Inspired by my friends, I started this series with Part 1 last week with a look and a start to your calendar. Today, is Party 2 and I would like to focus looking at your calendar in different way. Often, we perceive our schedule as restrictive and something that is just to hard to maintain. However, by just shifting our perception a little bit, time management can actually be freeing and help you to get you what you really want. A well organized calendar will:
1. Show you inconsistencies between your values and how you actually spend your time. Just like other areas of your life (i.e. losing weight, budgeting, etc.), your calendar is all about awareness. That is why I had you go through the exercise of recording everything you do. Once it is laid out in black and white (or in colors:-), you can see where your priorities lie. The key is getting your calendar in line with your values. If a clean house is your priority, that is what will show up on your calendar. If you value your job, your time will be consumed by your career. If your kids are number 1, guess who will be on your agenda? The problem with those who are unsatisfied with their time management is that their values do not line up with how they are actually spending their time.
2. Help you with emotional barriers. Often times, I will sit down at the end of the day and feel guilty about everything that I didn't get done that day. By having a well-organized calendar, you can reflect on your day and really see that you didn't waste a day in your life. Maybe, you planned to clean the basement but instead, cruised the net all day. What a waste, right? Maybe not. Go back and look at what you really did. Maybe you really needed to brainstorm a project for work. Or maybe you had an idea that you really needed exorcised. Or maybe, just maybe...you needed a break. Which leads me to my next point...
3. Ensure that you show up in your life. A well-organized calendar will show you how much you do for others but, what about you? Make sure that you are on your calendar. A work out, a mani and pedi, or lunch with a friend are great ways to refuel your mind and spirit. I can hear the objections right now. "Yeah, I wish I had time for a mani! I have to many responsibilities" As a wife, mother, sister, friend, caregiver, volunteer, businesswoman, gardener, baker, I am completely in touch with that emotion. However, may I suggest that you cannot afford NOT to make time for yourself? Along with all of your other responsibilities, you are also charged with keeping yourself going. So, look at your calendar and find a pocket of time for you and DO NOT feel guilty about it! It is your responsibility:-)
4. Empower you. If knowledge is power, then a well-organized calendar is a turbo blast to your life. If you know how you spend your time, you can confidently turn down requests that do not line up with your values. The next time your neighbor asks you (the stay-at-home-mom) to pick up her kids for the third time this week during your afternoon meditation, you can say, "I am sorry. I would love to help but, that just doesn't work for me." You can say that confidently because you know that you aren't just "lying around doing nothing". You are honoring your body's request for rest and it is your responsibility to take care of yourself!
As you can see, tackling your calendar isn't an exercise in futility. It is definitely a necessity and a happy Tackle It Tuesday with 5 Minutes for Mom !