What Does a Calendar Look Like Again?

Do you ever feel like life is just spinning without any rhyme or reason? Like you are just flying by the seat of your pants? Do you miss appointments or prior commitments because you JUST.PLAIN.FORGET? Do you ever ask yourself…

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I did really really well handling these issues in December. I had my calendar planned out and even color-coded. I’ll be honest though-I had a small anxiety attack before I did it. Putting something in a calendar to me just makes it feel so permanent. I wasn’t sure I liked that…what if I don’t FEEL like doing that on Thursday I thought to myself.  And then BINGO. There is my problem-commitment. I hate to commit! Do you feel like that? However, as I was catching up on emails today, I found myself saving emails in my inbox so everytime I would open my inbox, I would remember the dates of these events. It occurred to me that there was such an invention called a calendar ha! And then I thought to myself, when is the last time I actually LOOKED at my calendar? Maybe I could get rid of ALL these emails if I just put these appointments and dates in my calendar…

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If you suffer from commitment issues and that prevents you from wanting to put stuff on a calendar, JUST DO IT. I promise you, it feels amazing after because finally you feel like you actually have control over your life, and you won’t feel like you are spinning out in 50 different directions. Go buy a cruddy calendar if you need to just practice! I actually got a plain piece of paper, and made a one week visual that I could color code to see what I wanted it to look like.

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I am visual-I need a month view calendar so I can see what I’m doing and then I need boxes for each day so I can have a To-do list. I haven’t quite color-coded my January yet, but I have made the step to jot down important dates in my calendar. I work full-time, run a part-time business, blog, have children, a spouse, and a God that all require my undivided attention. Plus, I made the commitment in December to make God my number one priority, Spouse number two, Children/Family number three, and then everything else falls behind that. In order to stick to that, and be my little organized obsessive self, I need color coding. Even though it gave me anxiety, it really helps once it’s done!  Looking at my calendar you will see that Saturdays are free days. That’s right-I work 40 hours a week and run a part-time business and blog, which is about 5-10 hours a week, and I still manage to take a full day of rest (some weeks I will admit are half days-but it’s no less than a full half-day of rest nonetheless, and I don’t let it become a common habit!), schedule family only time, AND take a date night!

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I attended an Advanced Leadership Training in December and when Dani broke down our days by hours, I was astonished by how much time I really DO have. Let’s take a typical week for me and break it down. Grab a pen and paper-you can do this too!

In one week there are 168 hours.

If you sleep 8 hours a night, you will spend 56 hours on sleep. You are probly smirking like I did…because who gets 8 hours of sleep a night??? But just for easy sake-let’s pretend we all get a wonderful, glorious 8 hours of sleep each and every night. So now we have 112 hours left of our week.

If you work full time, and sometimes have overtime, let’s take away 48 hours of that week. Now you are down to 64 hours left in your week.

We all have to eat, right? Let’s say you take one hour for each meal. Is that another smirk I see?? ;)  There’s 21 hours, leaving you with 43 hours left.

There is sleep, work, and eating, which takes up the majority of most of our lives. Can you believe that if you sleep 8 hours a night, work 48 hours in the week, and spend a full hour for each meal during the day, you still have FORTY-THREE hours left?? What are you doing with your time?

I know, you might be thinking the same thing I did at that time.  I’m taking care of my kids. I’m grocery shopping. I’m not just sitting around all day Dani, geez. But then something really awesome happened-I finally stopped making excuses for why I have no time, for why I am always forgetting appointments, for why I didn’t have time to get Christmas cards done this year. I stopped making excuses, dusted off my calendar, and got going on it!

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One of the things I want to do this year is mail out Christmas cards, preferably before Christmas :). Yes, Christmas is MONTHS and SEASONS away. But let’s be real – what happens when we don’t schedule things out? Thanksgiving comes and we are too busy getting ready for Christmas that we can’t fit in Christmas cards. Or else we are so STRESSED the flip out trying to squeeze in the perfect family picture, get addresses, getting the cards printed, and getting them out that we didn’t get to enjoy it.  Maybe you could care less about Christmas cards and you find them a waste-but follow along with me here because I’m sure there is something you want to get done this year that you didn’t get done in 2012 because life just simply got in the way.

So I grabbed my calendar and went to December. I figured I need to have Christmas cards out by December 9th just so I’m not last minute, and so people can get them up in their home to enjoy for a couple weeks before Christmas. So on December 8th I wrote “Address and Mail Out Christmas Cards.” I need cards to stuff in envelopes for December 8th, so I went two weeks before and wrote on November 24th “Order Christmas cards”. Of course to order cards I need to have a picture taken and picked out. So on October 1st-I wrote “Time to start planning and picking out the Christmas Card picture.”

Planning

BAM. I will actually get it down this year. Is there something you want to have happen this year? First, picture what a calendar looks like. (Totally joking…). Grab your calendar, and pick the date you want that something to happen. Then work your way backwards like I did. Add your appointments to your calendar, write important dates in, Schedule your day off! Get time for your hubby in there. Make God your #1 appointment every day. Yes, God is on my calendar, He gets the VIP slots.

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I plan on doing this for birthday presents (write down the person’s birthday, and one/two weeks before schedule in to shop for them), birthday parties for the girls (set a date for invites, for shopping for supplies, and for finalizing where the party will be/what will happen), and even holiday planning! But to make sure THAT really happens, I’m scheduling a time in my calendar to get these dates set. Watch for an upcoming post about that-SUBSCRIBE NOW to my weekly newsletter which includes weekly summaries of all my blog posts of that week so you never miss a beat! Free gift included!

Here’s to a Lessened Chaos 2013 to You-Now go grab that calendar!

What is one thing you are going to schedule in your calendar to be prepared for this year? Comment below~

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I was featured at Grace and Bliss for Friendly Fridays! Thanks for the guest post opportunity – please visit Billie as she has and awesome blog-love her articles. The sweetest girl ever!

 

 

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Comments

  1. I added a new calendar on Google for my blog with posts & ad expirations, etc.

  2. I just got a calendar myself last month for the very same reasons! I am LOVING it! I feel way more organized now. Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  3. You are so RIGHT on about the commitment piece! For me it’s like I’m afraid I might make the wrong decision and be held to it. Ugh! It’s so hard, but I love what you had to say and thank you do much for sharing it on Photo Friday.

    Hope to have you on the hop again next week. Cheers!! Have a great week!

  4. You are so RIGHT on about the commitment piece! For me it’s like I’m afraid I might make the wrong decision and be held to it. Ugh! It’s so hard, but I love what you had to say and thank you do much for sharing it on Photo Friday.

    Hope to have you on the hop again next week. Cheers!!

  5. Hello!
    I found you from the Mop it up Mondays link up. I would love to have you come share your post with my readers over at Sassy Little Lady’s Show and Tell Saturday. Hope to see you there!

    Kathie
    http://www.sassylittlelady.com/blog/show-and-tell-saturday/show-and-tell-saturday

  6. This is such a struggle for me. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve missed because i forgot it. My husband is such a list maker and calendar person, I feel bad he has to put up with my absent mindedness. I need to commit to the calendar!

    • Like I said in my post, I totally bombed January and it’s my hubby’s bday today (he’s at work right now otherwise I’d be spending it with him!). Last night I was up late getting together a birthday present for him because I wasn’t prepared. I have all the important birthdays on my calendar now, along with putting a week before to go shopping for them! :) Even as a calendar person, I struggle too, lots! Just do little bits. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate it!

  7. Go you, that’s a fantastic idea. My calendar is digital but still the same principles apply, I love it! Good luck with 2013

    • You got it Mel! I just cannot move to digital/my phone for some reason, I just need that “hardcopy” calendar planner. I’m hoping some day to! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate it!

  8. This is just the type of post I need to keep me on track!
    Thanks for sharing it with us at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy
    and at the Blogelina Commentathon!

  9. I had a Christmas planner, which I ended up going through and writing weekly tasks in the notes section of each weekly spread of my regular planner. I got a lot more of it done that way. A week or two after Christmas, I went through and slotted in all the Christmas Planner tasks for later this year. Then, when it starts creeping up on me, it’s already done!

    BTW, I like the color-coding idea, but it would drive me crazy trying to do it all in a paper planner. Have you checked out Google Calender? You can color-code in it, and not spend hours high-lighting! :)

    • I haven’t checked it out Jen, but thanks for the suggestion! I would love to move to online/digital/electronic, but it gives me more anxiety thinking about that LOL! However, as I have been reading each comment and more and more people seem to use non-paper calendars, I wondered what people are using, so thank you for the suggestion! Once I can give try giving it a shot, I’d love to move from paper. The highlighting really is a pain!!

  10. I started reading and thought–I don’t commitment problems. But when it came down to deciding what I will put in my calendar, the commitment phobic part of me came alive. “If I write it down, I’ll have to do it or feel guilty for not doing it.” Guess I have more commitment problems than I thought. Ha. Maybe that’s why I like to write in pencil.
    One of my goals this year is to be a better planner for my blog. I am going to print out a blogging planner this week. I am going to plan out post ideas for future months–and put them in pen. I like your thinking about “If I am going to do this, I need to do that first.” (and putting those into the calendar too)
    Good words.

    • LOL Cheryl!! I totally used to use a pencil because then I could erase it and keep putting it off :) Now I put them in pen and just shut the anxiety up when it flares :)

  11. For me it would be Christmas Cards, Christmas photo shoots!

  12. Thanks so much for this post. This year I bought a paper calendar. I haven’t used paper in forever…but I think it will help me actually plan. :)

    • Great Kimberly! So glad it’s helpful. I sat down tonight and did some planning myself. It feels so good to be organized and ready.

  13. Oh my, after reading your post I know I need to sit down and map out my time. I’m wasting a lot of time. I love how you broke it down. What a great idea to write down SEND OUT CARDS in the calendar now, I have forgot to send out 2 years in a row now. Love your blog- new follower!

    • Thanks for stopping and following Pam, that really means a lot! I’m so glad I could help. I wanted to send cards and really used the I don’t have time excuse this year-and I really DID have time, I just wasn’t prepared. The holidays creep up quick and then we get so busy.

  14. I so loved this post! Seriously! I just bought a little planner right after the new year but haven’t too much in it. I do know, if I don’t have a plan for each day- nothing much gets done! (besides feeding 4 hungry kiddos!)
    Thanks for a polite nudge to get – and stay- more organized!

    • Oh thanks Kelli-I never thought of it as a polite nudge :) That’s sweet of you, thanks for stopping! And I hear you-I have two kids, I can’t imagine four. The day really gets away from you when you have kids!

  15. Loved this posts. I use both my electronic calendars and I use a weekly planner, blogging planner, and several other tools to keep me on track. I laughed when you scheduled your Christmas Card time frame this is important. This year after I sent all of my cards out I did an updated label list. So I have everyone’s correct address for next year. I put on my calendar to finish the girl’s Valentine’s Day cards by the end of this month. And, I have already started to plan my three year old’s bday party for March. Planning ahead makes all the difference and quiets a lot of my anxiety. Definitely adding you to my Blog Reader. Great Site.

    • Thanks Sheree, I really appreciate those kind words! And thank you for the Valentines Day reminder, I can’t believe that is coming up already! I will need to get stuff for my daughter.

  16. I love color-coding my calendar. I started using an Erin Condren Life Planner a few years ago, and it has been the best thing for me in terms of organizing. I use different Sharpie Pens for each member of the family, blog tasks, and family outings. The Sharpie Pens don’t bleed through – you might want to check them out!

    I’ve added our meal plans, lessons, and so much to our calendar. I feel so organized just talking about!

    • Emily, you have me feeling organized just reading this, and excited! I heard someone else that ordered an Erin Condren Life Planner-I’m adding that to my to do list this week to check it out! Sounds like something I’d really like.

  17. I love this post b/c I have been trying to just use ‘electronic’ calendars…iPad, phone – and it just wasn’t working for me. I broke out the “old school” calendar for family stuff, printed out a blogging calendar, and I feel so much more organized! (We’ll see how long this lasts!)

    • I tried using my Blackberry and I just couldn’t do it. I need my written calendar as well. I have a seperate notebook for my blogging but have been considering moving it to my calendar-don’t forget to add trying out the salad to your calendar ;) Thanks for stopping!

  18. I love this. I am finally getting the hang of putting everything in my calendar. Although mine isn’t color coded, yet. I do have a separate one in the kitchen for bills and appointments so my hubby knows whats going on. AND all of this is in my Google calendar so I am emailed reminders on top of it all. I had to get a calendar to keep up with reviews and blog posts, and it all spiraled from there.

    • I bombed color coding for January, I’ll have to do it for February. But I’m getting my year mapped out, it feels great! Thanks for stopping Kelly :)

  19. I am planner obsessed myself. Love your color coding. I have a planning review coming and tips as well. Glad to find you from Ramona’s place.

  20. Excellent start with your calendar! I’m also visual and one of the things on my list for this year is to get that organized. LOL

    One thing I did several years ago was decide that since I don’t have an income of my very own, I was going to tithe my TIME. Wow, that’s an eye opener! Trust me on that!! And no, I’m not still sticking to that today, but I did it for a good 6-9 months and my God time is more than the first 15 minutes of each day. It’s more purposeful as well as being more habitual – meaning, it’s something I automatically include each day and not something I have to think about making time for – so even on days where I don’t have time to sit and read the Bible for half an hour followed by praise and prayer, God still gets His time… and so do I. Really, giving God His time makes having time for everything else so much easier! (Wow, that was a tangent I didn’t intend to go off on. LOL Apologies!)

    Anyway. Something for my calendar this year… hm….

    I might have to answer field trips with the kids. We homeschool and supposedly have all sorts of availability to do all sorts of things, but in actuality the tedium of “getting it all done” keeps us home more often than I’d like to admit. Park days and REAL actual learning field trips at least monthly; that’s what needs to be on my calendar this year!

    • Thanks DaLynn, that is such a sweet post! LOL, I’m glad you have that on your list :) And WOW, I put so much focus on financial tithing that I never thought about time tithing. And no need for apologies! I have God time all day too, I just really try to make that first 5-15 minutes in the morning quiet time-no kids, no hubby, no dog whining, nothing but me, sitting alone, quiet, and talking to Him. It’s about the only time I have in the day where it’s just so still and so peaceful…I don’t get that feeling at night. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, I love to hear what others are doing.

  21. Your post touches home because I can be such a procrastinator! I’ve gone to keeping things on my electronic calendar in my email and that helps some. Thanks for the light-hearted reminder to take a look at the full year and get things on there – not just the events but also what needs to be done to prepare for an event. And I like the idea of color-coding too.

    • Thanks for stopping Marie! Life can get in the way as well-sometimes for me it’s the truth, sometimes it’s an excuse lol :)

  22. Calendars are a great way to help remember things. I put calendars all around my house.

    • Awesome! And I LOVE that you say calendars (plural), I have a few around the house as well. Thanks so much for stopping!

  23. What a fantastic way to look at time management and calendars. I have a review and giveaway for a wall sized calendar and I saved your post so I can refer my readers over for tips on using the calendar to the fullest.

    • Thanks Angi-I replied to you on Facebook. I’d love to hear more about the giveaway, and I’m really humbled that you liked this post enough to refer your readers. I really appreciate that!

  24. Wow you sound SO LIKE me. I can’t even sit down and do a lesson plan for a WEEK without feeling like I am breaking out in hives. LOL SERIOUSLY, not kidding!
    I like the idea of setting that one thing down and then backtracking. THAT might work for me. And that one thing? Well, hmm….. I think that one thing will be taking time to sit at God’s feet each day. One of my music student families gave me a devotional – Jesus Calling – that I had been wanting for some time now just never felt like I could spend the $$ to get it. And you know what? I’ve only spent time to read TWO or THREE days out of it. And we are already in the middle of JAnuary! EEK! So, yeah, time with God…. I don’t need to pencil it in, I need to write it in w/permanent pen!

    • I LOVE this Lenora!! I have God in my calendar for the first thing in the morning. Sometimes I have to take a couple minutes while my computer is booting up in the mornings for work if I’m running late. I agree on the permanent marker! And it’s so nice to hear someone else that feels like they are breaking out in hives lol! It is VERY tough for me to do, it’s just SO permanent! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it :)

  25. I’m a big planner and I’m good at it – I acutally document everything in my online calendar….BUT, my online reminders don’t always work correctly and I find I miss many appointments due to this. And I have so many items on my online action item list that I get really backed up and then feel helpless and totally unsure of how to prioritize. Can’t I just blame all this on mommy brain? Oh wait, that’s just an excuse I think we all made up so we don’t feel like becoming parents made us actually loose our minds. Darn. What’s my real excuse?

    • LOL! I think we can use being a mommy as an excuse :) That’s great that you are already utilizing a calendar, usually that is the step most people never make it to. Sometimes we just need to say no to some things, especially if it’s stressing us out. Lately I myself feel like I’ve taken on to much and will literally take a few hours in the morning, leave the house if I need to (or kid the family out), and figure out where I should spend most of my time, that’s in my best interest based on my priorities in life. And when all else fails, you bet I blame mommy brain :) Thanks for stopping!

  26. Thanks for a lighthearted post on time management! This is something I have been struggling with lately because if I don’t schedule it, I’ll procrastinate. I know it sounds bad, but one thing I have to schedule in is playing with my kids. Too often I let all the other responsibilities of my household take precedence until the day is over and the kids are in bed. I will be looking forward to future posts because I am very much interested in making better use of my time.

    • Oh my gosh Joell, that does NOT sound bad at all, I think it’s great that you schedule in time to play with your kids. That is what I did in December when I color-coded, I had family-only time. I haven’t done it yet for January, that’s on my calendar to do tomorrow :) But I have that schedule in “my mind”, just need to get it down on paper. I procrastinate too…which is why I need to remember what my calendar looks like :) Thanks so much for stopping and for your honesty!

  27. Oh my goodness I thought I had time management issues but, well you brought to light how bad It really is. Oh how I need to get my time under control. Thank you for the eye opener. I think I will have hubby read this as he is worse then I am with time perhaps he just needs and eye opener.

    • Let me know how it goes with your hubby! It’s amazing how much time we really do have during the day, isn’t it? Just take baby steps, you will get there! I still struggle and I consider myself someone who is always on time, doesn’t miss much (unless I cast the calendar to the side), but yet still do have struggles. Thanks for stopping by Jennifer!

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