How important is the calendar in our life? Some people say a lot some say not that much. Throughout my experience, I realised that my calendar is my buddy. It is all about my promises with myself and the people around me.
The last 5 years I am using a stress free productivity system called Getting Things Done, GTD in short, by David Allen. After I read his book I realised that we cannot manage time but we can only manage space. Managing space in our minds and our environments mean becoming organised enough that we can live with a freedom in our choices. In GTD the calendar is just a place where we put everything that we have to be aware of our promises.
So as you probably understand our today's topic is about productivity and specifically, our calendars. I thought is a good idea sharing this experience with you.
What should go on your calendar?
On your calendar you should only have your promises. That could be a meeting, an event you said you will attend, a quick note/reminder of what you should have in mind, your deadlines and promises you gave to yourself about doing for you.
How do I manage this?
My clients ask me too often, if I do this, what I should be doing when my time on my calendar is empty? and the answer is very simple. If you processed your incoming information (your todo list) correctly then all the rest items should be correctly placed in other lists in your organisation system, which will rise up according to the moment and will give you the freedom of choosing what to do next, base on the location, tool and environment you are in at the specific time.
That is the main reason I suggest to everyone to read that book, get trained or ask someone who is using it and engage to the GDT methodology. All you need is to understand the methodology and start using the right tools of your choice. As an example of a list manager that you can use and build it on this method is todoist. Any other list management is ok.
How often should I check my calendar
Your calendar should be your buddy. You should live with it. You need to be aware of what's coming up next for today, tomorrow, the next week, month etc.
The best way to do this is to create a habit for running your day using your calendar and your lists. At the same time it is very important that you check what's coming up next every day, every week and every month.
What I created as a habit is to check my calendar as follows:
Daily - checking out three days upfront and three last days. It helps me stay on track of things I need to do and reminds me of anything I forgot to note down.
Weekly - checking out three weeks ahead and three weeks behind for the same reasons
Monthly - checking out three months ahead and three months behind so I know what's coming up in the long run.
Bonus - every quarter - this is something I will introduce in my life in 2022, as I believe it will help me as well to stay on track with my longer goals.
What should you do next to start implementing this method?
As I cover on my "Winners Performance" Course is to start taking notes of every information comes in your mind on a safe place where you can get back to it when it's time.
Learn how to correctly process those notes, so everything get's where it belongs and you will start seeing your calendar becoming the place of all your promises.
Be careful to through away any previous habit, as for example to try and give all your todos a date. A date goes only to the things you promised to do or deliver at a specific date or a specific time.
A great advice is that you find the way to learn more about the GTD system by David Allen.
My piece of advice to you
Start using your digital calendar even beside your paper one. There are benefits that the paper cannot give you. Anything like Apple, Google, Outlook etc.
Start using a list manager that will help you organise your other to do lists better so you are in control. As mentioned above a good one is the todoist.
Learn the method. I found it the only method that brings more time to my life. If you need to get more information about this method or the book, feel free to contact me directly.