If I was to “interview” your calendar what would it tell me about you?
Would it reveal what really matters to you or would it be filled with “stuff” that seems important… but really isn’t.
Would it be in alignment with your dreams and your life’s goals or filled with what someone else thinks you should be doing with your life?
Would it reveal a balanced life or one that’s misaligned?
Yup. I get it. Calendar obligations are daunting. There are mandatory staff meetings, briefings, external obligations, one-on-ones, personal events, etc… Check.
But if for example, you claim that family time is the most important priority to you, and I interview your calendar and discover that you dedicate a total of two hours a week with them, then I would argue that either family time is not the most important priority OR you need to realign your calendar.
The good news? YOU have the power to manage YOUR calendar. It’s YOURS. No one else's.
If your calendar has taken on a life of its own, I suggest the following three steps:
1. First, interview your calendar. Look at your appointments over the last several months and ask:
Did this event/appointment absolutely need to happen? Did it move you forward to your short- and/or long-term goal(s)?
Did I “really” need to attend this event/appointment? Another way of looking at this is, “If I didn’t attend, would the appointment have been cancelled?”
Along the same thinking as the last bullet, was there someone else who could have attended on your behalf and then given you a briefing?
For repeating appointments, would it have been possible to have attended or conducted them less frequently? For example, instead of meeting every week, could once every two weeks have achieved the same desired results?
Could the duration of the event/appointment been conducted in less time? For example: Instead of a two-hour meeting where the first hour was dedicated to bringing people “up to speed,” could an agenda have been sent to the attendees in advance with the necessary information and assignments, cutting the meeting time down to one hour?
2. Ask these same questions. Moving forward, ask these same questions prior to accepting any appointments or events asking you for permission to take that precious “time chunk” out of your life.
3. Schedule the wildly important life events first. Stephen Covey’s “Big Rocks, Little Rocks” demonstration still holds true today (You can find versions of the concept on YouTube. Highly recommend watching). Schedule "Big Rocks (Important items)" first, and then schedule "Little Rocks" (items of less importance)"only after your Big Rocks have been scheduled.
Take control of your calendar (translated: time) and begin enjoying a life filled with activities that are important to you!
Change Your ThinQing. Start now. Make a Difference!
Now about those business meetings….