Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Talking Calendar

Picking up on my recent daily posts about being a list person...let me address what I have began to affectionately call the "talking calendar." I know that this title errs on the cheesy side, but it makes my point.

I said in my post yesterday that the thrust of my organizational system is based on the conversation that exists between my task list and my calendar. Hence, the talking calendar. Or, I guess we could say, the talking task list as well.

Let me explain.

In short: I need "to-do" things to be prepared for what is approaching in my calendar. And I need to-schedule the things in my task list that I need to-do. If I am missing one or the other, something is going to crumble.

As a result, over the last 10 years, I have made a daily habit of ensuring that my calendar and task list communicate.

My calendar says things to my task list such as:
  • You have Small Group tonight, have you prepared your lesson?
  • You are meeting with the bishop next week, are you ready for that?
  • Davis's Birthday party is Saturday, you need to go get the balloons.
  • You are preaching Sunday. Is your message done?
  • You are meeting with Entry Point coaches next week, email them the draft and prepare for that meeting.
  • You have Executive Board next Thursday. Email the board the agenda.
My Task list says things to my calendar such as:
  • When can you meet with that couple next week?
  • You need 2 hours to finish your ordination paperwork and need to be focused. What are 2 good hours for this to happen within the next 10 days?
  • Tricia and I have not seen our friends Tim and Michelle in a long time. When can we go visit them on a Friday-Saturday in the next 3 months?
  • You need 3 hours to finish your message in the next 2 days. Plug those 3 hours in now.
Look, if it is going to get done, it probably needs to be scheduled. And if it's on the schedule I need to-do what I need to-do to get ready for it!

Sooo...the calendar and task list talk back and forth at each other, coordinate with each other and sometimes ask provoking questions about my priorities.

Let me know if you are finding any of this helpful. Or is it too long that you are not reading it? What would you add to improve this system?


Anonymous said...

I think I need the class for direct q & a. I'm a little slow and it just looks like two todo lists LOL. But I know it works cuz I have seen it for 4 years and it is a marvelous thing. Help! Pick a Saturday and do task lists for dummies and everyone has to bring their pda and you bring lunch :-D UCJ

Noah said...

We may be able to work something like that out. Man, how did I get so blessed to be able to teach the class AND provide the food as well. You are a read deal maker, Jaye.