Are you using your calendar or diary to its fullest potential?
Whether you are using a paper based or electronic calendar/diary, most people just use it as a place to record their appointments.
What about all of those other commitments we have that consume our days? Do you record those on a To-Do list that floats around on your benchtop or in your handbag or are they cluttering up your brain and relying on your memory to remember all that you have to do in a day? Research[i] suggests that we can only remember eight things at a time in our conscious, or working, memory. One study[ii] suggest that it could even be as low as four!
A calendar/diary is a very useful tool for our busy lives. It can alleviate the need to try to remember everything, help you to manage and prioritise your activities and it can provide you with an accurate reflection of your capacity to accept the latest invitation or start that project.
We recommend incorporating the use of colours as well so that you can get a sense of your day ahead with a simple glance. Here are two options for using colours:
Option 1: Colour blocking by activity type
Select a colour for each of your identified categories of activities or tasks.
Categories may include:
- Work (you may wish to break down into other sub-categories)
- Personal (fitness, healthcare etc.)
- Social events/activities
- Study / Professional Development
- Admin (even at home we all need to deal with paperwork and admin tasks)
Option 2: Colour blocking by priority
RED: Time critical, not flexible
BLACK: Must do, some flexibility
BLUE: Fluid, flexible, can be moved easily
We would love to hear if you have tried these methods and how they work (or don’t) for you.