Just about every new coaching client asks me, “What kind of calendar is best for Time Management?” My answer is always the same…
“The one you use!”
Which specific type of calendar you use is significantly less important than most people realize. It’s been my experience over about a decade of coaching individuals with ADHD that our focus on finding “the right” or “the perfect” calendar to work for us can be a big part of what’s getting in our way! It’s a distraction.
The behaviors we need to implement in order to use a calendar effectively are far more important than what kind of calendar with which we use those behaviors. And good calendar management is a fundamental cornerstone to Time Management. Whether your calendar is electronic or paper, has a week-at-a-glance or daily view is much less important than creating the consistent habits of these 3 Behaviors that are Essential to Time Management:
- Consistently putting all time commitments and appointments in the calendar;
- Consistently having the calendar with you at all times to record those commitments as they arise; and
- Reviewing the calendar on a daily (or more frequent) basis to stay in front of those commitments.
If any one of these three behaviors slip, your ability to manage your time will fall apart.
It doesn’t matter what kind of calendar you are using.
My recommendation to clients is always to use what you have—don’t go spend your valuable time and money trying to find some fantastic calendar at the beginning. Grab what you already have or pick up the most inexpensive calendar you can and focus on the behaviors for several months until they feel really solidly entrenched, and you feel the calendar really benefiting you.
Once the behaviors are solid habits, then spend a little time thinking about your preferences. Do you find that the act of hand-writing things in your calendar helps your memory? Would a smaller calendar be easier for you to carry with you consistently? Would you like to be able to look at family members’ calendars, too (and vice versa)? Would it be nice to be able to set different alarms for appointment reminders? Again, these are just preferences, and you can’t know what works best for you until you have really solid behaviors around managing the calendar. . .
And those solid calendar behaviors can be transferred to virtually ANY kind, form or format of calendar. They will become the lifelong skills that enable you to be the master of your own time, and experience the Sense of Peace that comes from being the master of your time.
And that’s what we really want, right? Not some shiny new app or pretty calendar on a shelf…
That’s what we’re playing for in the long run…
More time and more energy for the things that are important to us!
More time for what matters.
What are you willing to do to make that happen?