Getting Things Done

The new gym I joined after my long-time gym closed is really crowded during the times I always worked out. Because I really don’t like this new gym, I found myself just not going.  Which made me crazy and very unhappy.  I decided that the way to get myself to the gym was to put it on my calendar and treat it as if it were an appointment with a favorite client.  

Calendaring it made me do something else—the time I used to go to the gym was not working in this new place.  But if I get to the gym any time between 10-4, it is pretty empty, and I find that I don’t dislike it quite as much.  More to the point, I have good workouts.  Now, every Sunday, I look at my next week, and find 2 hours where I can plug in “Gym.”  If the weather is nice and I have the time, I frequently walk to and from the gym—a round trip of slightly more than 4 miles, and that makes me especially happy.

At this point in my life, being happy—in work and everything else—is paramount.  I no longer want to do things that do not please me, but I am also old enough to know that not everything I need to do will be something I want to do.  Again, I rely on my calendar.

My calendar is NOT a to do list.  I keep one of those also—and that is a list of the things I need to do:

  • Write a proposal to ABC organization
  • Develop scripts for XYZ
  • Follow up with QRS
  • Go to gym!

After every client conversation, I put on my white board what I said I would do and, as I do them, I cross that item off.

No, my calendar is more serious.  For example, “Follow up QRS” has been on my board for two solid weeks.  I need to follow up!  Now it becomes an appointment; on Tuesday at 9:15 AM, I have on my calendar, “Follow up…..” and when 9:15 rolls around, guess what?  I pick up the phone or write that email that I have been avoiding for too long.

Needless to say, simply putting something on your calendar, or on a to-do list, does not guarantee that you will get it done.  Committing to honoring your schedule and treating everything that is on your calendar as imperative, will.

I don’t, for that reason, put things that are unimportant to me on my calendar.  Or, as I recently told a friend, I’m not generally a procrastinator, but when I don’t want to do something, I never seem to be able to find time to do it.

Even if it is calendared.

Calendar Janet to help move your nonprofit from mired to inspired.  Set up a free, 30-minute consultation and check out her website:  While there, subscribe the the newsletter.


About janetlevineconsulting

For over 20 years, Janet Levine has worked for and with nonprofit and educational organizations, helping to grow their advancement programs. Her consulting company, Janet Levine Consulting, serves a wide range of organizations from small, all-volunteer agencies to major national organizations. She regularly teaches courses in non-profit management, fundraising and grant development, both face-to-face and online at In addition to her nonprofit work, Janet brings years of experience as a business and sales manager in the for-profit sector. She has an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.
This entry was posted in productivity, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s