Create an Activity Calendar

Something that retail corporations (and probably other corporations too) are fond of doing is creating Activity Calendars for the store locations to follow. It may be called by different names at different companies but the purpose is always the same: It’s a list of things that “need” done on a specific day sometimes by a specific person. As retail chains have grown larger and money is tight for more corporate personnel, these Activity Calendars have become an easy way for corporations to micro-manage store locations without actually having someone in the stores checking up on whether the tasks were completed. Apparently the store management already being paid for these kind of duties aren’t trustworthy enough to handle the responsibility of micro-management.

So what does this have to do with you? Well I’ve found that an Activity Calendar can be a useful tool in your personal life as well. However, if you are thinking that you can schedule your personal life to the point of assigning specific tasks to specific days, you are completely wrong. Life happens and your schedule will be blown up before it even starts. Jimmy needs to go to soccer practice, Susie needs to go to dance class, Jimmy hurt himself at soccer practice and is now in the emergency room, and it’s now 9:00 a night and you just realized that you never did pick up Susie from dance class. The day went by with none of your scheduled tasks getting completed. Find someone or something to blame, then try again tomorrow. By the way it turns out Jimmy was just faking it because he really doesn’t like soccer he only plays because you make him. Way to go.

I’ve found that a much more effective approach to the idea of Activity Calendars is to plan activities, chores, tasks, or whatever you want to call them during the few days leading up to a new week. I don’t plan specific times for anything and I don’t even try to pick specific days. The tasks get done when I have time during that week. When it happens during that week is irrelevant. Some of those things are on the list every week and some of them are once and done projects. I work the list around my life so that my life doesn’t get in the way of a too-structured list. After a few weeks of this kind of approach to my personal life I find that I get in a rhythm and suddenly the things that I never seemed to have time for before are easily handled in manageable chunks.

If it seems like your personal life is a bit out of control then see if using an Activity Calendar can help bring back a certain level of control without trying to control every aspect of every day.