How’s Your Calendar?
During 2020 and 2021, many of us let go of some of our activities, either by choice or by necessity.
As an introvert who loves being at home, a leaner schedule felt freeing to me.
But as covid numbers declined in 2022, we began adding more back into our schedule.
And now? Has your calendar filled up again?
Mine is filling up. I’ve begun taking on new projects.
I admit, it feels a bit uncomfortable. Do I have time for more new things? Will I still have time for the old things? Do I need to give up something else to make room for it all?
A Strategy for Time Management
In general, I use top-level questions to help guide me:
- Which activities mostly closely match my values?
- Which things are most meaningful to me?
- Which things can only I do?
But after that, I need to more specifically organize the smaller details.
Here’s a strategy that helps me on a daily basis when I feel I have too much to do and not enough time to do it in.
1. Make a list
I list all the things I’d like to do today on a spreadsheet. It can be a little or a lot, unrealistic or probable.
2. Rank each item
Then in a separate column beside each item, I rank each item with a number from 1-4. Quickly. I don’t want to waste more time by overthinking it.
1—I really must do this today
2—It would be best if I did this today
3—If there’s time leftover
4—Highly unlikely today
3. Sort by ranking
Then I let excel sort the items, with all the 1s together, all the 2s underneath, the 3s under those, etc.
4. Plug into calendar
Next, I plug in all the #1 items into a time-appropriate slot on my computer calendar.
If there are still empty spots left, I add in the #2 items.
The #3 items don’t often make the calendar, but if there’s plenty of time, I’ll add them in, too.
The #4 items? Nah. I forget about them for today.
5. Work the calendar
Admittedly, actually doing the items is the hardest thing.
A Meaningful Day
It’s not a perfect strategy.
But it usually works well enough to create a meaningful day. And it’s quick and easy (it took longer to type up this explanation than it does to actually do it).
Typically, if I work the list in the right order, I’ll at least get the top three items accomplished on my list. And I’ll know those were the most important ones.
Because distractions will come up. Distractions ALWAYS come up.
And that’s okay.
Every day is full of uncertainty. The more we can accept uncertainty, the more mentally healthy we are (I spent a whole year with UNCERTAINTY as my One Word in 2021, and I still struggle with it).
I ask God to help me manage my time to rank people first (including my own needs), and projects second, but sometimes the lines get blurred because most of my projects also involve people on some level.
None of us manage our time perfectly.
But if we get to the end of a day and know this—we have loved someone and have been loved by someone—we can call it a good day.
Grace & Truth Featured Post
When you think of REST, what comes to mind? Lauren relates in our featured post this week that sometimes rest = struggle.
Lauren has just lost a couple of hours in her everyday schedule.
Read Lauren’s post here about the hard decisions she’s having to make to honor her need for rest. Then link up your own blog posts below.
Do you like schedules or do you prefer spontaneity? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Review the rules here about adding your most recent Christian Living posts and how to be the Featured Post. Visit all four hosts social media here or websites here: Maree Dee, Lisa notes, Lauren Sparks, Tammy Kennington.
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- This Is What He Remembers About Me? (Is It Still True?)
- On the Blog—July 2022