3 Steps to Conquer Your Calendar
I don’t know if you feel the same, but Mondays are tough for me. I’m usually in a lot of meetings and I feel like it starts my week off on the wrong foot. Coffee can't help that, so I decided to take a gander at my calendar and see just how many hours I have available to work and create. And I mean REALLY working and not in a meeting...woof…it was bad. SO, in true Betty fashion, I went back to some of the processes that have always worked and made some tweaks.
Do you have the Monday blues too? Do you need more space in your day to think, be creative, do work, be alone? Let's fix that.
Try these three steps to start scheduling time for the things that matter to you or will move your business forward.
#1 - SCHEDULE WHAT YOU WANT FIRST
So often, we schedule EVERYTHING else on the calendar except what we want and what is left at the end is random leftover time here and there. Let’s be honest...you’ll just waste it (when I think of this time...I think of the leftover dough from cutting cookies...you THINK you’ll have enough to squeeze out one more cookie, but rarely does that actually happen). If you want 10 hours a week for creative thinking, or 20 hours a week dedicated to actually working...put it on the calendar FIRST before you schedule other meetings. Doing that will automatically kick you into priority and edit mode when it comes to other meetings and allocating your remaining time.
#2 - MAKE IT COLORFUL
I’m a visual person. Looking at an outlook calendar, or a written calendar, without visual indicators does nothing for my brain. It just makes me feel super overwhelmed. So, I color code all of my meetings. I have colors for: Weekly meetings, meeting prep, work-time, priority projects, working out etc. . When I put a meeting on my calendar, it also gets a color. This is a super quick way to assess your calendar QUICKLY each week AND prepare your brain. As you get familiar with your colors, it’s easier to shift your brain into the mindset for that meeting.
#3 - BE SPECIFIC
Once you have your time blocked out, don’t stop there. Be VERY specific as to what you want to accomplish in that time or how you are using it. I block out my calendar 2 weeks in advance. Then on Monday, I take a look at the week, take all of the time I’ve blocked out and give it a specific purpose based on my priorities for that week. If you are wanting the time to be creative, give yourself some direction like: “Read XXX magazines to explore creative options for XXXX”. It’s detailed but still flexible. If you don't give the time a priority or focus...you might find yourself wasting even more time. And guess what...we ain't got no time for that!
It’s not enough just to try it for one week, stick to it for at least 2-4 weeks. The goal is to start with a rough framework, and then home in on the system that works best for you by making small adjustments.
Think like a pumpkin and carve out that time!
Have a kickass Monday.
Livin’ & Lovin’
P.S. Next week I’ll be the sharing lessons I’ve learned kicking cancer’s butt. It’s a 4 part series that just feels appropriate for the month of giving thanks.