Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning. — Winston Churchill
Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time for what you want to do? According to a study from 2015, 48% of people would agree. Lack of time leads to feelings of overwhelm, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. We can avoid being part of that 48% with one simple tool: a calendar. Let’s go over why using a calendar is so important, and five ways it’ll provide daily benefits.
It keeps us accountable.
Scheduling my most recent doctor’s appointment reminded me of how valuable appointments are. Just the act of making an appointment helps set a date and time aside for a specific activity. Not only is setting aside a specific date and time helpful for meetings and doctor appointments, but you can also use this strategy to carve out time to spend with friends or to complete specific tasks on your to-do list. Now we don’t have to leave it up to chance that we’ll finish that lingering task because we already assigned a date and time for it.
It keeps us realistic.
When planning out tasks and activities on the calendar, be realistic. Carve out enough time for each task, and write down what time you’ll start and finish the task. If in doubt, slightly overestimate how long it’ll take. Overestimating is a great way to ensure we don’t feel rushed, and allows us that extra time in case unexpected events come up. Using a calendar might make us realize that not all of the tasks we had in mind for today can be finished, but it shows us which activities can be.
It helps us prioritize.
Which tasks are important? Which tasks add value to our lives, and which ones don’t? Putting items on the calendar makes us choose what we want to spend our time on, and what we don’t. This allows us to make room for what’s important and filter out the rest.
It keeps us on track.
Struggling with procrastination? Having a specific date and time set aside for a task tells us when we have to do it. It helps us eliminate the excuses, and makes us get to work. No longer will we let tasks roll down our to-do list. Now we can catch them before they start to get postponed.
It sets boundaries.
When we see the calendar, we see how our day to structured. It stops us from spending too much time on one activity, and not enough time on another. We can even schedule fun activities and breaks in our calendar to help make sure they don’t drag out and make sure we don’t forget to have fun too. If it helps, use a timer. Once the timer goes off, it’s a reminder to move onto the next task. If the task isn’t complete, schedule another block of time for the task the following day.
Using a calendar to maximize your day
Calendars are a simple and effective tool to help keep us productive and maximize our day. I personally use Google Calendars, but don’t get caught up on which tool to use, or whether to use a paper calendar or one online. The important part is practicing the habit of using a calendar, and following through with your activities according to the time blocks you assign yourself. Your time and attention are your most valuable resources, don’t let them go to waste.