You’re full of ideas, million-dollar ideas, they come a mile a minute.
You start on these exciting plans, but then you get distracted and don’t finish. Typical. All of these unfinished projects, scattered across your desk and brain.
First you have to ask yourself, do I really want to finish these projects? Just because it’s a great idea, doesn’t mean it motivates you to get it done.
The other people have their ideas and pass them to you.
But so your list goes, all these bright ideas turn into To Dos; tasks that need to get done in your mind. The fact that they’re looming is just more to be stressed about.
Maybe you’re saying Yes to too much?
Even if you wanted to get it all done, legitimately, how does it all get done?
As we get older, our calendars run amok. Not only is it our obligations, but others’ for us. We have so much going on, we barely come up for air. Rarely do we pause and consider what we’re doing.
Overload like this is crazy-making. Without discipline to stay the course and complete 1 task at a time, forget it.
It helps to really question what goes on your calendar before you add it. Is it a full-body yes? If not, why do you feel the need to agree to do it?
I’ve heard it said, what gets scheduled gets done. So if that’s the case, let’s really look at what’s on your calendar?
Organize & Declutter Your Calendar
Here are 3 steps to get your calendar organized for the year. This is a 40-minute process you can do once at the start of a year or quarter. Then, take about 5-10 minutes to review and adjust it weekly.
1. 10 minutes. Braindump all your To Dos on a blank notebook or make a card for each item in Trello. Write down every want-to-do, get-to-do, blessed-to-do and have-to-do.
Include date nights, travel plans, retreats, and fun must-do adventures. Keep writing until you feel complete.
(Wondering what to keep off your list? Read this.)
2. 10 minutes. Star all those items that are important and urgent enough to get done within the next 2 weeks. Transfer those onto a wall calendar like this one, giving attention to how long it will take to complete. Give it your best guess. Time-block that timeframe on the calendar. Cross off from your To Do list all those things you’ve scheduled into the calendar.
Move on to the rest of your list, looking at 2-week increments only. Schedule those loosely on the wall calendar. Cross off from your list what gets scheduled. Try to calendar your entire To Do list.
Important: Don’t forget your non-negotiable “me” time, or breathing room, daily—white space where you add no thing! If we’re doing this right, that gets scheduled, too.
Don’t cram more into your week just because it looks like you have time. (Read this if it’s the hardest thing ever to stop piling more on your plate just because you think you should.)
Whatever’s still lingering on your list, not quite earning calendar fame, then consider crossing it off for good. Can you hire it out instead?
3. 10 minutes. Download the Color Code Calendar and apply this color code treatment on top of what you have scheduled on your calendar. Instructions are provided on the download. Grab these pens, you’ll need them.
4. 10 minutes. Create a master mobile calendar, one that syncs to all devices and goes with you everywhere. If you’re like me, my iPhone calendar is king, so I add everything to that and it syncs to my MacBook and iPad.
After you’ve done steps 1-3, you know what items you’ve committed to, and you can add them to the master calendar.
When you’re out in the world, as you say Yes to more, add it first to your master (mobile) calendar so you don’t ever double-book yourself. Then, back at home, add the new item(s) to the wall calendar, passing it through step 3.
Now that you have your calendar all nice and organized, you’re free to tackle your day, one item at a time.