For years, I’ve used an untraditional calendar and to-do list format: my brain.
I’ve never scheduled out my week in writing and it’s starting to catch up to me. I’m lining up more and more freelance jobs and setting up a new self-hosted Website. I’m also planning a wedding and I usually always have a pretty full fitness calendar.
Let me just preface by saying: I LOVE doing all of those things. I cannot believe people actually like my writing enough to hire me. It’s super flattering and very exciting! And, of course, I love workin’ on my fitness and am so stoked that I have more time to fit that into my schedule now that I’m not studying. And, as confusing as it may be, I’m having so much fun setting up my new site (P.S. almost ready!). Oh yeah…and planning my wedding isn’t so bad either. 😉
So, my life is going in so many new directions that I’ve got to get organized.
The End Of The Brain To-Do List
Starting yesterday, I’m going to start putting my weekly to-dos and schedule on paper so it’s not floating around in my head all day. I have used my brain as a to-do list and a personal calendar for wayy too long. It’s tough to get everything straight when it’s unorganized in my mind. Here are some things I need to schedule:
- Friends/Family Events
- Church Functions
- Wedding Meetings/Planning
- Freelance Writing
- Blog Writing/Site Maintenance
- Food Prep
The main task I want to start scheduling are my workouts. Although I write down every workout on a calendar on my fridge, I always do that after the fact. I always go to the gym with a plan, but I’d like to take my plans to the next level. I’ve got some scheduled lifting and training plans that I want to try (more on that in a later post) and with that, I’ll need some sort of an organized schedule.
Type of Calendar
For work, I always use my Microsoft Outlook calendar. That works for me because I have Outlook open every second of the day in the office, so all my work events are constantly popping up for me.
However, I don’t want to use Outlook for my personal calendar. I also don’t want to use any online calendar. I’m not always connected to the Internet so I don’t want to be dependant on it. Some people probably love online calendars, but that’s just not how I roll.
I actually did have some success using calendars templates in Excel for my CPA studying. So, I decided I’d try to do a weekly calendar in Excel.
So far, I’m loving it! Here’s a sneak peak of one I started for this week:
Cool, huh? Like, I said, I’m already loving it. Plus, now that I’m bringing my netbook with me to work, I can have access to my calendar all the time.
I read an awesome post the other day about prioritizing your life as a means to build your schedules. Of course, there are only 168 hours in a week and 56 of those hours should be spent sleeping (or trying to) and another 40 should be spent at work (or trying to…he he). You get to choose how to spend the other 72 hours (which actually doesn’t sound like much if you put it that way). Obviously, most of us want to spend those hours on the things that matter most to us, but sometimes that list gets a little disorganized (or distracted…facebook, anyone?). Here’s how my time priorities would go (not including work/sleep):
- spending time with my husband-elect
- working out
- shopping for and preparing healthy meals
- spending time with friends and family
- maintaining a clean house/car/life
- watching E!!!!! 🙂
- mind/body exercise/yoga stuff (wish I had more time for this)
Special Note: You’ll notice that facebook is nowhere to be found on that list. Facebook is obsessed with me and is always trying to get me to log on. Our relationship is complicated.
The post went on to say to look at where you’re really spending your time and see if it’s on the list. If not, work to replace a list item with a non-list item. Also, see which things in your list you want to spend more time on and less time on and make changes accordingly.
It’s interesting to put your priorities and schedule out on paper and see where your time is really going. I don’t like to delve too deep into trying to make the most out of my 24 hours per day because you obviously can’t go, go, go every waking minute and everyone needs down time. It’s all about balance.
Do you schedule and/or prioritize your life? What tools do you use to schedule your days with?