Friday, 25 May 2012

Fill your days, no gaps

Good morning, I am waking up to sunshine yet again, long may it continue. I just thought I'd share this with you before I go out and enjoy the day. My calendar is on the wall next to my desk, in the office, ha ha, posh name for back bedroom. This room is where I plan my daily, weekly, and annual activities.   

I pin the new calendar on the wall, underneath the previous years, at about October time, so it's there and ready for anything I need to note down. So, by the time January arrives there are already some dates filled out. I need to keep track of what I need to do and when. Once something is on the calendar I don't like to change it if I have made a commitment, I hate letting people down.

The main reason people have a calendar is to organise their lives, future appointments can be inserted as a reminder so as not to forget them. Other people might have a diary for that purpose, but I much prefer a calendar, I don't like carting unnecessary stuff around with me. If someone asks me something about a date in the future when I'm out, I never agree to anything untill I have consulted the calendar, so they have to wait untill I get home for their answer. Sometimes I might get a text which requires a yes or no, again I can't answer it untill I see the calendar.

When I took the calendar down for 2011 I noticed that there were a lot of days where nothing was written down, blank spaces. Why was that I asked myself, surely I did something, I didn't just waste the time idling about, did I? Perhaps whatever I did wasn't particularly interesting, maybe mundane tasks that aren't worthy of an entry on the calendar. I was quite perturbed that I might have wasted a third of a year on doing nothing.

So when I started the calendar this year I decided to use it in a different way, to record most of the activities I had already done, so I could look back and say, yep, I did something every day. They don't have to be big important activities, they can be small jobs around the house, jobs where I have achieved a good outcome. A bit like a to do list if you like, but writing it down after I have done it.

I look at my calendar daily, and if I have a day free of commitments I think of something I can do to fill it. I don't want any gaps this year because every day is too precious to waste. The whole reason for me getting up in the morning is to enjoy the day, in whatever way I think fit. It may sound a bit selfish, perhaps people think all I do is go out a lot, but some of my enjoyment comes from helping others. Even though I don't work at a job any more, I still want to feel I am of use to someone.

Filling my calendar out in this way has helped me get more out of life in 2012. It's the way I shall do it from now on. It's the kick up the backside I need, because I can become a weeny bit idle if given half the chance. I've got a few gaps coming up in June, I think a holiday is on the cards for the end of the month, and maybe a few days out before that. Oooh I love organising my own life, much better than going to work, ha ha.

Anyone else going to give this a try? Write something down every day, not a full description, just a line or two, or even odd words if you don't have the space. Don't forget to allow yourself some 'me' time, chilling out with friends, or a glass of wine sitting in the garden. It's important to have a balance for your well being, do whatever makes you happy. Toodle pip.

16 comments:

  1. I have a desk diary, but it usually disappears under piles of papers and notes ! so I like your idea of pinning the months up on the wall - I'll definately be doing that.
    These can be printed off somewhere I'm sure, I'll google it and find out.
    I always try to 'achieve' something too out of each day, even if it is only something small, I hate wasting time, it's so short especially when you get to my age.
    Another good tip

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  2. I've done that for years. A hang over from when I had a busy life as a working Mum, with a school age child and clients to see. Now I have a week-to-view diary with something to do every day. Some days I don't do them- ooh what a rebel LOL

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  3. I keep a diary but I do have a calendar in the kitchen too. Apart from the fact that it has lovely pictures of campervans, it tells my OH where I am going to be in work over the coming months. As I finish work next week I will be taking up the idea of using the calendar for personal stuff. Loving the idea of adding things onto the calendar that are already done. I do put a TADA list in my diary each day so I can reflect on what I have achieved in the day. What a great way to turn things on their head though and make sure that you make the most of every day. As for being selfish......... well, is it not true that to be useful to others first you have to look after yourself. If thats being selfish well, good on you.

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  4. Can't imagine you being idle Ilona. I like the idea of filling my days, having something to do and somewhere to go everyday, but to be honest, I also like time when I have nothing to do at all - an empty day where I can do whatever I fancy. I like to have 'some' lazy days. Its not a waste if you are happy.

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  5. I have a large desk diary in the kitchen, it's full of "To Do Today" lists etc. I love the idea of 'Have Done' lists!
    Jane x

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  6. I have begun using the calendar feature in Outlook for recording not only appointments and activities, but all sorts of notes. I can do a search for anything ("veterinary", for example) and get an instant view of past and future (appointments, medications, food needed or bought , etc.).

    There are paper calendars tucked away all over my house, saved in case I needed to "look something up." Ha. But can I bring myself to chuck them out without looking through them? No. And do I want to spend hours looking through them? No. ;)

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  7. "Idle" days are not wasted days. Of course, if a person is not showing up for work, missing appointments, and not caring for personal hygiene, then there is more than idleness to consider.

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  8. I love this idea of a Done! list - and yes, it will be great to see that I have actually achieved something, even on the 'idle' days when I knit.

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  9. We (husband and I) have a calendar for appointments, to make sure we don't double book, but I like the idea of writing down what I've done each day. I find 'to do' lists oppressive, but I think a 'have done' list would be much more motivating for me. It doesn't matter if I haven't done the thing I set out to do in the day, so long as I've achieved something I could feel satisfied.

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  10. Idle? You? Never! This is a very good idea, and I will bear it in mind, although I sometimes do the opposite thing. For instance, if I have had a very busy time at work, as I have this week, I will write "Keep Free" on the calendar for this coming weekend, so I know that I will be too tired to do anything, and I won't over tire myself. But I will do as you suggest as well, and try to account for my days.

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  11. Very organized Ilona, I bumble along and am ashamed to say that the only things written on my calander are birthdays and appointments. Every year I start writing a diary but by the 10th of January its all gone to pot again. My brother in law has written a daily journal everyday since he was 15. He can go back to any given day and know exactly what he was doing.

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  12. This is a brilliant idea! I might try it myself, I like the sound of it.

    Regarding a Derbyshire walk, yes weekends are better for me at the moment as I work until 12 or 3:30 on weekdays. I don't usually have anything scheduled on my calendar but this year all June weekends are busy ones so it'll be July by the time I can meet up with you and then we'll be near the summer holidays, so for 6 weeks I'll be free every day :)

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  13. Lovely post Ilona and very good idea.

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  14. Ilona, your calendar is such a terrific idea. We all need to be reminded that we are useful and make contributions to our friends, family and community in our everyday activities no matter how mundane. You never fail to be an inspiration. I never miss a posting!
    Bonnie

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  15. It's not selfish to want to enjoy your life and I think you enjoy working quite hard because you are always doing something. What with having the four kids, I have a diary with five spaces on the desk and a matching calendar in the kitchen. Everyone has their own space for every day and I tell them what they're doing when. haha.

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  16. Wean, you can print a month by momth calendar from Microsoft Works, or Office.

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