How to Give Every Hour a Name?
Measuring Your Length of Time – Part 5
This might surprise you, but I don’t use an annual calendar as my guide. We’ve previously discussed my decade calendar and you’d think the next calendar increment would be an annual calendar. It’s not. As far as an annual calendar is concerned, we leave that up to our shared Outlook calendar. However, I like to look at a year by weeks. We only get 52 of them. So how will we use our weeks with intentionality to reach our goals and achieve our dreams?
The Thought or Concept:
To view my year by weeks or one week at a time, I use a method inspired by Michael Hyatt’s “ideal week” calendar. I’ve slightly modified his approach a little in creating two versions of my own ideal week: one that focuses around the week our daughter lives with us and another for the opposite when she lives with her mother. I take both week’s quite seriously. Because Tamia is important, we (Pamela and I) must value the time she’s with us and because God has orchestrated this alternating week dynamic, we must take full advantage of the week’s she’s not home, to accomplish our God-given mission.
At any rate, this concept is similar to what Dave Ramsey says about budgeting, “give every dollar a name.” In the same way, we must give every hour a name. It’s more important to budget your time and it’s more valuable. You see, if you don’t give each hour a name then someone else will. You’d be surprised at how often an hour of your time is hijacked and stolen from you. Not only that, God’s holding us accountable to the time we have and how we use it.
“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” – bible.com/1713/psa.90.12.csb
“Number your days” simply means account for your time. This is what uncommon people do and it’s something that doesn’t come naturally. It’s taught; learned behavior. If you desire to have uncommon results as it relates to your time and getting things done, the first and most important step is to take control of your most important and depleting resource, your time.
Let’s discuss the components of my “ideal week” calendar to paint a picture of what it looks like to create your own ideal calendar week. We use a separate Outlook calendar to overlay our actual calendars. Think of it like a calendar template or guide to how you book/budget your time each week. This overlay reveals our targets and the places that fall outside of our targets, ideal week.
Here are the appointments you’ll find on my ideal calendar week:
- Three morning exercise slots. Because my goal is to have at least three, one mile runs during the weekdays, I have them added to my ideal calendar for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 4:50-5:20 a.m.
- Think time. Everyone needs some time where they can do some uninterrupted thinking. I like to have time each day dedicated for nothing but thinking, really it’s to “change my thinking” a process I learned from John Maxwell. My think time is scheduled each weekday from 5:00-5:30 a.m.
- Shave and haircut appointments. I schedule two slots for shaving and one slot for a haircut each week. I do these myself and schedule them from 5:30 -6:30 a.m.
- Daily prep./prayer time. This is the time dedicated for preparing for the day; we do this with prayer as the main focus. Each weekday morning this appointment is set from 5:20-6:40 a.m. The weekend slots are adjusted only slightly.
- Office time. I set an appointment for my desired time to be in and out of the office, this is set for 7:45-4:45 p.m. This might be the most important time slot to set. You need a firm start and stop time to your work otherwise you’ll eat into your outside-of-the-office time. It might be a good idea to place this appointment on your ideal week first so that you can see what you have left to work with.
- Lunch writing session. Monday through Thursday, I’ve set aside my lunch hour for writing. I use this timeslot to write my weekly web-post content, usually at the local Starbucks.
- After hours work sessions. Monday through Thursday, I have one hour appointments scheduled at a coffee shop, Barnes & Nobles, and/or public library to write content and handle our platform related projects. Tuesdays are reserved, as this is the time I have set aside to meet with my closest friend. I have a discipline of completing my after-hours-work-session appointment prior to heading home for the evening. This work session is scheduled from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Reading/Reflecting time. Each evening, scheduled for 8:30-9:00 p.m. is my time for reflecting over the day and reading physical books. I’ve recently implemented a new reading plan that let’s me target and complete one book every other month. I take the number of pages in the selected book and divide by 61 days to obtain the minimum number of pages I must read each night to meet my goal. My goal is to read six physical books in a year and increase this number in subsequent years.
- Sleep appointment. To ensure I get the right amount of sleep, I have an appointment for that too, 9:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m. This appointment also reveals what happens when I stay up late and don’t get the amount of rest I need.
- The weekends. If I manage my weekdays as prescribed above, then my weekends are completely mine. This includes time with my beautiful wife (Pamela), assisting my parents with their yard work, my own yard work and most important, my weekly Sunday (8:00 a.m.) worship service.
I’m sure this all feels like a lot, but when you begin to dissect your life by a week (like I have), your life will be just as filled. While this sounds extreme and maybe impossible. This is an ideal calendar, not an actual calendar week. It’s rare to get everything done that you wish to get done as life doesn’t always go as smoothly as you desire. In fact, you will have more slots than time in the same way we have more bills than money, at time.
Today is Friday!
The goal is not to see how busy you are, but rather plan an ideal week as if you could have it your way. Unless you create the vision for it, you plan to perish in this area. If you don’t have a plan for your week, you’ve already planned to fail this week. Until next Friday, take a moment and create the ideal week you dream you could have every week of the year.