I LOVE starting a new month. All those white squares in the calendar represent breathing room, margin in our lives, and a relaxed pace.

Can we really change? Yes, IF we get control of our time by controlling our calendar. That can be done by “tweaking” our lives with the following Time Tips:

1. Remember to fill only 70% of your time each day. A frown on your face and the “pedal to the metal” feeling all day long are red flags that you are living beyond your means ‒ mentally and emotionally. Identify your stressors and make a change until they are at peaceful levels.

2. Stay balanced by committing only four nights out or less. This is the maximum number that will allow you to be on top of things at home and at work.

3. When you say “yes,” turn around and say “no.” Recognize that your time schedule is full now so when you add something new, you must say “no” to something comparable. For example, adding a new project means making sure lose ends are tied up on other projects.

4. Plan a family “Pizza Calendar” party on Sunday nights.
Talk over plans for the next two weeks as a family and get it all on your calendar. Dinners will be less hectic with the advance notice and while you’re at it, fill out a family menu plan for the week, too.

5. Use your multi-tasking skills to meet needs and plan pleasant times.
My rule of thumb is: children think one hour ahead, teens one day ahead, and spouses three months ahead. Accept their style and bring them along at their pace. (More on p. 23 Simplify Your Life)

6. List three personal goals on your monthly calendar.
See if your calendar reflects you are moving forward to where you want to be in your goals and priorities. Schedule time for them.

7. Compare today with what you did the last few weeks on this day of the week. Our lives repeat patterns and you can discover your good patterns (and bad ones). Repeat or delete things to make today the best it can be.

Your calendar — a single calendar — should reflect a balanced and satisfying life for you. You can start that journey by consolidating your activities into one calendar.

Online Time Course by Marcia Ramsland

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