When I was in middle school, our administration mandated the use of weekly planners, forcing us to write down our assignments and keep track of appointments, etc. When I was in college, I was addicted to my Day-Timer. In my first job, I joined the electronic calendar world, complete with a color coded system so I could keep track of my clients, assignments, and personal appointments/tasks. Today I have a hybrid of both, I still keep iCal, but I’ve reentered the Day-Timer world with a “mom planner”. The name is a turn-off, but I do most of the cooking in our house, so I appreciate the extra space to plan meals each week.
As you may have guessed, I LOVE CALENDARS. They make me feel calm. Here is why:
- Calendars are visual. I love being able to visually map out what is coming next, separating work and personal tasks, while simultaneously being able to see how they fit together. At a glance, I can see open blocks of time in my day/week/month. I can see if I have too many things planned, or not enough planned. I think every marketing team should have at least one wall calendar in their workspace, so that every one is working toward the same key dates and deliverables.
- Calendars are forward looking. Nothing stops you from harping on the past like planning for the future. Terrible holiday with stressful travel? Map out what the rest of your vacations will look like this year and add in extra time. Overwhelmed because your boss just dumped 20 new projects on you? Take an hour to outline how and when you’ll tackle each step. When 60 minutes are up, you’ll at least have a game plan and you’ll know what to do next. Then, as you inch through the 20 projects, you can cross off tasks and appointments as you complete them. Ah… progress.
- Calendars get tasks/appointments/reminders out of your brain. Studies have shown that it takes energy and “brain space” (obviously not a technical term) to hold details in your mind. Fast Company recently did a great piece worth reading on this topic. Putting your tasks and appointments into a calendar literally frees up “thinking space.” We all need that.
I am fully aware that I don’t take full advantage of all of the new calendar and scheduling technology out there. What am I missing out on? Tweet me or leave a comment.