“When I cannot bear outer pressure anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings… As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.”   –  Anais Nin

I am use to calendars, have used them for as long as I can remember.  In the earnest attempt to stay organized, I now have complicated things to the point I have multiple calendars!!

 

There is the wall calendar near the desktop so I can quickly eyeball the month ahead as I’m working, and there is the portfolio calendar, really just because I have always had one and just cannot give up the habit.  Certain papers and details get added there.

Of course, I love my google calendar which magically appears on my phone and coordinates with various colleagues in my office. Of course, as my coaching practice expands, I am now ‘getting organized’ and am including notes, ideas and planning research for future blogs, workshops, etc.

Am I the only one who in the attempt to simplify, has made getting organized bigger than before (but hey, it is  working.)

For all of you techies who are hacking your minutes and competing to get to that 4-hr workweek, call me when you get there!

 

This year though, I am trying something new.

I want to bring my truer goals, desires and needs front and center.  To make sure another week doesn’t go by and realize I’ve been running as fast as I could, but didn’t check in with my own needs, wishes or had enough ‘mindful moments.’

In order to do this I want to really make my calendar work for me, to use it as a tool to assist me in keeping my focus and inspiration alive and infuse that into my calendar.

Can my calendar be more than a glorified to do list? With all this talk about being mindful, work/life balance and the zen of life – can I get on top of these tools and really use them to inspire me?

 

What follows are a few ideas I have borrowed and made my own.

From Angela Jia Kim and Danielle LaPorte amongst others, I am adding my ‘true goals’ my core desired feelings, the things that really motivate me, to my calendar.

  1. For instance, I want to keep feeling not only centered, but inspired … and while all this talk about ‘happiness’ may feel like some added pressure 🙂  putting my few core desired feelings on the top of my daily calendar is a wonderful reminder.  Words like Joy, Peace, Abundance and Contribution help me center a beautiful day.
  2. More than that, they assist me in goal planning – looking at projects with intention and using my ‘desire or feeling’ as a way to weather the storms and as a rudder to inspire and direct my daily activities.

On a more linear, left brain note, I am attempting (but not having too much success with yet) the idea of chunking projects into 90 min’s approximately of concentrated work time – supposedly the optimal amount of time one can truly zero in and focus for significant accomplishments.

  1. I have to share that I can truly hold my intense concentration for a longer period if I am either a) truly in flow and loving what I am doing b) in somewhat forced panic state -the deadline looms close.  Either way – it gets done.
  2. One other phrase I’m going to share from Jia Kim is to have SAVOR TIME built into the day.  On a typical day this is par for the course, right, a spouse’s greeting, coffee with a friend, time to watch “the Thin Man” movies on TMC… but I love the idea of writing ‘savor’ on the calendar.   It’s a mindful technique, just reinforcing the specialness of free time, loving time, relationship and self-time.