01 Jul Self-Coaching Strategies: What if your checklist became your calendar?
I am known for creating extensive weekly checklists. See Scheduling a Power Hour and Decisions, Decisions to read me wax poetic about the value of planning ahead. Proactively planning my time each day is as necessary to me as exercise, meditation and getting adequate sleep.
Over the past year, I began updating the way I achieve the items on my weekly checklist. On Monday morning, I look over the checklist, consider how much time each item will take and schedule it accordingly on my calendar. This process of transferring the to-do list to my calendar aids me in specific ways:
- It improves my ability to estimate the amount of time a task will take. I often underestimate the time investment a particular task needs for completion. It is eye-opening to see how much time something takes versus the amount of time I anticipated for completion.
- Spreading out the to-dos throughout the week lessens the stress of a long checklist. There are weeks when my checklists seem a mile long, and the ability to distribute the work over a period of time helps me realize each item is achievable.
- Calendaring ensures the most important items get done and allows for intentional rescheduling when needed. We all have meeting-heavy weeks, and when tasks get added to the calendar and time grows slim, it becomes clear some of them need to go. I am forced to reevaluate what really needs to be completed and to prioritize accordingly.
- I still get to check things off the list as they are completed. For me, one of the most rewarding parts of having a checklist is penning that official check mark next to each item. When I finish the task on my calendar, I mark it complete and feel tremendous satisfaction.
If you embrace the practice of a weekly checklist, I encourage you to give calendaring a try in the coming week. Look at each item on your checklist and schedule an appropriate amount of time on your calendar to get it done. Monday morning is an ideal time to do this as the week has yet to unfold as you prioritize. Friday afternoon can be a good time to reflect on the week that was, take what you learned by calendaring your checklist, and move the knowledge forward to the following week.
Dedicating time on your calendar for each item on your weekly checklist is one way you take care of you.