Why a simple calendar? Because it’s nice to be able to relax at home. It’s good to have more time for your loved ones and friends. It’s great to be able to be more productive. A simple calendar will free up the time for all of these things.
Life can get busy. I know. I’m a single dad. I have a full-time teaching job. My daughter takes piano lessons. I play in a band. I write. I blog. I try to stay active. You might think I’d be running around like a headless chicken.
The truth is that I used to be busy all the time. Over the last few years, I’ve learned some great strategies to make a simple calendar work, even with everything I need to do as a dad and a college professor.
Create A Simple Calendar
- Clear the excess: Your first step is to study your current schedule. If you’re busy all the time, chances are high that you’ve taken on too many commitments. Some of those commitments are likely not critical. You have to make some choices. Only keep the things that are truly necessary or beneficial to you and your family. Cut everything else.
- Start saying no: Once you decide what to cut, you’ll have to tell some people that you can no longer participate in certain activities. Once you do that, you have to be ready to say no to new requests. When I started putting myself and my family first, it was amazing how much more free time I found.
- Limit extra activities: It’s good to have fun, but too many extra activities will turn you into a taxi driver. My daughter, Annie, used to have three or four different weekly activities outside of school: piano, karate, soccer, swimming. It was extra expense and extra running around. I cut things back to one activity and I’m amazed at the peace it’s provided.
- Stop eating out: Do you ever get too lazy to cook? You jump in the car and go out to eat. Don’t. That’s a habit that not only keeps you running, but also leads toward less healthy eating. I used to eat out several times a week. Now I eat out once or twice a month. It makes a big difference.
- Coordinate activities: I rarely drive my car for a single reason. I coordinate my grocery shopping with other needs. I stop by the post office on the way home from work. I stop by the drug store on the way home from church. If you take care of two or three small things while you’re out, you’ll have a simple calendar.
- Shop less often: I used to grocery shop once or twice a week. Now I shop twice a month and stock up a little. I still might have to pick up some fresh produce in-between big trips, but the big trips do wonders for keeping my schedule free of the runaround.
- Use the Internet: I’ve started using the Internet for many of my banking and medical needs. Online bill paying saves more time than you might expect. Instead of seeing my doctor for small problems, I communicate with her online. Not only am I saving time, I’m saving money.
A Simple Calendar Leads To Less Spending
It’s interesting. When you create a simple calendar, you’ll also discover that you spend less money and buy less stuff. It’s amazing how a simple calendar is directly linked to a simple life in general. It’s all part of the joy of minimalism.
If you want more peace, you need to stop being too busy. You’ll discover that you’ll feel more relaxed. You’ll have more time for relationships. You might even get the time to write that book you’ve always thought about writing.