I am writing after long on this blog, the reason being my calendar was full with client calls and other content creation and I ignored this platform completely. And then my team asked me to become active here once again which pushed me to add ‘Write a blog’ post in my calendar. The topic was undecided. But then I realised, I am writing down this post because of the fixed schedule otherwise I would have ignored it again, so let’s talk about this habit and the importance of this habit.
What is the current scene around my workplace? If I tell you honestly, I just cleaned my desk, popped a Rhodiola and sprayed some colin on the desk to make it look fresh, as it helps me to focus while I write. Some focus music is playing in the background via youtube, I can hear some vehicle noise from the street below but very negligible. Both of my cats are asleep. In the background of my mac, there are several Excel files are open, and my calls are already scheduled from 5 pm to 9 pm. My lunch is scheduled in another 45 min.
What is the importance of Calendar in your daily life, especially when you are a freelancer or boss of your own, when you have the entire freedom to work, sleep, eat, rave whenever you want to on your terms? Why a person like you need a schedule? Not only you, why a person who is into 9 to 5 job, need a schedule for his 5 to 10 hustle? I will tell you my experience and how I learned it, in a hard way, the importance of the calendar.
I am a Nutrition Coach as many of you know, and I work solely for my brand. I have no boss over me, I get paid directly, but for reach and visibility in this competitive online world, I have to constantly generate helpful content for my audience and I have to help my clients constantly by replying to their texts, email without any delay. I work on weekends, I work on vacations because that’s what I love to do. But this work culture developed by me made me miss on my family calls, the ‘take care’ time of my pets, my house, my vehicles and I started suffering because of it. The entire workflow became so chaotic that I sometimes missed on my clients’ call and sometimes on things like vaccination drive of my cat. I had to miss my gym because of work and sometimes of my meals because a sudden ‘due’ work popped up which required focus of 3-4 hours. This also resulted in zero focus on my personal development, all the time I was just working here and there without any schedule. But before it affected my business, I got a wake-up call, thanks to an hour-long meditation. I did some research only and found some very helpful resources which helped me to bring things on track.
- I found Calendly app. – This app solved the random contact with the present, past and future clients. Earlier, people used to call me directly whenever they had a doubt or difficulty in diet or workout. This became chaotic because some clients (From USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, etc) preferred calling at their own day time which affected my sleep and nighttime routine. Calendly helped me to set up my available hours and It gave liberty to my clients to schedule a call with me easily. On scheduled time I am always available fully 100% for that particular person without any disturbance like call waiting or me being busy in some other work. It gave me the freedom to be ‘free’ during weekends and events like a ‘friend’s wedding’ or ‘family dinner’. In case you want to schedule a call with me to discuss diet and workout, feel free to schedule it here: https://calendly.com/contactchiragbarjatya/diet-discussion-call
- I started using Microsoft TO – DO list app: Daily upon waking up, I give 30 min to check all my pending email and texts, and I add them to a to-do list. I also add things like If I have to buy something from the market. And daily before bed, I make sure I complete everything on that list. Also, the ‘ting’ sound of that app is very satisfying.
- I used Siri and Alexa more effectively: These smart assistants are very useful if you know how to use them. Just asking Siri to remind you something or add something in your calendar can be very helpful. I use Siri for work-related reminders because the big reminder and calendar widget in my iPhone keeps me on schedule and I use Alexa for house-related reminders. I also use an app called IFTTT to synch Alexa with the iCloud calendar.
- I started putting my workout, my lunch, tea and dinner timing on the calendar: This might look silly to a person who is not into scheduling at all but it helped me a lot because I used to watch television or sometimes a series while eating food. And this resulted in wasting lots of time because we know how these OTT platforms like Netflix are wise enough to make you glued to the screen. Because of calendar, I make sure I complete my meal in 40 minutes. Most of the time I complete it in 20 min and then I take a 10 min nap because I live in Pune.
All of us, no matter which smartphone we are using, has a calendar app on the phone. Start using it. If you are a student, start putting your study hours in the calendar, your breakfast hours, your nap minutes and your play hours. Today I can enjoy games on PC, I can enjoy outing because I know I have set up a particular timing for these, and I won’t waste hours into leisure activities which in turn can make me feel guilty about it. The focus has improved 10x. And no this is not a paid blog post or something.
If you are zero at using the calendar, give it a shot for 2 days and see how it works for you. By being on schedule every-time, people will start respecting your time, you will start respecting other people’s time. The people who are always ‘late’ to events or work are never respected, you know it, I know it. How do we solve this? Just by setting up a calendar on your phone.
Let me know if you face any difficulty in setting up a calendar.