I have always been a very organised person at work but only recently has this been a reality for my personal life. Since I was a kid I was always a go-with-the-flow type person and I rarely wrote anything down. As an adult, I am learning that it is good to be balanced which means allowing that go-with-the-flow personality of mine to gain some more organisation skills.
Here are some reasons I chose to start using a calendar and why it has helped me:
Organised: You’ll probably hear this word over and over and it is self-explanatory but I am going to talk about it anyways. Calendars are amazing tools for organising your chaotic mind and turning your thoughts into a nice visual linear hard copy. I always took calendars for granted especially when it comes to using them to organise my life. Every since I started to use a calendar I’ve been able to attend more local events and plan more social gatherings at my place simply because I had a visual reminder.
I use a medium-sized dry-erase board for my monthly calendar because it’s not as wasteful as a paper calendar and it is easier to fix any mistakes. To keep things visually appealing and organised, I like to colour code my board (Purple for work, green for volunteering, orange for blogging, pink for events etc). Colour coding allows your eyes to easily find specific categories when your calendar gets really full.
I start by writing down my work and volunteering schedule. After that, I fill out any important dates that come to mind (birthdays, weddings, social events etc). If I am not sure about birthdays, I will go onto my Facebook account and look up birthdays of that month. Then I go onto my city’s local tourism website or Facebook Events and see if there are any fun events I would be interested in that month. Now that I have my basics down, I can start planning my month in more detail (Blogging scheduling, gardening time, housing cleaning etc). I like to leave some time open so I don’t overwhelm myself with activities.
Quick Overview of Month: Writing up a calendar before the month starts is a great way to get a quick overview of the month ahead. You can see what special events are approaching (holidays, local festivals, birthdays etc) and how much time you have to prepare for them (buying gifts, booking time off from work etc). This tends to be very important for me. I use to be very bad at preparing myself for specific events but having a calendar has allowed me to remind myself that I need to pick up a gift for a friend’s birthday before a specific date or book off time for a wedding. It is also a great tool for bloggers because it allows them to see what holidays are coming up and what blog topics they might want to write for that week.
Planning Ahead: When you have friends or partners who are just as busy as you, it is great to have a calendar to plan adventures ahead of time. Now, I really enjoy random spontaneous adventures but as an adult, I find it difficult to get the same time off as my friends when we want to go on out of town spontaneous trips (camping, road trips etc). The summer is always busy with weddings and vacations so having a few calendar months prepared for the season can be very useful in planning out your life.
No Double Booking: This is huge for some people. With busy lives, it is easy to forget that you’ve already made arrangements for a specific day with someone else and accidentally double booked. Having a calendar (physical or digital) is very useful in properly booking a head of time before you get stuck in the awkward position of choosing which event you wish to attend because you were unaware of the double booking. Same yourself the stress and awkwardness and start a calendar.
Your Time: It is easier to see whether you have time to yourself or if you have already made plans when you use a calendar. Before I started using a calendar I always felt like my down time was not my own. I felt like I had made plans that I had forgotten and would spend my down time worrying about which friend I may have forgotten. It also allows you to make time for yourself after a very busy week. If you see that there is period of time where you are go-go-go, it is good to book time off right after it so you don’t exhaust yourself.
Setting Goals and Keeping Track of Them: The main reason I use my calendar is to keep track of any goals I have set for myself. I have a small dry-erase board right next to my calendar where I write my monthly goals. Having the two boards on my wall side by side allows me to make or find time in my month to accomplish these goals. If it’s to read more, I write a time for when I can make this happen. If it is to hang out and be more social, I can look at different events that are happening throughout the month or find days where I am not too busy to invite a friend over. I will also write things like, “Exercised for Two Hours,” “Painted a Picture,” “Wrote a Blog Post,” throughout the month as I complete them. This is how I keep track of what I have done.
Reflecting Back and Comparing Months: When the month is over, I like to look over everything that I had accomplished. I look at how many times I managed to visit the gym or paint a picture. I will sometimes take a photo and compare it to the next months to see if I’m getting any better at completing my goals.
Reduces My Anxiety: If you read my earlier blog post, My Anxiety and How I Deal With It, you will know that I suffer from bouts of anxiety. I have found that having a calendar has helped to reduce my risk of experiencing anxiety simply because it allows my mind to hold less information and worry about forgotten plans. The more organised I am, the less likely I am to worry.