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Tame Your Time: 10 Tips to Build a Calendar Management Routine

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Table with a paper calendar and wood clock and post its to describe calendar management

Ever find yourself saying, “There’s never enough time”…cuz someone else always seems to need you and something else always seems to come up? 

When you’re winging it or leaving in the hands of others, it’s easy to feel a little SCATTERED, a lot DISTRACTED and very OVERWHELMED.  

It doesn’t have to be that way…that is if you have a plan for your time.  

Whether you call yourself a planner or not, NOT having a plan IS your plan. And how’s that working for ya?  Probably not so good…at least not for very long. 

No wonder you feel like you’re constantly on the go, but not seeing the results.

Now, I know there’s no such thing as a perfect plan (or the perfect day or week for that matter), but I guarantee you’ll have way more time for what matters than if you go into it with no plan at all.  True?

Just as a factory relies on organized stations to consistently produce high-quality products, busy Christian women also require structured routines in their lives to prioritize essential tasks and be fully present in response to their calling.

That’s why creating a routine to plan your time helps you use it wisely.

Ps 90:12  “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.”  Psalm 90:12

And that’s where a Calendar Management Routine comes in…I call it the Big Daddy of all routines…cuz it’s the one that keeps your time running smoothly so you can see the desired outcome- 

To be present to who + what matters.

Is that what you want too?

Good. Then you need a good Calendar Management Routine.  

Here’s how to get started..

10 Tips to Create a Calendar Management Routine

1.  Choose your PLANNER…Digital, Paper or Hybrid.

  • Digital Apps help sync devices and communicate with others (aka your hubby, family, team or clients)…but it can be hard to see how it all flows together as you scroll.
  • Paper Planners are old school, but there’s something about writing your plans in your own handwriting that connects your heart with your calendar…and quickly see the week at a glance
  • Hybrid is the perfect combo for modern life cuz you can easily transport your digital calendar to access & share and use your paper planner to write out your weekly timeblocks and tasks.

2. Identify a BIGGER VISION…should this really be #1?

  • Identify your WITH-God Vision.  Where do you want to be in the next 1, 3, 5…50 yrs?  Where do you sense Him leading you to grow in each of the key areas? 
  • What do you want your 100-year old self to be defined by?  Start showing up like her today. Knowing where you’re going helps to identify where to invest your time now

3. Set TIME BLOCKS…use my 2 + 3 Time blocking Method to create your ideal weekly time template.

  • Morning + Evening REFILLS- Set aside time to refill your body, mind and spirit…not your stomach or your inbox!  How will you fill up so you can pour out where you’re called?
  • AM Pour Out focuses on the needs of your family and/or household.  What needs to happen before the day gets going? For ex a before work/school routine, room reset, inbox check…
  • DAY Pour Out focuses on the work or service you are called to do in this season, whether paid or unpaid, for yourself or for someone else.  Do it well and give it your full focus.
  • PM Pour Out again focuses on the needs of your family and/or household. What needs to happen to end the day well?  For ex an after school routine, dinner & clean up, prep for the next day.

4. Establish HABITS & ROUTINES…and ditch your to-do list.

  • Don’t try to remember it all….cuz you won’t. Any task that is recurring should live in a habit or routine that gets scheduled. For ex: meal prep, bill paying, cleaning, laundry, date night…
  • Determine the frequency needed. Is this task best when done regularly like daily or weekly?  Or less often such as monthly, seasonally or annually?  Decide how often you’ll do it.
  • Assign the habit or routine to a specific time block and day or date.  By giving it a place to live on your calendar, you just cleared out head space for those random things that come up.

5.  Order PRIORITIES…not all matter, matter equally or matter now.

  • If it needs your attention in this season, give it a code like 1-2-3 or use colored highlighters to identify if it’s a MUST-do, SHOULD do or COULD do…then you can address in order.
  • If it doesn’t need your attention right now, delay it to a specific day/time on your calendar when you can give it your full focus and address it with full focus and intention in the future.

6.  Estimate TIME FRAMES…be realistic about how long it takes.

    • Don’t over-estimate or under-estimate, instead have a good sense by timing yourself so that way you know how much time to give it on your calendar.
    • Schedule in white space and buffer time between tasks to prepare for the unexpected delays or detours that often come, so it doesn’t throw everything else off in your day.

    7. Use TIME TECHNIQUES…the right tools can help you focus.

      • The Pomodoro Method helps you focus on a single task for a 25 or 50 min time period with a break to reset where you must move, hydrate and look into the distance.
      • The ONE THING Focusing Question helps you identify what matters most now- “What’s the 1 thing I can do such that by doing will make everything else easier, unnecessary or (fill-in-the-blank)?”  Then do that 1 thing.
      • And be sure to use tech well- SILENCE ringers & notifications, CLOSE tabs & windows, and TURN OFF screens & devices

      8.  Use  REMINDERS/ALERTS…that way you don’t forget or lose track! 

        • Preview your day or week before it starts so you’re not caught by surprise at what’s coming…and then you’ll be better prepared when you know when and where to shop up.
        • Set alarms and reminders ahead to keep you on track and aware of the time, that way you’ll be ready on time for what you committed to do.
        • Set a time weekly and monthly to look back at where you’ve been, look ahead at where you’re going and make necessary adjustments to respond to changes since you made your plans.
        • Always double check that the way you spend your time aligns with your bigger vision & priorities and the progress with your plans to ensure you’re seeing the growth you desire.

        9. Plan in REVIEWS…cuz sometimes things change or get even better.

        • Set a time weekly and monthly to look back at where you’ve been, look ahead at where you’re going and make necessary adjustments to respond to changes since you made your plans.
        • Always double check that the way you spend your time aligns with your bigger vision & priorities and the progress with your plans to ensure you’re seeing the growth you desire.

        10. Use your VOICE…here’s permission to delegate and say NO.

          • Look at what’s on your calendar and ask, “What is necessary, but you’re not the only person who can do it?”  Hire, trade, assign or hand it off to someone else with the time or expertise.
          • Consider the requests coming in, “What is not necessary or aligned with where God is leading?” Say NO up front or graciously back out to avoid overloading your calendar.

          So now you have it- 

          10 tips to build your personal Calendar Management Routine to keep your time flowing. 

          And now it’s your turn. 

          As you apply these to your time + calendar, keep in mind what the factory owner does when a process is slowing down or breaking down- 

          • Identify the problems or needs. Where are you feeling scattered, stretched or stressed?  What are you often not finding time for? What are you consistently putting off or feeling frustrated about
          • Uncover the root issue. Why is there friction or frustration? What is the real issue?  Keep asking why till you get to the source- probably the heart
          • Plan out the proper steps. What will trigger or start this routine and what are the steps that follow to get to the desired outcome?  And how will you know when you’re finished?
          • Restart the new system. Test and tweak your Calendar Management Routine till your time feels + flows well and you’re seeing the results from your WITH-God Vision.

          Remember that your calendar is just a tool- it shows what you truly value.  Use your calendar to focus on what you say matters. 

          Your Calendar Management Routine will (and should) ebb and flow over time to reflect your current needs and priorities in this season. Keep experimenting with different techniques and tools until you find what works best for you in the season you’re in. And remember, consistency and adaptability are key to sustained growth. 

          And input from a time management expert is always good- wink wink. 

          Want support in creating your Calendar Management Routine with an ideal weekly time template?  Grab your 1-hr Schedule Shaping Strategy Session and let’s get your time flowing like a well oiled machine…together.

          P.S. Join the REDEEM Her Time Group Coaching Program to get the SYSTEM + SUPPORT you need to live your WITH-God Life without busyness.

          Visit the REDEEM Her Time Website

          > Schedule a 1 Hr Schedule-Shaping Strategy Session

          > Join the free REDEEM Her Time Community

          > Schedule a free 5 Min Find-the-Time Chat

          > Submit a question or comment…or leave a review

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          10 tips to build your personal Calendar Management Routine to keep your time flowing.

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