Michael Hyatt says it best:
"You can either live on-purpose, according to a plan you’ve set. Or you can live by accident, reacting to the demands of others. The first approach is proactive; the second reactive."
I'm sure you can imagine this all too often scenario.
You get to the office and you have 5 tasks that need to be completed. Each task has a different purpose (i.e. purchasing, operations, quality control, vendor relations and general). Focusing on all of these at once stretches you thin and leads to unmanageable stress.
You can't give focus to all with 100% effort.
This is where the preferred calendar is your new best friend.
The preferred calendar is a simple concept where if you could control your day 100%, this is what it would look like.
Each day has a theme and is further segmented by focus areas.
In the sheet embedded above, the themes are on the top row:
Everyday I'm focusing on a specific purpose. What am I trying to get out of my day? One day it will be business development, where I chat with clients and strategic alliances more than I would on other days. The next day I will focus on creating content with our team, such as this article.
My focus areas are listed in the left-most column:
- In the mornings I focus on myself by stretching, writing and having a cup of coffee. This is my morning ritual and prepares me for the day ahead.
- The middle of the day is reserved for work, although I'm available for most business calls 24/7. Yes, this breaks the "preferred calendar" law but I have an outline of what my day should look like.
- The end of the day I dedicate to personal time and writing. I feel this is a great time to workout as it helps get the kinks out of your neck from a long day at the office.
Activities in green contribute to my goals and priorities while red are not related to my goals. White can be either and grey is simply not scheduled.
To use this tool, make sure to map out your own ideal week. You can either download my excel spreadsheet or start from scratch.
By creating you preferred calendar you set your time up to be the most productive in areas that are important to you. By focusing on what's important, one by one, you will be much more productive and less stressed.