2011 Calendar from Creative LMent
Before the beginning of a new year, I always take time to load my electronic calendar with new reminders and commitments to help ensure I stay on track with my person affairs – and I find the best time frame to complete this is the week between Christmas and New Years. Not only am I more relaxed after the Christmas rush, but I find myself keen to think about the possibilities for the future. The act of taking a goal and assigning a timeframe is a simple formula for success that anyone can follow and continues to work for me again and again. Joseph Heller once said that “procrastination is the thief of time”, but by using a calendar, you will be well equipped to protect yours.
To use a calendar effectively, you must follow a few best practices:
- Visit and edit your calendar multiple times a day. If you procrastinate, chances are good you will soon forget. Your calendar needs to be that dependable “one source of truth” that you can rely on.
- Synchronize your personal and professional calendars. Integrating them allows you to see the big picture. Note: Many applications allow you to mark your personal time commitments as “private” which is especially helpful if you share your calendar with your manager and/or other staff.
- Take advantage of visual cues for different categories of tasks. Features like colour coding will allow you to visually assess how your time is being allotted without having to read every single entry.
- To save time, use your tool’s “reoccurring” scheduling feature to automatically set appointments/reminders that occur more than once.
- Break a large goal into smaller tasks – and plug them into your calendar. By distributing the workload over time, you will feel positive about your progress, feel less stress, and your goal will become much easier to attain.
- Put time aside for administrative tasks such as managing paperwork, responding to emails/telephone calls and updating your calendar.
- Be time specific and stick to it when possible. Having a schedule does not mean than you cannot be flexible, but it does mean than if one task takes longer than expected, other work may need to be rearranged.
- Carbon copy (CC) spouses or other family members with entries that might be useful to them. You never know, your new efficient routine might just rub off on them!
To help you get started, I have attached the standard list of items I add to my calendar every year.
CL Checklist_Standard Calendar Items_Annual PDF
Best wishes to you all in 2011! ~LM