Spring arrives in just a couple of weeks.
What’s that place?
It’s your calendar, of course!
Why should you clear out your calendar?
I can think of two great reasons: 1) you use it every day, and 2) you continually add items, often without removing old items.
In this post, I offer sixteen great ways for you to spring clean your calendar.
Some of the tips involve removing or decluttering items, while others encourage you to add items to help your schedule run smoothly.
Cancel weekly meetings.
You know those weekly work meetings where nothing gets discussed, and nothing gets done?
There’s really no benefit in holding such a meeting.
It’s probably time to sever the cord.
Consider revamping your appointments.
Just because you had a standing appointment at Tuesday at 10 AM for the past eight months doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Your schedule may have changed greatly over the past season or year. Consider which of your appointments could be rescheduled so that they work seamlessly with your current calendar.
Take out unnecessary reminders.
Sometimes we add reminders in our calendars to help build a daily habit, such as, “Go to the gym,” or “Take dog for walk.” Over time, these tasks become second nature to us. If this is the case, you may want to consider getting rid of those now defunct reminders.
Trim your personal engagements.
Feeling overwhelmed with your book group, pottery class, volunteering at the hospital, and meeting friends for tennis on the weekends? Commit to only one or two items. You can better focus, and enjoy, your personal activities, when you’re not being stretched in several directions.
Fix double-booked appointments and meetings.
Now’s a good time as any to look for double-booked appointments and meetings in your schedule. Comb through the entries in your calendar for the next six months, and fix any troublesome appointments.
Scrub away traces of past relationships.
Sometimes we end friendships, break up with significant others, or have fallouts with people. Why take up precious space in your calendar with their birthdays, anniversaries, and the like? Remove these recurring dates from your calendar and start afresh.
Color-code your appointments and meetings.
This is more of a decorative tip, but you may find it helpful when it comes to quickly identifying your engagements. You can use different colors to categorize meetings and appointments such as: green for personal appointments, yellow for work appointments, blue for administration and housekeeping, and so on.
Unfollow others’ calendars.
Still following the work calendar of a colleague who has moved to another division or area of your company, and with whom you no longer work? It’s time to unfollow their calendar.
Consolidate your calendars.
Instead of working off of two or more calendars, consolidate them into one central calendar. Doing so will make it easier for you to refer to and reschedule items. Plus, you’ll reduce your chances of accidentally overbooking and double-booking yourself.
Limit the scheduling features in your calendar.
Do you have items scheduled into your online or digital calendar without your approval? Try adjusting your calendar settings. You can limit the amount of people who have the ability to schedule items, or make it so that you have to personally approve meeting requests.
Update your digital calendar apps.
Make sure your digital calendars on your smart phone, desktop, laptop, and table are up to date. Some of these updates happen automatically, but it doesn’t hurt to check in case there have been any security or compatibility updates. Be sure to back up your data before updating any apps.
Transfer information from sticky notes into your calendar.
Do you use sticky notes in your paper planner or wall calendar? Why not transfer this information into the calendar itself? You won’t have to worry about losing all of that valuable information.
Remove yourself from group meeting calendars.
Clean out your calendar by unsubscribing from calendar and mailing lists. You’ll no longer receive group meeting invitations for that local coffeehouse meet up you stopping going to months ago.
Purchase a brand-new calendar.
If you bought a planner or calendar last year, but absolutely despise it, why not buy a new one? Calendars and schedules are now available at discounted prices, so you can snag a new one without breaking the bank. Spring is the time of new beginnings, so why not make a fresh start for yourself?
Delete appointments from your vacation and holidays.
Remember, you’re supposed to be relaxing, not working! If you’ve got anything scheduled during your vacation or holidays, take the time now to reschedule items. Now’s a good time to add in those vacations and holidays to your schedule, if you haven’t yet done so.
Pencil in those deadlines.
Do you have an upcoming work, school, or personal deadline, such as a term paper, financial report, taxes, or your best friends’ wedding? Give your future self a bit of help and write in those deadlines or dates into your calendar.
How about you? Do you regularly weed out appointments and meetings from your calendar? Are you going to give your calendar a thorough spring cleaning? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!