the Sunday scaries and dread the upcoming week, feeling like your schedule is going to be totally out of your control? Do you wake up wondering how can you possibly get everything done on your to-do list?
You are not alone. This is one of the most common sources of stress — the feeling that we are controlled by our calendars. Time is the most valuable resource you have. When you don’t feel in control of your own time, you’re likely to feel uneasy, anxious, stressed, and less productive.
Learning how to manage your own schedule can reduce your stress and help bring balance to your life. Instead of letting your calendar be the enemy, use it as a tool for balancing and protecting your time.
Many people find once they gain more control over their schedule, they actually start to feel like they have more time in their day! Let’s get you started with a few easy to implement tips to take back your precious time.
1. Be deliberate and specific in the length of your meetings
Many people default to setting meetings that are either 30 minutes or 1 hour long. But does your meeting really need to be a half-hour? Challenge yourself to get specific in your meeting lengths.
A 10-minute call is plenty of time to touch base on a project or get an introduction to a new teammate. Don’t be afraid to schedule meetings for 20 or 45 minutes, particularly if you are using online meeting platforms like Facetime, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. With no commute, 45 minutes is often plenty of time to talk through your meeting agenda.
Even decreasing your calls by 15 minutes can give you ample time back in your calendar to get more done and feel less swamped by meetings.
2. Use an appointment manager like Calendly
There are many calendar tools out there that make setting appointments a breeze. For example, Calendly allows you to set blocks of time, and then send out a shareable link with your available appointment slots. The recipient can see your available slots and select one at the touch of a button — and you’ll instantly have the time booked on your calendar.
Tools like this make it quick and easy to schedule meetings, calls, and other appointments without having to sit down and scan through your planner. It cuts down on the back-and-forth of finding a time that works for both parties, so you can spend less time scheduling meetings and more time with the people you love or on the work you want to be doing!
3. Schedule your self-care
Your calendar is more than just a tool for your workday — it’s also a tool for your personal health and wellness. Schedule time for the things that replenish your energy, keep your body healthy, and boost your mental health!
Block time in your calendar for exercise, even if it’s just 20 minutes in the morning. Add 10-minute slots into the schedule for breaks in between your work projects. Set a calendar reminder to start your bedtime routine at the same time each night.
No matter how “small” a self-care task feels, it’s important enough to get its own slot in your schedule. Writing it down will help you to stick to it. And when you are taking good care of yourself regularly, you’ll start to feel less stressed and more productive throughout your day!
Looking for a little extra support to boost your health routine? Send me a message on Amphy or reach out on social, your health is important!
4. Put fun things on the calendar
Don’t just schedule things you have to do, schedule things you want to do, too. The reality for most of us is that if it’s not on the calendar, it probably won’t happen — no matter how much you enjoy doing it.
It may sound silly, but seriously, schedule quality time with your family after dinner if you are someone that normally jumps back on the computer. Add a calendar appointment to call a friend on the phone just to catch up. Block time to read for 30 minutes on the weekend.
Your calendar is an excellent tool for protecting your time from external things that will come in and fill it up if you’re not careful. By scheduling the fun things that you want to do, you block the time from being accidentally taken by something you don’t want to (or need to) do.
You have to make time for the things you value in life, because if you don’t schedule your own time, someone else will.