Whilst as I outlined in my last blog, one to do list just isn’t enough …… I firmly believe that One Calendar is all you need.
Breaking down the often overwhelming enormity of everything that needs to be juggled and needs to be done in life, into multiple to do lists has proven to lessen anxiety and provides structure to those that are really struggling with keeping all their “plates” in life spinning …. But the key to the never ending challenge of life/work balance is to pull everything we have going on, together into one source of truth that we can see at a glance …. Simply by using one calendar.
I have spoken to many people that have a super organised and structured calendar in their outlook at work, yet have a diary or paper calendar at home for important family and social commitments and then just “fit in” other seemingly more trivial things such as grocery shopping, gardening and kids sport in and around their week. These are all people than more often than not, say things like “I am so busy I just can’t to stay on top of everything” and “I know I should spend more quality time with my kids” or even “I know I should plan a regular date night with my partner”.
All too often these people are left neglecting at least one area of their life (a plate) only to see it smash to the floor and wonder “how did that happen?”
Sure, some people are freaks and manage to juggle everything life throws at them naturally, but for most of us, when life throws us an ad-hoc curve ball that takes up our time, we are oblivious to the impact that it may have on other important areas of our lives.
If some of this sounds like you, there may be some value in you considering one of the other key principles of the Plates on Sticks ‘System of Structure’ ….. Ensure you can see ‘your entire life at a glance’.
The principle is that is you simply use just one calendar (these days probably electronic), for all of the above mentioned …. My motto for this principle is 2 fold:
it just has to happen (grocery shopping, ironing, paying bills, taking kids to school … the list goes on)
….. Put it all in in your one and only calendar and it will get done!
A client asked me the other day “doesn’t this stifle spontaneity?” ….. My answer as “not at all” …… on the contrary, this structure ensures that the result of any amount of spontaneity doesn’t result in “I didn’t get to this” or “I forgot to do that” …. Because any decision that you make today that impacts on your time, you are instantly aware of the impact that has on the rest of your “plates” that need to keep spinning that week.