Calendar Blocking or To Do List?

I do both — How do I do both?  Well let me tell you how it works?

Calendar Blocking!!!!!

Are you sick of hearing about calendar blocking?  It seems like everyone is talking about this these days.  When I first started hearing about this I was sure it was going to be great.  I immediately took out my calendar and began blocking time to do things.  It was great.  it was like my to-do list came to life.  It felt as if everything I needed to do completely fit in one day.  By the end of the day I had realized that maybe I had put too many things on my calendar and I felt as if I was running like a chicken with my head cut off and to accomplish everything.  I felt rush most of the day and even though I think I was very productive I really didn’t have much to look back on.  There were things that had been moved and now I didn’t know if they would have been crossed off and there were things that just remained but I really had not finished them.  It was a mess and my brain felt tired.

I gave up and went back to my tried and true method of having a to do.  Which If I’m going to be truly honest it is not ideal either but it seemed to work for what I needed.  I like to see how much I accomplished.  I get a sense of accomplishment from crossing things off.

In the midst of this frustration I had an idea……..

It doesn’t have to be one or the other

What a concept!!! Just recently I realized that it does not have to be one or the other.  The calendar blocking method works with the to do method perfectly well.

This past month I have been keeping a master task list where I jot down all the things I want to accomplish and then on set times (weekly and daily at the end of the month I plan on doing a monthly review as well) I open up my calendar and the to do list next to each other and start figuring out what will fit in my schedule for that week or for that day.

Why I use both the “to-do list” and the calendar blocking methods?

The To Do List:  I like to cross things off and know what I did throughout the day.  one of the downfalls of the calendar block was that if I did not get to something I would move it forward to a different day or a different time but there was never that pleasure of crossing it off it was done.  It began to feel like I wasn’t doing much.  I know I can go and look back at my calendar is see all the things but that just wasn’t enough for me.  If you are like me and you like not see things crossed off, the calendar method can feel anticlimactic.  It doesn’t have to, though.

The Calendar Blocking Method:  The thing I found most frustrating about the to do list is that I was not able to figure out how much time I would have each day and sometimes I would start with things that I thought would take less time in order to get more things done.  Good plan right?  But what if the thing takes longer than expected?  what if you misjudge and then the most important thing doesn’t get done because it was actually the thing that was going to take a bit more time but because you thought the other thing was going take less time you prioritized that one other thing first not leaving you any time to complete the one thing that was really the most important?  Ugh!!!! did this make any sense?  let me know if this doesn’t make sense and I will try to clarify it.

How do you do it?  How do you plan and organize your day?  What is working for you?  Do you use a calendar blocking method, a to do list or both?  Or none?  Let me know.  I would love to hear from you.

In the mean time, be well and I will see very soon, I hope.


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