The strategy of scheduling

I wrote earlier this month about my Passion Planner and how much it has helped me to set and realize goals each day and each week. As we blaze towards the end of this month, I’m getting ready to do the end of month/beginning of next exercises that are found in there, too.

At the time I wrote that, I truly felt I used that paper planner and nothing else, but in thinking about it over the last couple of weeks, I have come to terms with the fact that I actually schedule a lot of things – both personally and professionally.

Remember in Martha Stewart Living where she would (and perhaps still does – I had no idea that magazine was still in circulation) publish her schedule for the month? The one below has been labeled gentle reminders, helpful tips and important dates. And this is how I approach scheduling.

Does she really sharpen and oil the garden tools on the 9th of February every year? Or even on the second Monday of the month? I choose to believe she doesn’t, but that this calendar represents all the things that she makes a point of doing every February (or perhaps every month or second month) to keep everything running as smoothly as she’d like it to. Am I comparing myself to Martha Stewart? Generally, no, but I think we do have this approach to scheduling in common.

I like to put a lot of reminders in my phone for home and in my Outlook calendar for work. They’re in there and when it’s time to do each, a reminder goes off. If something comes up that conflicts with doing at it at the originally scheduled time, I just move it someplace else. I’m not rigid on sticking to the outlines dates and times, but I do stick to getting things done in the ballpark of when I’d planned them – and not letting myself lose track of them.

These are some of my at home reminders that pop up in my iCal (Do they even call it that anymore? Is it just Apple Calendar now?):

  • Clean washer (I use this method)
  • Birthday and anniversary check (where I check the calendars for upcoming events that we want to acknowledge)
  • Buy two items of clothing (have I mentioned how much I hate shopping for clothes?)
  • Cut cats’ nails

My work calendar is a variation of the same – daily, weekly, monthly reminders to stay on top of the tasks I need to stay on top of. Since I know I can’t rely on myself to initiate the routine, I have made my calendar the gatekeeper.

And now I want to get a subscription to Martha Stewart Living again!

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