Calendars are an important part of keeping track of day-to-day activities and helping ensure things are not forgotten. There is actually a myriad of reasons that regularly maintaining a calendar is important not only to stay on track but also for your health. This blog will look at some of the many benefits that calendar keeping can bring. Information in this blog came from 5 Benefits of Using a Calendar Every Day, Five Reasons You Should Be Keeping A Calendar, and Why should you use a calendar?
Just the act of making an appointment helps set a date and time aside for a specific activity. Not only is setting aside a specific date and time helpful for meetings and doctor appointments, but you can also use this strategy to carve out time to spend with friends or to complete specific tasks on your to-do list. Now you don’t have to leave it up to chance that you’ll finish that lingering task because you already assigned a date and time for it.
If you’re in school, or part of an office work environment, keeping an accurate and up-to-date calendar of due dates of important assignments, tests, projects, and discussions reminds you of what you need to complete and when. Rather than being overwhelmed at seeing assignments and obligations as a long checklist of things you need to do, a calendar provides the space to plan for each due date at the appropriate time.
Prevent Information Overload/Realistic Expectations
Your brain was not designed to keep track of all of your appointments, deadlines, and commitments. Productivity guru David Allen likens the brain to a computer and warns that we only have so much “Psychic Ram.” Our minds can only process so much information at once.
When planning out tasks and activities on the calendar, be realistic. Carve out enough time for each task and write down what time you’ll start and finish the task. If in doubt, slightly overestimate how long it’ll take. Overestimating is a great way to ensure we don’t feel rushed and allows us that extra time in case unexpected events come up. Using a calendar might make us realize that not all of the tasks we had in mind for today can be finished, but it shows us which activities can be.
Which tasks are important? Which tasks add value to our lives, and which ones don’t? Putting items on the calendar makes us choose what we want to spend our time on, and what we don’t. This allows us to make room for what’s important and filter out the rest.
It’s an unfortunate feeling when you receive and accept an invitation to a fun event, only to realize later that you already have a commitment during that time.
A calendar allows you to see quickly when you are free and when you have prior commitments. Planning events or other special occasions also becomes easier when you know your availability.
Procrastination/Staying on Track
Struggling with procrastination? Having a specific date and time set aside for a task tells us when we have to do it. It helps us eliminate the excuses and makes us get to work. No longer will we let tasks roll down our to-do list. Now we can catch them before they start to get postponed.
For families keeping a family calendar helps keep the entire family on track. If you’re a parent and are returning to school, or chauffeuring children from event to event, your family may want to stay in the loop of what’s going on in your life. With a calendar, your family can know what night you have class and when important events are. Maintaining open communication, through the use of a calendar, can help your family stay on the same page—literally.
When we see the calendar, we see how our day is structured. It stops us from spending too much time on one activity, and not enough time on another. We can even schedule fun activities and breaks in our calendar to help make sure they don’t drag out and make sure we don’t forget to have fun too. If it helps, use a timer. Once the timer goes off, it’s a reminder to move onto the next task. If the task isn’t complete, schedule another block of time for the task the following day.
Boundary setting can help ease anxiety. Class nights. Assignments. Family events. Athletic games. Work functions. Volunteer sessions. Special occasions. Home improvement lists. Second jobs. There may be a variety of things going on in your life. Having to remember every detail in your head, without writing them down, can elevate your stress in balancing each area of your life.
Maintaining an up-to-date calendar can help with day-to-day anxiety, keep you on track, and help you stay accountable. But what are some ways to help ensure that this is being done?
- Set aside a time every day to go through what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. From this to do list add events to your calendar to ensure you remember to get to them in a timely fashion.
- Conversely, you should also set aside a time each day to ensure that you are checking off items after you have completed them if you are not checking them off as you go.
- Color code your various schedules—work, home, school, etc.—to easily distinguish where you spend your time.
- Keep your calendar in a location that’s easily accessible and visible.
- Want to use electronic and paper calendars? Keep both for different uses or in separate locations. For example, use a paper month-view calendar for special events and an electronic week or day-view calendar for more detailed assignments, meetings, etc.