Simple ways to create more flow in your day using these tried and tested diary hacks.
You probably have a love-hate relationship with your diary and calendar. Don’t worry A LOT of people feel the same way. The best part is you can turn it into a love-like partnership using these easy to use diary hacks.
Before we get started let’s talk about the paper v’s digital diary war that’s been raging since Blackberry’s hit the market. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of using a diary. But, don’t fall into the trap of using a diary tool that doesn’t feel totally comfortable for you. Your scheduling tool needs to match your lifestyle, personality and types of communication you need to be effective.
The paper diary is far from dead and it’s still the most effective tool for many. On the other hand, Digital calendars are available in a huge array of formats, from the simple phone calendar to dedicated apps that can take care of all your scheduling and project planning needs. My advice is to test out what works best for you and try not to be persuaded by outsiders. One thing is for certain we all work and think in unique ways, understanding this is the key to finding the best tool for you. So, let’s get to our Diary Hacks.
Time Saving Diary Hacks
1. Make it a Visual Delight
Because we are all so heavily influenced by what is presented to us visually our number one hack is to make your diary a visual delight.
Doing this will not only inspire you while using the diary it will also be calling you to want to view it more often. Of course, this will be easier to achieve in a paper diary. Digital users, you can still use colour schemes to add personality to your calendars.
2. Colour Code Categories
Stop using a single coloured pen in your diary. For digital diaries, make use of the category function. Failing to use colour coding to categorise will cost you a huge amount of time. Doing this one diary hack will let you claim back lost time looking for details of appointments and tasks.
3. Ritualise Diary Check-ins
Do you start off well but over time stop referring to your diary or calendar? If you do I want you to know you’re in good company of many who do exactly this.
Don’t get disheartened to think a diary doesn’t work for you. All you need is a simple ritual each day.
Step 1. Think of something you already do like clockwork every day…preferably something at the beginning of each day. It could be that first cup of coffee or even brushing your teeth.
Step 2. Add an alert to your phone at that time to remind you to check your diary. This you’ll only need for as long as it takes to connect the two rituals together. Once they become linked you’ll be set for life.
Step 3. Immediately after your ritual action grab your diary and take a look at the appointments for today and the following two days. This will embed the flow into your memory and prepare you for the day.
4. Wiggle Just a Little Bit
There’s nothing more stressful and disappointing than being late or missing out. Allow yourself some wiggle room for life’s interruptions and opportunities. Scheduling yourself for every minute of every day creates pressure and an unrealistic expectation. Give a little space to make appointments for yourself to follow up, debrief and soothe. Without these, your creativity and inspiration will evaporate quickly.
5. Less is Always More
The Diary, Calendar Syncing trap leads to having more than one place for your appointments and schedule. To run more than one diary means you need more time to manage the tools that are holding your schedule. If you can at all avoid having more than one do it. But, I know there are lots of situations that require us to run two diaries. They are commonly working and private or personal and family appointments.
If you must have more than one place for scheduling and you are a digital fan create a synced calendar like Google Calendar. It will allow you to have separate calendars on the one page.
For the family, I always prefer a paper version that is highly visual. Hang up a calendar on the fridge that is reconciled daily with your personal diary. This ritual once in place will only take a few minutes and the rewards of helping our kids understand time will be so worth it.
I hope you enjoy putting the diary hacks into action. I’d love to hear how you go and if you have some tips of your own.
Do you want more tried and tested ways to save time and get your to-do list done?
Join me for the next workshop Organise & Simplify Your Time or feel free to call me for a chat so we can find the best solution for you.
Time is the most precious resource you will ever own. I’d be honoured to help you invest in that time to create the life you really want.
with infinite peace and gratitude,
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Infinite peace and gratitude,