Calendar - How to Schedule

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
— Churchill


An up to date schedule is the ultimate reality check. I create wild fantasies about the fun things I’m going to do tomorrow/this week but when the time arrives and I see where I need to be and what I need to be doing, the fantasy and reality can contrast sharply. Developing a trusted system around scheduling helps me surrender gracefully to the inexorable pace of passing time.


Your schedule all information about where you need to be and when. Do not use it to block out specific times for how long you believe work is going to take

Weekly Pass - Every Sunday morning, open up your calendar and start blocking time in this order.

  • Tend to your biology - Sleep, food, exercise. Block off the time for sleep that you know you need to function well. Block of times in the day to prepare and eat real food. Schedule time for real exercise every day.
  • Free Time - Block off free days where nothing is scheduled, no work, no chores. One is the bare minimum but schedule 2 or three when you can.
  • Work Time - First cancel meetings that you know are a waste of time, then confirm productive meetings and schedule prep time for those. Schedule blocks of time at your primary and other work spaces to get work done. Don’t block out specific items, that’s what your task list is for.
  • Transition Time - Estimate how long it will take to transition between activities and work spaces, then double it. Put the transition time on your calendar. We don’t rush. When we run from one thing to the next, we leave our smart selves behind. We forget important things, we don’t feel prepared, we get stressed out. Scheduling real and generous transition time ensures that we show up prepared and relaxed and ready to execute our commitments.

Daily Pass - Your schedule will change throughout the week and will need adjustment to stay accurate. As part of your daily close down routine, review tomorrow’s schedule in full and confirm that you’re ready to do what you’ve committed to. Check meetings, work time, free time, make sure you’re bags are packed, etc.

On the Fly - Update your calendar on the fly as the need arises, knowing that you’ll review it closely every week and double check every night.


► Install the weekly habit of laying out your week’s schedule on Sunday morning.

► Install the daily habit of reviewing and adjusting tomorrows calendar as you close up work for the day.

Why you won’t do it.

  1. I've tried scheduling my time before and I never stick to it so why bother?

  2. I've got great memory. I don’t need to schedule all my appointments.

How to do it anyway

  1. Laying out your day on a schedule and working through it is the ultimate reality check. It’s where your aspirations of what you want to do and who you want to be turn into real actions and real time devoted. Have you always wanted to learn Mandarin? If there is time blocked out every day and you can stick to your schedule, you’ll learn it. If you don’t have the time dedicated, you won’t pick it up in your free time.

  2. Why try to remember anything when your calendar can remember everything for the next century? Spend your brain cycles on creativity or fun, not on remembering appointments.

Johnathan Deckert