In a number of posts, I have written about the need to upgrade your scheduling skills when you hit “a certain threshold.” Unfortunately, there is little empirical evidence to guide us to the precise point in time when this shift should take place.
Instead, I find myself coaching clients in programs from a bit of a vacuum. I know what worked for me, and a few others, but I can’t back it up with proper research. Which I hate.
At the same time, I do have some guiding principles. You should probably upgrade from keeping multiple lists to managing a single calendar when:
- You find yourself using multiple lists and hating the required activity of reviewing them frequently. After you make the upgrade, you’ll only have to check the ones that fall within a narrow time period, e.g. that day, yesterday, and tomorrow.
- You find time demands falling through the cracks. You want to be sure that the cause is related to this upgrade, and not another cause, or your upgrade won’t work. When you do make a successful upgrade, it’s harder to lose time demands because you are focusing on a handful, rather than tens or thousands.
- You find yourself running late often. Once the upgrade is made, you’ll find that you can schedule reminders, buffer times, and travel times, delegating the job of remembering when to leave to your calendar, rather than to your memory.
- You feel stressed from using a mental calendar. Having a calendar fully worked out in front of you and available at all times requires less energy, attention, and effort than trying to keep one in your head.
These aren’t fool-proof tests by any means, but it’s important to note that they might be precipitated by a life-change of some kind that brings an instant flood of new time demands. These are the moments in our lives and careers when we need to be vigilant, because we might notice some of the above events, which never used to happen, taking place for the first time.
The combination of the life-changing event, and the symptoms listed above, are a good sign that something needs to change, and that it needs to happen quickly.
I plan to make it easy for anyone who wants to make this kind of upgrade. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be initiating the next 2Time Labs Open House. During this time, our doors will be open to anyone who wants to take one of our free training programs. The registration period will be short, and hopefully we’ll be able to fill the class before the doors close. Stay tuned, or visit http://mytimedesign.com for early notification. (For those who have been tracking carefully, you may have noticed a shift in date. We simply bit off more than we could chew and put in too much new stuff to hit the original deadline.)
We’ll also be promoting our paid programs during this period to anyone who wants to take things a step further, deeper or faster.