Lots of Peter Pauper customers are ordering 2013 calendars! (Thank you!) But can a calendar truly help you keep life's chaos under control? Yes! proclaims Lisa Montanaro, organizer extraordinaire. Start streamlining that schedule right now (especially during these jolly but hectic holidays) with with a few quick tips from Lisa's acclaimed Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful, and More Organized Life.
- "Keep just one calendar or planner to have a place to write all appointments. It doesn't matter what kind it is. Just be sure it is only one. Why? Because as soon as you add more than one calendar to the mix, you create an opportunity for conflicting appointments."
- Paper, electronic, or both? "Visual people tend to do better with paper calendars, which allow them to see time and lists in a layout rather than as individual items. Tactile people like pen to paper and enjoy writing, color coordinating by category, and being creative. If this matches your style, by all means, stay with a paper system, but make it work for you . . . "
- Create a master calendar. "It's helpful for facilitating communication in a family (or office) environment. An old-fashioned wall calendar still makes a great organizing tool for most busy families. Centralize the information so everyone's activities for the month can be seen at a glance. Any appointments (parents or children) that affect the family go on it. Consider color-coding based on person or activity. Or go high-tech and synchronize electronic calendars or an online calendar for the entire family."
- Eliminate one or two social activities you'd really rather not do. "Give yourself the gift of some free time. Stall first so you can gather your thoughts before you reply. Ask yourself if you can fit this activity into your schedule. If not, try simply saying, 'I'd love to, but I can't.' But don't say 'Maybe.' If you mean no, say it."
- Buffer your schedule. "Try to allow transition time between activities or appointments, for traffic, interruptions, etc. If you don't need those extra minutes, then hey — you have some bonus time for you!"
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