Do you write your appointments in your calendar in pencil?
I have written a number of my standing appointments and long scheduled appointments or presentations in pen... only to have to deal with the mess after it was canceled by the other person. I had to start writing my appointments in pencil.
I thought that if I wrote in pen it meant that the appointment is firmly set.
But yikes... just because I thought that... doesn't mean that it was true. Sometimes we cannot help changing the commitments we have... or that others have with us that are changed because of circumstances beyond our control.
What I noticed was... by writing in pencil, I can change what I need to change without a 'mess' to deal with on my calendar. I also found that I could in fact change my calendar without a mess at all in my life... off the paper.
Many of us think that to make a commitment is set in stone. Yet, we may find that the commitment that sounded perfect previously... may be more of a hassle than a pleasure. Yes, some things like a dentist or doctor appointment are really not THAT pleasant... but we still go to those appointments... but often when we have second thoughts about an appointment or commitment... and we look at why we have those second thoughts... you find that maybe... it is best that we simply erase the commitment from our calendar.
When I say simply erase the commitment... please note, I am not talking about blowing someone off... but instead let them know that you are not going to be able to keep the commitment.
There are times when our calendars begin to fill with a lot of things we were unable to say no to or simply changed our mind. You have to know in your heart and mind that it is okay to say no or to change your mind.
Writing your commitments in pencil gives you permission to change your plans if you need too.
The other day I wanted to attend a networking group for lunch. However, I had to make some choices... work with a client or go to lunch... yes, that seems like a very easy decision to make... yet, many people will try to fit it all in - and I could have... but it would have been very tight in my schedule. I had to ask myself... do I want to do this?
My answer was no, I did not want to rush from one to the other... throw more into my schedule than I really wanted to do. I said no. I changed my RSVP and erased it from my calendar.
Write your commitments in pencil... give yourself permission to change your mind, say no, and set boundaries for yourself. It really does help you leverage your time.