The murkiness of 2020 has caused many to adopt a bunker mentality and avoid making plans too far into the future. However, creating a Master 2021 Calendar is a wonderful antidote to that thinking. A Master Calendar is an organizing tool that will bring a greater sense of order and relief.
Generally, there are three priorities in our lives: Our personal needs, our relationships (family, friends, etc.) and our work. When scheduling time, we are more likely to focus on work, leaving personal and relationship time to take up whatever is left over. That leaves us tired and anxious. The trick is to learn to balance the three.
To help you get started on your Master Calendar, here are highlights from mine:
- January: 15 2020 4th QTR tax estimates to pay; 18 Martin Luther King Day, office closed; 25 Staff quarterly reviews
- February: 7 Super Bowl; 15 President’s Day, office closed; 22 All day business planning, out of office
- March: 15 Corporate tax filing; 27 1st night of Passover; 31 Compare quarterly business goals to annual goals; find a paver for driveway; measure progress toward goal of bringing on another advisor to our firm
- April: 15 tax filing, 1st QTR tax estimates to pay; 26 Staff quarterly reviews
- May: 10 All day business planning, out of office; 28 Friday day off
- June: 1-6 vacation, many days of bicycling; 30 Compare quarterly business goals to annual goals; measure progress toward goal of bringing on another advisor to our firm
- July: Start bi-weekly Summer Friday days off for myself and staff; if it’s okay to go to a baseball game at Citi Field, see if Ilana and I can do that; 26 Staff quarterly reviews
- August: Pick random time off for bicycling, 2022 goal planning and a review of three-year goal plan; read two books
- September: 6-8 Office closed for Labor Day, then Jewish New Year; 16 Office closed for Yom Kippur; 30 Compare quarterly business goals to annual goals 3rd QTR tax estimates to pay
- October: Onboard new advisor and their staff person; 18 Staff quarterly reviews
- November: 1st Friday pick up new kitchen water filters; what are we doing for Thanksgiving?; 28 1st night Chanukah
- December: 1st Saturday car inspection; 13 Review and discuss 2022 business goals with staff; 20-24 Aurora will take off Christmas week
I have this information entered in a two-page annual calendar, with code words to accommodate the date boxes in the 8 ½” by 11” sheets. My Master Calendar reminds me of the big-picture items as well as a few don’t-forgets. I prefer writing into a planner because, as a visual person, my mind takes snapshots of the pages and my subconscious will remind me of my Master Calendar at the most appropriate and serendipitous moments. I also keep running lists and notes each day for the urgent tasks and for recordkeeping, as most people do. But when I review my Master Calendar and think about time off on my birthday week or a Mets game with my daughter Ilana or a reminder to sit in the backyard and enjoy a good book, I feel that I am taking good care of me.