Make Your Calendar Work for You

Look at your calendar. Go ahead, open it. This blog will wait.

Now scroll 4 to 6 weeks out. Do you see some open time?

Those empty spots are what I like to call “Change Space.”

You may have told yourself for years you are “too busy,” but the reality is you are not too busy. You are overbooked with commitments that should never have made their way onto your calendar and nonsense that is not a priority.

You can keep going like you are going; it WILL lead to burnout. I guarantee it.

So many people complain about the hamster wheel, but the problem is not that you are “busy.” The problem is that you are repeating the same week over and over. And the real bummer is that, more often than not, our families and our self-care are the LAST things that actually make it on the calendar.

The self-care fairy is not going to magically appear. Just like that additional $100,000 you wanted this year is not going to land in your account without you taking steps to create more clients, sales, and volume. Anything is possible when you devote the time and energy. Success is not about the right stars lining up or just getting lucky. Anyone who is successful will tell you it took hard work and time. How much time depends on how much work you put in and how efficiently you do it.

So, back to your calendar. Look at that week where you saw “change space.”

Right now, go ahead and schedule one of each of the following:
  1. An hour for self-care (yoga, a walk, gym time, reading, gardening, rock climbing)
  2. A block for a one-hour - and ONLY one hour - “can we meet for coffee?” meeting. That’s it - just a single one-hour block for ONE coffee meeting that week.
  3. Two nights where you will come home, leave the laptop at the office or in the car, and hide your phone in a basket or drawer until morning.
  4. One half day OFF. You can do family stuff, combine it with your self-care, visit a place you have never been - whatever. Block it off now.
  5. An hour of continuing education. Read those articles you keep marking unread in your email box, look up a journal from your favorite professional association, or educate yourself with anything from Tim Ferriss.
If you put these 5 things in your calendar, you will be on your way to a more successful week than any other week in your calendar.

Why? By putting calendar blocks in place, you are more likely to actually do these activities than when you just said, “I’ll go to the gym during that time - unless a client wants to meet, or I don’t finish that project, and then I’ll just go next week.” You will also guarantee yourself some down time to recharge and possibly enjoy a new adventure that will give you valuable perspective. Because of your self-care, when you get started on work again, you will have new energy and improved clarity that will inevitably lead to greater results.

You do not have to do this every week. I am only asking you to try this for one week.

If it does not work, find another five things you can put on your calendar. I was recently listening to an interview with “side hustle guru” Susie Moore; she suggested that when presented with a choice for putting something on your calendar, make the choice that feels like freedom, that you are drawn to, and passionate about. (Click here to see whole interview).

Trust yourself, try something new, keep what works, and ditch the rest. By putting things on your calendar now that you know you want to be doing more of, you will automatically have less time to be doing the things that you do not want to be doing. Now go get started.


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