Column 11 – Calendar Happiness by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

A couple of years ago Dr. Steven Covey and I were speaking to an audience of over ten thousand people. Before the event he called me to his dressing room and wanted to know just exactly what “The FlyLady” did! I kind of laughed out loud.

I told Dr. Covey to think of it like this. Once my ladies graduate from FlyLady they can understand his planner. I still don’t think he could grasp how anyone could not comprehend how to use his planner.

This is what has happened to us our whole lives. The born organized folks often looked at us in dismay because we could not do things the way they expected. Our inability to process Born Organized instructions does not make us stupid. Would we be ostracized if we spoke a different language?

We are creative people who just want to have fun. Our spontaneity can be an asset but it can also interfere with our creativity. When we miss an appointment or an important event because we got sidetracked again; we feel guilty. This guilt becomes the roadblock to loving ourselves.

As I told Dr. Covey I help my ladies establish routines that include checking their calendars each morning and evening. In our excitement to start another beautiful day we sometimes forget to check our calendar for what’s next. I know why this happens to us. With a planner; it is usually hiding from us in our bottomless pits of a purse. As with most things in our lives if they are “out of sight” they are “out of mind”.

Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars on the perfect planner. Nothing ever worked well for me and I know why! I was afraid to mess it up with my handwriting. I would buy a planner system only to look like I had myself organized. You can’t have the perfect planner if you allow your perfectionism to get in the way of using it. The sad part was that planners don’t come with instructions. We are just expected to know how to use them.

I finally figured out I needed a calendar that would get my attention; one with big spaces so I could write large enough to see. The most important rule for using a calendar is to remember to look at it. Procrastination is another big stumbling block to calendar happiness. When we have an appointment in hand we don’t use the “Do It Now” Principle to put that appointment on our calendar.

We have people complain that using a wall calendar gets in the way of putting an appointment on your calendar when you are at the dentist office or other appointment. To that I say “NO EXCUSES”! Check your calendar before you go and then call yourself and leave a voice-mail. When you get home you can easily put a fun sticker on your wall calendar. The best part is that when your calendar is front and center; your entire family learns how to use it and everyone knows what is going on in the household. With color codes for family members you can tell at a distance who has something going on. Even small children can recognize their color. When we make it fun we will use it! This is your main family calendar. Every one’s schedule is posted on this calendar. Each Sunday make a point to sit down at the dinner table and synchronize everyone’s pocket calendar with the family calendar. If you don’t asked you are never going to know what is going on in your home; especially with teenagers.

FlyLady’s Calendar Tips

– Check your calendar in the morning
– Use our Stickers and other stickers to make it fun
– Print when you post events on your calendar
– Use small address labels to write on. Helps the perfectionist in you!
– Color code the address labels for each family member with a high lighter
– Synchronize the family calendar on Sunday with individual schedules
– Write “What’s for dinner” on each day at the top when you plan your menus
– Post events on your calendar immediately
– Leave yourself voice-mail messages when you can’t post events immediately
– On the 27th of the month check next month for birthdays and events
– Check your calendar before going to bed.

Your calendar along with the “Do it now” Principle will help relieve the stress in your life! Do it now! Don’t wait! Let’s Get Things Done! Helping women around the world get their home organized. Copyright 2001 - 2020 FlyLady and Company, Inc.