The feelings wash over you! Dread, stupidity, shame, and the feeling of, “How did I do this again!” What causes these feelings? Double Booking, which means we are not acting like Calendar Ninjas!
The double booking reality lives in too many of our lives. Shame and stupidity wash over us every time we double book. My double booking journey has been a long one and it could have been avoided if I had used a simple tool: A Calendar.
With the schedule many of us have balancing life, ministry, family, etc.., we must become Calendar Ninjas. What is a Calendar Ninja? A person flowing with their calendar and living with it as a regular part of their life. The calendar can be a weapon to help us prioritize our life. It can also be an assistant to make sure we don’t forget stuff. However, not using our calendar dooms us to the pain of double booking. To overcome this pain, let’s learn some Calendar Ninja First Steps
1) Ninja Accessibility
- One master calendar to rule them all. You must start by having one calendar that is accessible everywhere you are in your day to day life. I use a gmail calendar that incorporates my office items, as well my family items on it. You must have a calendar that you trust and that has everything on it and has the capabilities of being updated regularly.
- The reason I use a gmail calendar is I always have it with me. It’s on my phone, my computer, my iPad and any other future device. This keeps me from duplicating items and having to write things down multiple times. I have a paper planner (Full Focus Planner!) which I love, but my online calendar rules all other calendars.
2) Ninja Priorities
- Michael Hyatt says, “What gets scheduled, gets done.” These are true words and a true calendar ninja schedules their priorities first. Priorities are only daydreams if we do not put them on our calendar. They won’t happen and we will always carry a sense of regret about them if we don’t put them on the calendar.
- I use my calendar to push my priorities in my life. I schedule triathlons on the calendar because they force me to exercise. Exercise is a priority, but without the race on the calendar I could easily take it easy and not live out my priority. This blog has been hit and miss over the last couple of years because I haven’t made it a scheduled priority. When I add it to the calendar, amazingly I write! Dates, with my wife and dates with my kids got scheduled because if they didn’t, they were easily forgotten. If you don’t put your priorities on the calendar, they will be overcome by the busyness of life.
3) Ninja Trust
- Calendar Ninja’s trust their calendar and not their brain. We all have brains and we all have a tendency to assume it can handle everything. The reality is our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. Put your important things on the calendar and then trust the calendar over your memory.
- The Calendar Ninja can trust the calendar as their priority accountability partner. When you schedule your priorities first, you can genuinely say to someone, “That day is already taken on the calendar….” This will keep you on track and make sure the important stuff gets done. Plus, you aren’t necessarily rejecting someone, you are letting your calendar do it. This helps those of us who struggle with wanting to please everyone. We tend to say yes to everything and then regret it later.
Being a Calendar Ninja is not a natural gift. It is a learned habit that anyone can accomplish. What about your calendar skills? Are you ready to be a Calendar Ninja? Start with these 3 baby steps and you will start the journey.