How to properly organize your calendar
Do you ever look at your calendar and feel completely overwhelmed? Frazzled by a seemingly never-ending flood of jobs, appointments, tasks and to-do lists? That kind of defeats the purpose of having a calendar – a tool meant to organize the nitty-gritty details of everyday life.
A good calendar takes the pressure off, but you have to know how to use it the right way – whether it’s the latest organizational app or an old-school paper calendar!
These are our best tips and tricks for organizing your schedule, so you can keep track of everything from your newest temp job to your great aunt’s birthday.
Write down everything – or type it, whichever you prefer! Every single task, every little thing you need to get done in a day. That way, things won’t get lost in the shuffle, and you won’t accidentally let the small things slip. It can also keep you from feeling totally overwhelmed – sure, it may look like a lot if your to-do list looks like a CVS receipt, but knowing that you’ve gotten everything done efficiently will save you from more stress later on.
(We even like to put down tasks we’ve already completed, just to mark them off. It’s not only satisfying to see a check mark next to a major job, appointment, etc. – it helps you visualize all the work you have already put in!)
Categorize; then, prioritize
So, you’ve got your list of jobs, appointments, and to-dos. Next, try categorizing them by different topics. Maybe you break them down into jobs, personal and professional appointments, to-do tasks, even dinner and drinks with your friends or co-workers. We’re especially fans of color-coding – a minty green for jobs, a bright pink for drinks – whatever works best for you and your brain! You’ll be able to gauge your calendar at a glance. (Plus, it makes your schedule look much more exciting!)
Once you categorize your calendar, you can prioritize – so if the day gets away from you, you know that you’ve gotten the most important stuff out of the way – maybe you can get to the other stuff tomorrow.
Break it down
Categorizing and color-coding are great visual tools, but when it comes to getting stuff done, sometimes it’s easiest to take it a step further and break your day down into blocks of time. Budget 2 hours for this, 30 minutes for that. Of course, you have to work around your jobs, especially as a temp, but giving yourself time to get tasks done will help things seem much more doable. We’re always trying to lessen the stress!
One of our favorite tips is this: create space. Make sure you leave part of your day open; don’t jam-pack every single second – everyone needs a little breathing room. Take a few minutes to do some breathing exercises or to meditate, to get up and shake it out if you’ve been sitting all day. And if your week is especially busy, it will help to have a bit of extra time to catch up later in the week.
Allow yourself time and space to step away – you’ll not only be more productive, and be able to get through that long list of to-dos, but you’ll hopefully feel a little more relaxed.
And hey, maybe it’ll clear up some brain space for your next trivia night – just be sure to put it on your calendar!
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