I have a thing for calendars. And planners. And to do lists. And especially Evernote, my mission control center. If you give me a stolen 15 minutes, I'm probably going to use it to scribble out a list or a plan on the nearest flat surface or screen. You could rightfully call me a little obsessed.
But this thing for planning and scheduling isn't a frivolous fascination at all (that's my thing for coffee mugs which is another story altogether - sigh). Rather, scheduling is a practice that is fundamental to my productivity. It's how I ensure that I am getting things done, on time, and on purpose.
In the famous words of Bob Goff,
Friends, getting our calendars aligned with our priorities is how we design lives that feel authentic and satisfying. Your calendar matters.
As we began this new school year, I'm willing to bet you made a list somewhere. Maybe you titled it "Goals" or "Getting Organized" or "Projects."
Lists are where we dream...envision...imagine....outline...
And I wish that making lists were enough (because they're so fun - checkboxes! colored Sharpies! Post-It notes!). But, in fact, lists are not enough. Writing down the things we'd like to do is just the beginning.
Scheduling those things is where the magic happens.
So let's try this.
As we make our lists of goals and plans for this year let's also build a schedule for each week that honors the time it will take to accomplish them. This is a practice I delve into with the women I coach, and it never fails to be transformative.
If you're going to commit to exercise this fall, then put those workouts on your calendar in a specific time slot. If you're going to clean out the garage and your closets, block the day(s) it will take to do it. If you're going to read a book a month, figure out how long that will take you in total and book the appropriate minutes each day on your calendar (it almost always takes fewer than 30 minutes a day for a book a month unless you're tackling War and Peace!). Want to have a girls night every month? Send out the invites and get those booked. Date night with the love of your life? Block the time and get it on both of your calendars.
This sounds simple because it is. But understanding it and doing it are not the same.
What gets scheduled gets done.
*A modified version of this post first appeared on this blog in January 2016.