Calendar Cleanse: Best Tip of 2018 | Jennifer Magley

Juice Cleanse. Soup Cleanse. Colon Cleanse. Calendar Cleanse.

Yes, we all need a good scrubbing. 

Photo: Faith Blackwell

Early in my entrepreneur journey I was in a committed relationship with Networking. For two years straight I replied yes to every single person that asked to meet in person. After hours, before hours, and four hours (this legitimately happened once) were all part of our monogamous agreement. I would say yes to seeing, “what synergies existed” and Networking promised to give me, “valuable connections.”

Entering year three something abrupt happened. I had a need and decided to call upon my much layered and interwoven Network and was stunned to find…impotence. Sure Network had supported my other projects but when it came to me I found it needed more prodding. Suddenly it hit me: I had become a professional “meeter” it was as though all I did was attend meetings for a living. Nothing is better than a job that does not pay, which actually made me a “volunteer meeter.”

Saying yes to everyone came from a place of wanting to grow outside of my comfort zone. By saying yes I thought that I was participating in the Law of Reciprocity. Through every yes I learned what it meant to say no to other potentially more important things, like making money or being with my kids.

In my last article “Busy? 5 Transformative Tips” I mentioned doing a Calendar Cleanse as a way to find more time. A Calendar Cleanse is a time audit covering every second you are awake. This simple action of setting aside 30 minutes to review where your time is going to change your life. Without a doubt it is the single most powerful thing you can do in 2018. 

Here are five questions with tips as a reference when cleansing your calendar and breaking up with Networking:

I. Why is this appointment on my calendar?

Understanding the true reason why you have committed to spend your time in a meeting is the starting point.

II. Does this appointment have to be face to face?

The majority of tasks that appointments cover can be addressed in email, phone, or video conference. Outside of layering the relationship, often there is not much value in meeting face to face. Additionally, consider how much time goes into this meeting from preparation to travel time. Frequently one meeting can eat more than half of your day.

III. Does this appointment hold income potential?

Commit to charity work and then draw the boundary. Outside of that boundary trust your gut with how you spend your time. If it is not income generating or helpful in a tangible way give it a closer look before saying yes.

IV. Can this appointment be cancelled or rescheduled?

Here is some language to use when cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. “Not going to be able to make it for lunch this week. How does two weeks from now sound?” Notice that it is not necessary to give a reason for cancelling. Truthfully no one cares.

V. Have I scheduled my personal wellness (exercise, health, recovery, etc)?

As a high performance coach of athletes, entrepreneurs, and executives this is the single biggest mistake I have witnessed over the last ten years. Take advantage of technology and schedule yourself some TLC. After auditing your time if you find that you literally don’t have an extra 30 minutes to take a walk, get up 30 minutes earlier. 

If complications arise from these questions consider these follow ups:

Is it possible to have back to back appointments at the same location?

How often am I doing my actual work?

Where can I find more time?

Guard your time fiercly. Time is the only thing that we have and if you are going to give it away do it knowingly. Additionally, consider noting how much time you spend on social media, including LinkedIN. Chances are you could be writing that dream business plan on the toilet rather than scrolling the explore feature on Instagram.

As a word of caution: during this cleanse coffees will get cancelled, lunches will be postponed and even well meaning service projects may get the boot. Remember, this is a cleanse and you are looking to get clear and down to business, the actual work you are meant to do. As an executive or entrepreneur your schedule should be run by you not the other way around. No one starts a business or goes for a promotion to become a greater schedule slave and have less autonomy. On the contrary, advancement is fueled by the idea of freedom. Freedom to choose, so choose what is on your calendar wisely.  

Jennifer Magley is a former professional athlete, speaker, author, and High Performance Coach. Article originally appeared on www.magleyjennifer.com/blog More information can be found at www.magleyjennifer.com and videos on YouTube.