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: http://janetlevineconsulting.com.  While there, subscribe the the newsletter.

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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 http://courses.lmlearningstation.com/. 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.
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