packed calendar
Productivity: 7 Secrets to Cut Calendar Clutter

Last week, while I was coaching a vision board class. I noticed a student was looking for space to add just one more thing.  I call that conscious clutter. People who have a Type A Personality call it “the way we live.” I should know. I am about as Type A Personality as you can get. And that’s not a bad thing!

  • Time is a valuable thing and scheduling it is important.
  • We are goal directed, visionary, people who like to take action.
  • Unfortunately, we like to take a lot of action. Sometimes it’s more action than we can fit into a 24-hour period.

I like to tell my coaching clients, it’s not how you manage time. It’s how you manage yourself within time. It’s a small shift, but a large one at the same time. Suddenly, time isn’t a such a beast. You no longer feel the need to tame it, either.

packed calendar
Believe it or not, this calendar isn’t as packed as it looks.

That’s how I felt when I was cluttering my calendar. I was trying to tame time. My Type A Personality craved control and my calendar was the mechanism to control. What I found, though, in that control, was that I was shutting myself off from an opportunity. Yipes! If there’s anything a Type A Personality hates, it’s missing out. FOMO (fear of missing out) is part of the driver of calendar clutter in the first place.

Here are some coaching tips from a fellow Type A Personality. I hope this helps you cut down on the calendar clutter and removes stress from your life.

  1. Resist the urge to schedule every minute. Really, leave some space and see what happens. I think you will be amazed.
  2. Start coaching yourself to believe that empty space isn’t wasted space. When you accomplish #1, you may feel a bit of anxiety. Take a deep breath. Blank space is space for potential. If you are busy like me, you may learn to relish the break. Then again, if you are busy like me, something may just come along you didn’t expect and take that space.
  3. Give yourself time to get from point A to point B. Travel time, bathroom breaks, and time to make phone calls are necessary. Leave 15 minutes between appointments to provide padding.
  4. Group activities in the same location to avoid back and forth driving. Running back and forth is about as painful and tiring as running “horses” in high school. Remember those? Instead of running “horses” in your car, group activities to cut out the back and forth.
  5. Keep a list of to-dos separate from your calendar. This provides flexibility from day to day without hard scheduling tasks. Hard schedule meetings and events where you need to be present. Work those to-dos in separately. If you must block out work time to focus, do that. Entrepreneurs with flexible schedules may need to draw that hard line.
  6. Prioritize and decide what is calendar-worthy and what isn’t. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your empire. Focus on the stones that build your career colosseum. Handle your hot items and let the rest trickle into your day (and don’t give me the “it’s all hot” line, it’s not).
  7. Realize it’s OK to be perfectly imperfect. Be kind to yourself. Sometimes you have to be gentle with yourself. No one will be harder on us than US. Remember that, breathe, and know the sun will rise tomorrow.

Doing these seven steps may feel like getting jabbed with a needle at first. But, when you feel the difference of over scheduling versus aiming for the middle ground, you will see a huge difference. It’s incredibly freeing. What’s best about it is you don’t have to stop scheduling. You just have to schedule some air so you can breathe. And, if you are concerned with balance, there’s always the Type A Personality go-to: color coding. But, that’s a whole other article.

Of course, I can help if you need it. Schedule a complimentary consultation with me right here.