When you open up your calendar, whether it be at the start of the week or each morning, let me ask you - do you feel excited for the days ahead or do you feel a heavy sense of dread as you scan your appointments?
I know I’ve felt a mix of these emotions over the years. In general I was looking forward to the week, but sometimes there were appointments that brought a creeping sense of apathy or, in some cases, misery.
So how do we ensure we’re filling our limited, busy days with activities that energise and excite us?
Here are my three tips:
Accept you are in control
This is a major step to a calendar (and, let’s be honest, a life) that you love.
Accepting that we are in control of all of our choices can be challenging for some people.
You may not be loving your job but please remember you did choose to accept that job and you do choose to show up every day for it. You may be dreading the family dinner on Sunday night, but you accepted the invitation and no, you don’t ‘have to go’.
So when you survey your current calendar, bear in mind that you have created this life and you have chosen each and every appointment you see before you.
Wipe the slate clean
You may not have to get 100% literal here, but when you look at your calendar for the week ahead, imagine there were no appointments in there. Zero.
Just 168 hours that stretched ahead of you.
Each white space represents a chance for you to add activities of your choosing, within reason of career or family commitments (which again, remember, you've chosen).
Want to get up and write before work? Want to go on an hour walk at lunch? Want to book in to see your best friend every single Saturday afternoon? You can! Which leads me to...
Listen to your intuition
When adding activities in or choosing to scribble them out or delete them with one click, try doing a gut check over the next month.
Picture each activity in your mind and think, ‘Do I really want to do this?’... ‘Is this the best use of my time?’ … ‘Does it make me happy?’
This may not be black and white - for example, going to the dentist may not fill you with excitement, but maybe the thought of clean teeth and ticking it off your list for the year does. Maybe you want to prioritise spending time with your partner or good friends over house cleaning and errands this month.
And the overarching message?
Please don’t feel guilty for choosing what you want - no one else is doing to do that for you and we only get so many blocks of 168 hours in this lifetime.
I hope this helps you stuff it with moments that fill you with anticipation in the lead up and happiness in the aftermath.