Is your calendar jam-packed with work meetings, personal appointments, and social events?
Do you find it difficult or overwhelming to decipher exactly what you’ve scheduled for yourself?
Taking the time to declutter items from your calendar can have a positive and lasting effect on your regular routine.
You may find your calendar is much easier to read, and you might even find you have an extra chunk of time during the week at your disposal.
That’s not a bad deal for taking a few moments to clean things up!
In this post, I offer three ways you can declutter your personal or work calendar.
These tips are not your ordinary tips when it comes to streamlining a calendar.
They all have to do with reducing or consolidating the amount of items that are physically located on a calendar.
Stop filling up your calendar with minute activities.
While it’s a good idea to keep track of your activities during the day, you don’t have to write out every single activity into your calendar.
That’s quite a relief, isn’t it?
This advice may come as a surprise, but there’s a few good reasons for this. The first is that writing down every single activity during your day makes your calendar look more cluttered than it actually is.
Secondly, having every single minute of your day planned out might make you feel a bit overstressed or pressured to get things done.
And thirdly, since you probably have a few daily activities that are like second nature to you, that’s there’s no real reason to spend your time writing everything down.
If you always walk the dog first thing the morning, take your coffee break at 10:15 A.M., or go for a run in the park at 4:30 P.M., all without fail, there’s no reason to include these minute details into your calendar.
Move tasks from your calendar to a separate to-do list.
Is your calendar overflowing with to-dos, appointments, meetings, and events, so much so, that it is making it difficult hard to read? If so, you may want to consider moving individual to-dos or tasks to a separate to-do list or app.
Doing so frees up space in your calendar so you can see exactly where your meetings, appointments, travel time, and work time fall within your schedule. It also makes it easier for you to review, plan, and edit tasks for projects in one centralized location.
If you’re still keen on blocking out work time for a particular project, by all means do so. For example, you could block out an hour of time everyday for the next two weeks to plan your best friend’s surprise party using the following entry, “Party planning.” Simply keep the individual party planning to-dos in a separate notebook or task app, and you’re set.
Assign specific tasks to certain days of the week.
One easy way to declutter a calendar is to set aside certain days of the week to take care of specific tasks. This allows you to have blocks of time dedicated to a specific task, be it meetings, administrative work, running errands, or performing chores.
For example, instead of darting back and forth between running household errands on a daily basis, you could take care of these errands on a single day of the week, such as on Thursday or Saturday afternoons.
Even if your schedule is not wholly flexible, you could by blocking out specific times of the week to deal with recurring tasks. How about setting aside Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons as potential meeting times for clients, or setting aside Friday afternoons to take care of administrative work at the office?
How about you? Which areas of your calendar could use some decluttering? What items are you going to remove or edit? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2014.