I’ve decided to develop some new routines in my schedule. Along with these routines, I’ve decided to take a new approach to keeping on track with these routines in my calendar.
If you’re good at just looking at a picture and figuring it out from there, go ahead and skip the detailed explanation below. But be sure to read the section below titled “Keeping It All Balanced.”
First of all, you should know that my preferred method of calendaring is digital. As a Mac user I use Apple’s Calendar App on my Macbook Pro and their iOS Calendar App on my iPhone 5. They sync seamlessly and allow me to setup multiple categories (calendars) on two different Apple IDs–one for work and one for personal. Here, I’ll show you how I have my calendars setup.
You’ll see three major sections in this list to the right.
1) My work calendars (one Apple ID).
2) My personal calendars (another Apple ID).
3) Shared Google Calendars from the church office.
The Set Up
At the bottom are a couple of screen shots of my calendar. Here’s how I set it up.
Go to your preferred computer/digital calendar and create and setup five calendars, each with a different color. I set mine up in my personal calendars so that others don’t get them in theirs. Label them as follows.
- “Work: Programs/Meetings” (mine is blue) These are the weekly and monthly programs like church and youth group and regular meetings like staff, networks, weekly appointments, etc. Set each one to recur weekly.
- “Work: Blocks” (mine is orange) These are blocks of time dedicated to accomplishing important weekly tasks, addressing common issues and needs, or just whatever might come up for that area of ministry. Set each one to recur weekly.
- “Hours” (mine is purple) This is simply to serve as a label for my target number of hours for that day. Set each one to recur weekly. The total should equal your hours of employment. This will help you keep view of what should be a “normal” week.
- “Personal” (mine is green) This is everything on my personal family calendar.
- “Home” (mine is red) This calendar covers all the time that I should be at home or available to my family. Set each one to recur weekly.
Keeping it Balanced
Now, when I have people wanting to make appointments with me. I try to work it out with them to fit into the blocks that works best for me. If they ask to for a different time, I simply explain I have another commitment. If I feel it’s important enough to have to schedule them over a previously scheduled “block” then I force myself to reschedule that block to another earlier time.That way I still make sure it gets done. But doing this on a regular basis is pretty risky and ultimately leads one to feeling the stress of not having had the time to do what needs to be done!
In this example below, I had to schedule a quarterly team meeting and a staff review on Monday as well as an all day network meeting out of town on Thursday. So I made adjustments to my schedule that would allow me to still get my tasks done without extending any more beyond my hours than I had to.
This approach is my own personal way keeping myself accountable to accomplishing my weekly tasks, remaining available to the people and issues necessary, and sticking as close to my hours as possible.
I’m still fairly new at it so we’ll see how it goes!