I missed two appointments this past weekend and last Friday I would have missed a doctor appointment if my doctor hadn’t taken the day off.
This is a problem that needs to be addressed.
There are basically two parts of keeping track of an appointment. The first is writing it down and the second is reading it.
If you have a good scheduling habit.
I don’t have one of those.
When I a young man I had an very good memory and very simple responsibilities so I didn’t develop a good scheduling habit. Basically I went to work and then went to the theater where I either had rehearsal, a meeting or beers with friends. When I grew older it became clear that I needed a way to keep track of my growing list of obligations and commitments.
I thought that the problem was finding a system that I could consistently use. I longed for the iPhone for decades before it was invented. Before that I tried notebooks and dayplanners and calenders and loose leaf systems and journals and even hired a personal assistant for a few months. Nothing worked. I thought it was because I didn’t have the right device.
The truth is that I did not develop a good scheduling habit.
Now I have the right device, a magical appliance that goes whereever I go. A phone and a computer and a sound system all in one that I always have with me. I have multiple scheduling options. At work I have Outlook and at home we use Google Calendar. Both update to the magical device in my pocket.
So what’s the problem now?
I have still not developed a good scheduling habit.
I want to acknowledge that I have made progress. I actually have a nascent scheduling habit. I am now aware that my life is more complicated and my memory is not what it was when I was 20 so I need to write everything down. It’s much better than it was BUT, obviously, there is room for improvement (see missed appointments above).
What’s missing is the habit of writing everything down and then always looking at both calendars.
Especially on weekends. Weekends and holidays are problematic because I don’t automatically open my computer and check my email and calendar. I have this strong belief that my weekends are full of free time even though every weekend for the past 45 years has been full to bursting. I’m apparently a slow learner.
As I said, there are two steps to scheduling:
- Writing it down at the time that the appointment or commitment is made
- Reading it and being aware of it when the appointment or commitment is scheduled.
So I going forward I need to make sure I put everything in my schedule and check that schedule every day.
Reading: The reading of my schedule I can do that at the end of my journaling which I plan to do every morning, even on weekends. I do my journaling in my computer which has access to everything. My schedule will also be available on my phone. It seems to me that I should figure out how to integrate my work schedule (on Outlook) and my personal/family calendar (on Google). I am not the only one using either system so I can’t delete either one but I’m sure there’s an effective way for them to talk to each other.
Writing: I need to always make sure I take the time to enter my appointments into my calendar. What stops me is:
- Embarrassment at taking time away from whomever I am talking to to write down the appointment.
- A mistaken belief that I will remember and/or enter it later.
I just have to change my behavior.
Three Steps to
Checking my schedule(s) now….Back to school night? What the heck is that?
I started this blog to provide a forum for my ideas AND to document my own transformation and to create public accountability for changes I want to make in my life. Some posts will be full of philosophy and others will have practice tools. Others will be about my own struggles and successes and the steps I am taking to minimize the former and maximize the latter.
This is one of those.