Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Does a Calendar Look Like Again?

Guest post by my dear friend Michelle!  You will love this because we are all getting organized this time of year.

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!

Michelle is a blogger who inspires busy women to lessen and organize the chaos in their lives. After hitting rock bottom in July of 2012, Michelle turned to nutrition to control her moods, give her energy, and get her focused on her priorities. Michelle lives in Northern Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters. You can catch more at www.michellemuckala.com.

Thank you Michelle!!!  I just love her tips.  I needed to take a few notes from her. :)

So, tell me!  Do you use a calendar?  Which one?  Do you write everything down?  How do you stay organized?

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