Like many people, my passion isn’t my full-time job. Yes, I get to write at work, and that’s one of the elements that makes me enjoy my job as much as I do. That said, writing fiction–and this blog–is what I’m passionate about. Since I’m not making enough from that to make it a career yet, I have to relegate it to my spare time.
The only problem with that? When I think about everything I need and want to get done in that spare time, I get overwhelmed. There’s my writing, yes, but there’s also housework, socializing, relaxation, eating, and a million other things I can’t think of off the top of my head.
People talk all the time of work-life balance. A situation like mine feels more like work-work-life balance some days, but it comes down to the same principles. One of the most important is finding the organizational system that works best for you.
I’ve found mine, and I’d like to share it, in the hopes that maybe it will help someone find theirs. It’s too much for one post, however, so instead you’re getting a series of posts over the next three months.
Today, we’re starting with a look at online calendars.
Here’s the thing: my life is scheduled out more than most people realize. My Google Calendar plays a huge role in that, though I’m sure any online calendar option would work. I just like Google’s because it connects with everything else under my Google account, making it really easy for me to keep everything in one place. Here’s how I do that.
Take a look at my calendar from October.
My monthly view is reserved for big-picture stuff, all of which is colour-coded. Before the month even starts, I’ve gone through and figured out where my days off land, so that I can plan out when I’m going to do everything from certain chores to extra writing and blog work.
Speaking of blogging, it’s also in this monthly view that I make sure my weeks are fairly balanced. If I find that one week has five posts while another has two, I move things around a bit. There’s no sense in overloading either my writing schedule or your notifications, right?
Now, the weekly view is where things get really fun. Here’s a look at last week.
Like my monthly view, my weekly view is colour-coded. Each Saturday I go in and schedule out the coming week. This, I find, helps me ensure I’m making time for all of the things I want, or need, to get done.
At the same time, though, I’m not too hard on myself if my plans need to change. Whether it’s because a friend I haven’t seen in a while asks to make plans, or I feel myself starting to burn out, I let myself change or ignore my schedule if the need arises.
Here’s one of the things I love about Google’s calendar: it automatically syncs with my phone.
I’m guessing you can do this same sort of thing with other online calendars, but I’ll admit that I haven’t tried. Google’s calendar has simply been my go-to.
Regardless, the automatic syncing means I have access to and the ability to change my calendar whenever or wherever I need it. This is particularly important for me. Despite my habit of scheduling the same events at the same times each week (I love a good routine), I always seem to forget what I have coming up. I need the easy access of my phone.
Plus, having the calendar on my phone means easy notifications. That way, if I get too wrapped up in any particular task, my phone brings me back and lets me know it’s time to move on to the next one.
My phone isn’t the only place this calendar ends up, but that’s a topic for another post. Make sure to check back in December for the next part in my series on staying organized.