Sunday evenings are my course correction days(I really should write about that). In those evenings, I find myself going back and forth with tasks, responsibilities and people I should have reached out to. Those evenings are the times I have to review my commitments, my relationships, mistakes I have made during the week/month and what I aim for during the week. This is where my calendar comes in.

Over the years, I have learned to take my calendar seriously. My calendar is the mecca of all the things I seriously want to pursue. Like I wrote in Why I Wear Shorts To Work On Mondays, if it’s not in the Calendar, it’s not likely to be honored. I take that seriously. But then I found out that a lot of my calendar input gets tossed around often. For instance, I could have a calendar entry that says ‘Lunch at 1pm’ but I’m on another task at 1pm because the task before the other task got prolonged. This gets frustrating because sometimes you have a truly time sensitive task that collides with the pushed forward tasks.

…and the calendar breaks!

I found the culprits! I found the culprits this week! They have always sneaked into my schedule undetected! Three bloody rats!

1. To do lists!

Yes, we know that calendars are used to lock down and schedule events. We sometimes also have to-do lists on the side. I noticed that some of my to-do lists never get time slots in my day.  So, let’s say you have a calendar full of events and then you have a to-do list that includes a task like ‘buy milk from the grocery store’. Sometimes we forget to factor the time of commute to fulfill this task!  And there, the first rat named!

2. Breathers

Like the first culprit, I have discovered that seemingly small things like commute time, small social interactions are not considered. Take for instance a meeting that’s scheduled with a client between 1pm and 2pm. You get done at 2pm. Your next meeting is scheduled for 2.30pm. But you have associates, colleagues or friends who want to raise a discussion, a pleasantry etc after the meeting. That sometimes isn’t factored into time.  My solution has been to create ample space for breathers within such schedules.

3. Forced/unplanned commitments

Have you ever been in the situation where someone just bumps in your schedule to ask for something you didn’t plan into your schedule. Sometimes these tasks tend to be very important as well. Many times I make these my new commitments…and then they become rats in my schedule. My solution to this has been to check my calendar and add them to the left over ample spaces I have created.

So ample space within my calendar has been the joy of me! Within those spaces, I can add these unplanned tasks but more importantly, I can catch an Instagram peaking break.

It is well documented that multitasking is a bad idea. I fully concur. However, there are tasks that can be batch processed, so to speak. For instance, while going for a meeting, I can call another client. Or while working on task D, I can have lunch. While waiting for my car to get serviced, I can write a HighLifer article. And that’s what I have done in the highlighted area below.

calendar-highlight

Lastly, in staying organized, ticking the to-dos, handling multi-tasking chaos and managing calendars, I have found having a personal assistant to be a good idea! You don’t even need a PA to follow you all around town. You can just delegate tasks! I recommend Independent Personal Assistants. It’s a Nigerian based service that allows you outsource some of your tasks, manage your emails and calendars etc. Check out the website: http://independentpa.co.  This morning my calendar got outsourced 🙂

Let me know if you’ve experienced any of the issues I have faced. Let me know how you deal with this too. 🙂