A bad habit that I have is that when a client or anyone else wants to schedule some of my time, I simply look to the next blank date in my calendar and pencil them in. From there, I begin to pencil in things around those initial appointments until my entire day, then entire week and eventually entire month is completely booked. At that point it is too late to take time out for myself and I end up exhausted.
Our time is valuable, so it is very important that we set up certain limits and boundaries with it or it can get cluttered and control us. To conquer my time clutter issues, the first thing I did was switch from a small purse calendar with one inch squares to a Blue Sky Weekly/Monthly Planner. This system allows me to see my days more clearly, rather than cramming as much as I could into each little square I am now better able to see how much time is used or left in each day.
Because I have finally taken the time to determine my priorities for my time, I can pencil those in well in advance. I pencil in time for my daily exercise, for my ongoing commitments that I know well in advance and believe it or not, I am now penciling in time off to spend with my family or just have down time. I have not had time “off” in excess of two years.
Now that I have all of those commitments penciled in and have made my health, family and balance a priority, the other things should fall into place. I will also be able to keep better track of how much time I am devoting to each of my priorities so that I can cut back on things if I see them spiraling out of control.
Just as with anything else you organize, it is important to make maintenance a part of it. You must take the time to maintain and tweak the system so that it can grow with you.