Which Word Best Describes The Focus Of Your Calendar?
Your calendar is more than merely an organizer for what needs to get done; it's the primary tool for helping you become who you want to become.
-Bill Hybels, author of Simplify: Ten Practices To Unclutter Your Soul
Open your calendar (app or otherwise) and look at last week. As you reflect on the meetings, activities, and reminders from the past seven days, would you say the focus of your time was on getting things done or becoming a better person than you are now. Sure several activities play a dual role, but what's the "feel" of where your time is being spent?
Hyrum Smith, creator of the Franklin Planner, reminded participants in his time management seminars years ago that you shouldn't just put what you have to do on your calendar, you need to put what you want to do as well. When we are busy, the tendency is to just get our needs on the calendar. And in today's world, we are always busy, so the growth activities are pushed aside...indefinitely.
If you need some questions to guide your assessment of your calendar, try some of these:
- What activities or meetings are more about keeping up instead of moving forward with something?
- Do I have activities on my calendar that show me reaching out to someone to learn something new or how to do something better?
- What time did I set aside for reading that stretches my mind or challenges my status quo?
- What are three activities I had on my calendar last week that if I continued to do on a consistent basis would make me more effective at work?
- What was one activity on my calendar that made me a better spouse or parent?
- How does my calendar show that I worked to strengthen the friendships in my life?
- What activities do I see that reflect my desire to be more intentional about my personal or professional growth?
- If I continued with these types of activities over the next three months, would I be closer to accomplishing my goals... or further behind?
If you need another way to evaluate your calendar, make a list with two columns. Label one "Do" and the other "Become." For the activities that are more deadline-driven and primarily focus on maintaining the status quo, place them in the "Do" column. For the ones that push you to be more than you are, stretch you in some way, or move you closer to your goals, place them in the "Become" column.
I'll be honest... I wasn't thrilled with my assessment. Too often I just put the "do" stuff on my calendar and don't take the time to find a place for the "become" activities. I need to spend more time reflecting on who I want to become BEFORE filling my calendar with other activities, and make the "become" items a higher priority in my day and week. After all, it's not about getting everything done, its about investing my time to become more of the person I want to be.
Where do you need to start putting more "become" and less "do" activities into your calendar?
For More Related To This Topic:
What's The Word That's Really Holding You Back?
Three Quick Ways To Improve Your Work-Life Satisfaction