The most common excuse given to avoid doing something is, “I don’t have time”. The truth is, you do have time. You make time for the things that are a priority for you. So next time you want to give that same old excuse “I don’t have time to work out”, instead try saying, “it’s not a priority for me right now” and see how that feels. Here are some tips, tricks, and advice to help you control your calendar in order to control your life.
This is an issue that I find most of my clients, friends, and family struggle with. Most people have no concept of time management in that, they use technology to try to regulate their schedules, but they get sucked back into the social media abyss in the process.
It’s easy to keep a calendar on your phone, but it’s even easier to check Instagram and Facebook six times in the time it took you to look up your next appointment for the day. One of the solutions I have found is to hide your social media pages from yourself. Put them all in a folder within a folder on the last page on your phone. This forces you to consciously make an effort to go find those social media outlets instead of automatically scrolling through them when you’re bored, waiting on a return phone call, on a lunch break, etc.
I usually hear the same excuse from single people, parents, and college students, “I don’t have time to read or listen to a bunch of podcasts”. You were clearly willing to do this stuff to further your education to receive your degree. Not only that, but you also donated 4 years of your life (if not more) to an institution as well as over $40,000 for what? A piece of paper and a ton of debt with just the slight chance of having a job after college. So you’re telling me, you can do all of that but you can’t give yourself 30 minutes a day to work on your own personal goals? That’s not a lack of time, that’s a lack of priorities.
“You will never manifest your dreams by complaining your way out of your current reality.”
—-Read that again—-
In most cases, I find that people excuse their lack of wanting to do the hard things to reach their goals by exaggerating the time spent doing mandatory activities, and waste time on other activities. Most people will not admit to you that they spent over 6 hours on multiple social media platforms in one day (and their careers are not even in digital media), but their phones don’t lie. If you ever get curious as to where you’re losing hours of your life, or rather, giving it away, check your screen time option on your phone.
The results may shock you.
You can keep a calendar on your phone for electronic reminders. But for the love of yourself, your sanity, and your goals, carry a physical calendar as well. It’s something about forcing yourself to look at a physical printout of your day, physically crossing off appointments, and writing things down that allows the mind to remember them. Many times, we either forget to check our electronic calendars completely because we get distracted by the hundreds of other apps and pictures on our phones and computers.
“Good or bad, habits always deliver results.”
If you’re looking for some quick fixes, and some good, healthy, long-lasting habits, check out the above video at the beginning of this article. I didn’t list everything in this video, because we would still be here a month later watching the same damn video and NOBODY wants that. These are just a few short simple things to help you get started. If you’re looking to build some more efficient habits at both home and at work then check out the following “7 Tips for Managing Your Schedule Like a Pro” written by Entrepreneur’s writer Alex Iskold. I have condensed them into the list below to save you time as well.
- Create a routine
- Group meetings and calls into blocks
- Optimize time for different meeting types
- Use appointment slots
- Block time for email
- Plan your exercise and family time
- Actually manage your time
More Online Resources
A few more great online resources in time management and controlling your calendar are:
- University Of Georgia’s “Time Management: 10 Strategies for Better Time Management”
- Tony Robbins’ “Time Management Strategies to Make Life More Effective”
- Forbes’ “The Secrets of Calendar Management”
- Forbes’ “Scary Schedule? How to Regain Control of Your Calendar”
You can’t rely on websites alone. Check out these awesome books on this subject matter!
- The Effective Executive – by Peter F Drucker
- Focus: The Hidden Drive of Excellence – Daniel Goleman
- High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen Covey
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- The 8th Habit – by Stephen Covey
- The Four Hour Work Week – by Tim Ferris
- The 80/20 Principle – by Richard Koch
- The Power of Habit – by Charles Duhigg
- Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick – Jeremy Dean
- The Success Principles – Jack Canfield
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – By David Allen
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – by Greg McKeown
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven Pressfield
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – by Cal Newport
Don’t have the money to go out and buy those books? Libraries still exist you know. Even the smallest towns have a library. If your library doesn’t have one of these books available you can request to borrow it from another library and have it transferred to your local library. Also, if you went to a university or college, most alumni still have access to their university libraries after they leave. There are also free opportunities out there like this. Get the free eBook “Time Management: A Practical Guide To Prioritizing Your Time, Enabling You To Achieve Optimum Results” from the Dale Carnegie website!
Looking for more resources, more advice, and more information in controlling your calendar? Check out our podcast! You can find The Megan James Show on Simplecast, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and Podcoin. Crafted by a group of Lifestyle Designers experienced in life coaching and business ownership, it’s sure to bring you the knowledge and motivation to get through your day. Here is our productivity and high efficiency habit formation podcast episode.
Or check out our podcast episodes on our YouTube channel!
The most important thing you can do right now to become a high performer and control your calendar is design your daily routine. So many people live day to day allowing life to happen to them rather than wake up with a plan and a schedule each day. The secrets to your greatest success lies in your daily routine. Master your habits and you will master your life.
“Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always leads to success” – Robert J. Ringer