HOW TO: Prioritize and Protect Your Schedule

Calendars are worth being protected. When someone says, “You just have to make time!,” what they are really saying is “Block it out or lose it.”


There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


image11. Use one calendar. Don’t have a work calendar, a kid calendar, a family calendar, a sports calendar, and on, and on. Having your important events saved or noted in more than one place leads to confusion, double-booking, and forgetting. Many apps now have the functionality to use multiple colors, so do that instead. Having everything on one calendar may feel overwhelming or crowded, but guess what, so goes your calendar, so goes your life.

2. Schedule time for family, yourself, and focused work. On that full calendar, you need to block out some time for projects, family, rest and hobbies. If you don’t, you won’t. Period.

3. Blame your calendar. Whether you have an administrative assistant or not, your calendar can be the “bad guy” when you are setting up boundaries around your time. When someone calls and request a meeting, you can say “sorry, I have another appointment.” You don’t have to tell them the contents or purpose of the other appointment, and you aren’t being disingenuous about having another commitment. It is a win-win for protecting your calendar.

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