I coached a client recently who was working off of their day to a page paper planner. They’d used this planner for years and they claimed that it worked and it was how they got things done. The question was though, why was it stressing them out so much then? My client said to me “I feel like I’m always rushing from one thing to the next. I feel subconsciously that I’m never doing a great job because I’m always in a hurry.”
Always in a hurry. Not a great feeling. Sometimes we think we may have a good system in place but it’s taking note of such feelings as this that make us realise that we need to change our habits and routines. Speaking with my client about their system and their tools, the day planner, I quickly picked up that it was the calendar VIEW that wasn’t right. And that’s what needed tweaking.
You see, on this day to a page view, my client was scribbling EVERYTHING down as it came to mind. There was no rhyme or reason to the flow of their day and it didn’t capture the reality of how long meetings took or commute time. Another huge downfall of the day to a page paper view was the inability for my client to look at the week as a whole. Unable to visualise their week meant that they only saw the potential of the day in front of them. That led to overloading the day, causing stress and needless pressure.
What did we do? We moved my client to Outlook Calendar where they could switch between day, week, month view. It’s a work in progress but they’re already feeling much better. This is what they had to say about the new system:
“Looking at my calendar in the way that we’ve started to set it up, it makes me realize that I’ve got all this time, what am I worried about? It’s like when you’ve got to catch a plane and you tend to not be able to focus on other things but once you feel like it’s all taken care of you can focus on what needs doing. And that’s definitely that psychology that’s starting to permeate my brain. It’s actually made me realize that I haven’t thought through the events of the coming week enough and the way to be efficient with my travel and meetings. Now I’m doing it more efficiently than I normally would have.”
And about the new view? Well they are loving it!
“You can see what’s coming and there’s no hidden surprises. It’s all just nicely mapped out.”
So take a moment and reflect on what calendar view is best for you. Could you do with a refresh?
PS: If you’re in need of a refresh, feel free to book in for a 30-minute chat to see how I can help.