Is It Time for Calendar Triage?

Do you ever feel like you are running out of bandwidth? I do. I am in one of those periods right now. The last several weeks have been crazy.

A Jumbled Calendar -Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/kutaytanir, Image #8991871

My new book, Platform, is about to be published. My speaking calendar is full for the next several weeks. And I have a daughter getting married at the end of this month.

As a result, I feel like I am falling further and further behind, especially as I try to keep up with my e-mail load and meeting requests. Something has to go.

This weekend, I am planning to go through my calendar and engage in a little calendar triage. In case you are not familiar with it, triage is a battlefield term. Medics have to decide where to apply their limited resources. They can’t help everyone.

According to Dictionary.com, “triage” is

the process of sorting victims, as of a battle or disaster, to determine medical priority in order to increase the number of survivors.”

In other words, some patients will survive without medical care. Some won’t survive even if they have medical care. Triage means ignoring these two groups and focusing on those that will only survive with medical care.

With regard to your calendar, it means you must know which things you can safely cancel or reschedule and which things demand your participation.

I’ve done this before and here’s how it works:

  1. Protect the basics. I will look at my current priorities and make sure I have allocated time for them in my schedule. I especially have to build-in time in the alone zone, so that I have time to actually get my work done. I will schedule these as appointments. (This is particularly important as you get busier.)
  2. Eliminate the non-essentials. Sometimes I make commitments that seem to be important when I schedule them. However, after further reflection, I realize that they aren’t that important. So, to the extent possible, I am going to either cancel these meetings or see if I can handle them another way.
  3. Re-schedule some of what remains. Some things are important, but they are not important now. I like to get things done as soon as possible, but this some times works against me. So, I plan to go through my calendar and see what can be postponed without significant consequences.

Hopefully, with a little planning, I can regain my equilibrium and carve out a little more margin for myself.

Question: Do you need to do a little calendar triage, too? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.colleencoble.com colleen Coble

    Marking non meeting time in your calendar sounds like a great idea! Are you still finding time to run? Following your example, I’ve started a daily workout and scheduled it in on my calendar to make myself do it. I go for a brisk walk with five pound weights in the cemetery behind our house. The place reminds me to pray and the hills make me work. LOL

    I have a pronating foot so I needed a new pair of shoes. I almost went to the store and bought Nikes then thought, what would Mike do? He’d say to research the best shoe for my foot and try them on. I kept remembering what you said about keeping the knees straight too. I tried on different shoes and ended up with Sauconys. They’re fabulous for my workout!

    But I had to make the workout a prioirity or I would never have done it. It was too easy to sit in my chair and start working every day. But I’ve been consistent now for about three months. You were such an inspiration to me to do it!

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Yes!  I definitely need some calendar triage.  This can be a real challenge with two active kids in middle school.  We’ll see what we can do.  I appreciate the timely post.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Kids definitely added a different dynamic to the schedule!

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    My calendar will triage itself with the end of my kids school year.  I think I will take your advice and do some further slicing and dicing and make things more manageable.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Sometimes I have a harder time triaging my time in the summer, when I don’t have the structure of school days to guide my time. However, it will be nice to have a break from all the demands of homework, etc!

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    Hint:  Everything the father of the bride is supposed to do….keep it on your list!

    I have to triage some of my meetings that could be phone calls.  The time to drive to meet people, have small talk, get to the point, drive back (stop by a store to pick up one item) can all take a huge chunk out of what would have been a productive day.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think I will keep those items on my list!

    • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

      Dave – I’m finding myself in the same situation with meetings that could be phone calls. I’m curious to know how you plan to triage these “meetings” to not offend anyone and ensure that those relationships continue to grow.

      • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

        I have just been brutally honest and told people I have over committed myself and ask for a phone appointment instead.  

        What I have found is they are usually happy to do it by phone when it is possible.  The breakfast or lunch meeting has become too ubiquitous for me. I need to set those for top priority people and issues only.

        • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

          Thanks, Dave! That is perfect!

          I’ve already tried your approach with someone that wanted to meet for coffee and he was more than happy to switch it to a Skype call.
          It’s amazing how a little honesty goes a long way in business.

          Thanks again!

  • Linda Adams

    If only it were that easy.  Managers can delegate down to employees.  I’m the employee who gets everything delegated to.  I have a job that takes up 90% of my time, and I’ve gotten stuck with other things that have to fit into the remaining 10% of mine but would take up 90% of mine time.  The result is that I’m perpetually behind, and my only fixes have been to keep me from burning out.

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

    This can be a tough exercise for many. It often involves saying “No” to appointments and people.

    I have had this challenge recently. As my site’s traffic has risen, so has the number of inquiries and pitches I get. It is a good problem to have, but if you are not careful, the flood can overtake your pretty quick.

    As you point out, you must “protect the basics,” or you risk having everything degraded. 

    For me, it is about sometimes saying “No,” and being happy about it, so that you can say “Yes” to what is most important.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree, Craig. You have to say “no,” and you have to make sure you are saying “no” to the right things. Do you have a system that you use to decide what to say no to?

    • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

      Hey Craig! Fancy to see you over here instead of on your awesome blog!

      Question – how do you maintain the art of saying “no”? I know you’ve been expanding with workshops and new products/services and that you are an entrepreneur so – from one entrepreneur to another – how do you manage that art when most of your business resides on your shoulders alone?

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       I love the idea of being content with the decision to say no to things thaat don’t fit. So many times I feel badly that I can’t help everyone and do it all… this is my growing edge!

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    Great post, Michael!  I have done this in the past, but I am back in a position where I need to do it again…thanks for the reminder.

    Of course, one thing I would add is that like battlefield triage, we need to recognize that those around us are not necessarily going to assist us in our efforts.  In fact, they will likely make it more difficult as they promote their own agendas.  We have to stay firm and focus on our own limited resources!

    I wrote this post about how to approach this issue…

    http://christianfaithatwork.com/when-should-you-say-no/ 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree with that, Chris. It is a good reminder. Thanks.

  • http://www.suttonparks.com/ Sutton Parks

    I live a pretty simple life.  No kids, single, I operate a small business and don’t own much.  There are pro’s and con’s to this lifestyle but a pro is that my schedule is simple and enjoyable.  It fits my personality style.  I cringe when my corporate friends talk about all stuff on their schedule and that they need to “decompress”.  I think they thrive on that, whereas I thrive on a morning hike in the woods.  

    • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

      I too live a simple life even with kids and being married. You hit on a key when you said that some people seem to “thrive” on busyness. Seems as if it’s a trendy thing to do sometimes. Yet, like you, I “thrive” on being in nature, reading, relaxing, etc. I love my simple life.

  • AmericanWriter

    Michael… a quick suggestion or two. 1. Since I am applying your principles and am actually getting some clarity in my work-life balance, and I am focusing on personal development from 5-am-8am, it may not be commercially advantageous… but put out your blog or email or RSS @ 6am… not 7:09am, since I would like to may your posts and blogs part of my morning ritual. You know, mornings with Mikey (just kidding).  2. Am really excited about your book.  Have read a number of excerpts, and I don’t think you are going to have a problem AT ALL with it. God bless you and your family.

  • http://ThisMomsDelight.com Tami @ ThisMomsDelight.com

    Congratulations to your daughter!  

  • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

    I am in a good place right now because I have done calendar triage in the past. About 3 years ago the Lord very specifically guided me to triage my life and calendar. His Words to me were: Choose the top three things that should occupy your time. Get rid of everything else.

    Whew! That was hard. It meant letting go of good things. Occasionally I still am tempted to fall into the calendar overload mode, but then I remember I need to say ‘yes’ to only those things that fit into that top three catagory.

    Something Beth Moore said years ago still rings in my head about this ‘calendar overload’ thingy. “You cannot do a thousand things to the glory of God.” That will preach.

    • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

      I can completely relate to the process you describe here. I was actually going through much the same process over the past couple of years. Focusing on the top three things and using those to guide what I put on my calendar and leave off has been the best way I’ve found to keep my life simple and focused. I, too, get tempted to fall into the overload mode again, but thankfully the Holy Spirit always says, “You don’t want to do that…”

    • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

      “You cannot do a thousand things to the glory of God.”
      Love it! Thank you so much Leah! I’m going to write that quote out right away and stick it where I can see it all day at my desk.

      • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

        You are welcome Shannon. It has kept me from overload several times.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Leah,
      That will preach is right! That will most definitely preach! :) 

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    If anything, my calendar is a little too underpopulated. I’ve always wondered if there’s something wrong with me.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelgass Michael Gass

    I’m always enriched by your articles Michael. You lead by example and help me to keep my prioritize straight and my life in balance as my consulting business has grown over the past five years. This article is another example of your practical advice that you personally practice and then share with the rest of us. I’ve witnessed the growth of your blog over these years. You have done a brilliant job with social media. I wish you continued success. Thanks for being such a wonderful example of having such success building your business and equally successful as a husband, father,  friend to us all and mentor to me personally.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Michael. I appreciate your kind words.

  • http://twitter.com/BradBlackman Brad Blackman

    Wow, congratulations, father-of-the-bride! What a busy month!

    We just had our third child last week. Last month, as we were trying to get some things done around the house, my wife and I trimmed our list down to the essentials that HAD to get done. Everything else is optional. Therefore, big projects turned into small, doable ones. The end result: everyone breathes more easily, and the house is back at a maintenance level. The REAL result: my wife is happy, and so is everyone else!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Now you just have to keep her happy. : )

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

         …and there you have it. Life simplified!!!

  • David

    You almost have a plethora of things on your plate nowadays.  Work, home, kids, church, etc. My plate the past few years has gone from plate, to platter, to buffet line.  Absolutely swamped, with no real chance of relief until the middle of summer.

    I like how Dave Ramsey puts it in the same category as money.  (Paraphrase) Time is like money, you have to budget your time wisely, just like you budget your money. Otherwise, you’ll wonder where it went.

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Yes, definitely! Right post @ right time! Thanks.

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    This is absolutely a must. I tend to over book myself at times to please others but I end up stressed and tired. So I started saying no or just rescheduling. I see some people require hand holding in my industry and some don’t. So I have to decide who needs my help and who can manage on their own. I can definitely apply this to my situation.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       LP,

      I am a chronic “over booker”— I hear you!

      • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

         You and I both Barry. Definitely working on that.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    It sounds like you have a trifecta of a perfect storm coming. A wedding, a book, and major speaking events all in the compression of a few weeks. We all know your book will make the best seller lists, you’re sure to be a hit at Catalyst and Blog World, and you definitely need to be on the platform giving your daughter’s hand away in marriage.

    My suggestion… have another round of guest posts here on your blog, add some hours to your virtual assistant, take your wife out to a REALLY nice dinner before this all hits… and pray like crazy!

    Oh… and make sure your virtual assistant forwards calls from Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Al Roker, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Fox and friends, Matt Drudge, and most certainly Gail Hyatt.

    Oh… and if you need some counseling or just someone to talk to, I’m available next Thursday from 10:50 to 10:55 am Pacific time. I’ll put you on my accept calls list…

    Good luck :-)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       John,
      I like your suggestions—but I think we should add “Potus” on the list of forwarded calls too?

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        So true, Barry. Both he and Romney need platforms… Big Platforms…

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          True… So true!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ha, John. You might be right!

  • philroth

    Thanks Mike. I needed that. I would love to know what tools you use to keep your calendar synced. One calendar on an office exchange server (outlook) , another on a home desktop, another on iPhone and on iPad. Is the answer google calendar, calendargoo, timedriver, icloud? Whew, I get tired just typing it.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Last Friday, I published a post about making Decisions. It was a continuation of a post the previous Friday and will be concluded this Friday. The reason I mention this is that we need strategies for making good decisions, such as the ones talked about in this post. Without such a strategy, we will constantly be overhwelmed by our “to do” lists. What I’ve learned in writing this series is that everyone has an overall different strategy that is unique to them, we can all learn from each other, and we all definitely need some sort of strategy. We have to have defenses against overload and busyness; otherwise, we will be overtaken by them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SusannaBoyer Susanna Boyer

    Michael, this is so timely. There is just not enough time in the days to get everything done that I need to do. With my elderly parents living with me and their doctor visits, and extra care, and running my own real estate business – that has gotten very busy in the past month – and a wonderful husband and other family & grandkids…OH MY – Calendar Triage is just what the doctor ordered!

  • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

    Yes, yes, yes! 

    I try to do a calendar checkup at least once a month (i.e. looking 3-to-6 months out) just to keep from having to do triage. I’m not always successful at it, but I think I’m getting better the more I practice it :)

    Thanks for posting!

    • JaysonFeltner

      I like your idea of monthly check ups.  I try to review my previous month and plan my future month in the same sitting.  Usually in the first week of the month.

      • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

        Jayson…great minds think alike :)

  • http://twitter.com/sparkvoice D

    What a huge encouragement!  I’ve read comments from people wondering how you do it all.  And then come to find out – you’re human!  You have to prioritize your tasks?  You have to reevaluate your calendar?  Thanks for sharing how you too have to “keep up” and even say no to some things.

    • Jim Martin

      D, this is great encouragement.  I find it very helpful to look over Michael’s shoulder through such a post and then reflect on my own work.

  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    Good for you!

    I just started doing calendar triage this very week. There were just way too many commitments that I opened my mouth on too soon and didn’t think/pray on them before saying yes or not. Ironically, today I was due to give a free tele-seminar on SEO for Bloggers. Only after committing to it, did I realize that I wasn’t leaving enough time to actually get my paid client work done. Very poor planning on my part. Therefore, I canceled it yesterday – giving those that were to attend some free tips and tricks (in an e-mail) to help them get started.

    My problem has always been trying to help everyone and “save the world”. I will openly tell people during networking events how we should meet for coffee but, only after the fact, realize that it is impossible to meet everyone. 

    Does anyone have any advice on how to hit the pause button on your mouth – taking time to think things through – before making commitments that aren’t fruitful to my business or personal life?

  • Heidi Bylsma

    Perfect timing for me. Yes. I think I will join you by doing likewise on Saturday.

  • Suege

    This is a timely post for me as I sit here thinking that this is the first Thursday evening in over six weeks that I will be home after work. Our calendar is extremely full with good things and yet, one thing on top of another is just physically and mentally draining. My husband and I took out a paper calendar last week and marked off next weekend as one that is free from commitments and responsibilities.  We plan on being more intentional with our time. Even having to say no to good things to preserve ourselves!

  • LivewithFlair

    I love this.  I learned three years ago to “narrow the boundaries” of my life and commit to ministry within my natural pathways (where I was already going and in what I was already doing).  At that point in my life, the calendar triage was so drastic that I ended up disappointing so many folks when I said “no.”  I had to learn to disappoint people.  

    Gathering in my life gave me so much more energy and, ironically, influence, and productivity. http://livewithflair.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-gather-in-your-life.html   Calendar triage is the best advice!!! 

    So beware:  You will disappoint folks, and that’s OK.  

  • http://www.workyouenjoy.com Adam Rico

    Yes most definitely Michael. Every day at my office I have triage whatever urgent request comes my way. It can be difficult to communicate to others that their priority is not my priority at that moment. However, I find it so freeing to be able to be in control of what I’m going to work on.

    • Jim Martin

      Adam,  I like what you said in your last sentence “I find it so freeing to be able to be in control of what I’m going to work on.”  Great way to express this.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    I don’t even own a calendar. I stopped keeping calendars because I never put anything in them anyway. 

    In fact, to save money, I used to make my own calendars, i.e., buy a little blank note book,  then assign one page (or half a page, depending on how many pages there were) for each day of the year, and write in the days and dates (Fri, 01/01; Sat, 01/02; etc.) by hand at the top of each page (or half page). 

    Then, at the end of the year, the book having remained blank save for the dates I had manually penciled in, I’d realize that all this work had been in vain. Yet I’d do it again for the following year. 

    Eventually, I abandoned the practice. 

    That’s my life.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I’m in a similar boat as you Cyberquill. I’ve done things to create a calendar and wanted to use one but always failed to take the action. Is there a club to join for this? (-:

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

        Yes. It’s called NCA. No Calendars Anonymous. (“My name is Joe, and I don’t have a calendar.”)

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

           Good one!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I think now would be a good time to do some triage. Here in 7 weeks we will be adding another child to our family and I have a feeling I may be too tired to triage then!

    • JaysonFeltner

      Another child is definitely time for some triage!  I get the feeling you’re going to have to do some “alone zone” scheduling to buy yourself extra time with the family.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I can see triage needed for that Brandon. The new responsibilities, the doctor visits, etc all add up. Make the right choices and cut those things that don’t matter.

      And congrats on the soon-to-be addition! 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Brandon,
      Awesome! Thoughts and prayers, brother!

  • http://twitter.com/ajeanne Jeanne Farrington

    Sadly, one of the things I’m triaging today is my comment here.  :))

  • Edwina

    A very timely article for me! I was just sharing with my husband this morning that if I have a chance of completing my book  by year end, I’ve got to “do surgery” on my calendar. Thanks for the excellent advice!

  • JaysonFeltner

    Just added this to my to do list.  Sometimes I find that, while things are still important, my workload is too high and I have to “bump” things.  The third step, rescheduling, is something I need to do monthly.

  • http://byrdmouse.com Jonathan

    I just finished my 5th distraction of the morning so I can get back to the 4th distraction. This goes all the way back to the first thing I tried to get done this morning when I came in early. I think I need more than just calendar triage.

    On a bright note, I did at least get Krispy Kreme hot from the oven to start the day. Sometimes you just have to relish in the small victories no matter how trivial.

  • http://twitter.com/Lifturlife Susan Rochwarg

    Thanks Michael- 

  • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

    Too often in the past, ‘first booked first served’ was the methodology that was implemented on my calendar. Working through a Vision/Purpose/Mission statement with my own coach helped me to make sure that the values of my life were reflected in my calendar.

    • Jim Martin

      Matthew, this sounds like a very healthy practice that I need to do as well.  Thanks for mentioning this.

      • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

        Jim,
        Michael has probably the best resource out there on the subject right here on the website. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you’re  missing out (plus it’s free!)

  • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

    Yeah. I haven’t even been able to read your blog as much as I want to anymore. Somehow I feel like the more tasks I drop, the more tasks enter to fill it.

  • Oluwafemi Jehoshua

    For sure I definately need calendar triage for one to be more effective. Micheal you have been a blessing to me and your blogg have made an impact in my life. Just keep it up, God bless you.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’m pretty bad at scheduling things on a calendar so mine doesn’t need triage. More like it needs some loving attention and caring to. 

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    It seems like calendar triage is always needed in my life, but never completed;  especially now, as I transition into more intentional writing, yet still need to hold down paying jobs.
    I love the idea of triaging my schedule and will look into implementing that (as soon as I have the time!). Your writings and your readers comments always inspire me to do better.
    Congratulations to your daughter!

  • http://hcfitzpatrick.com/ Heather

    Very timely for me right now, as I feel like I’m (barely) treading water keeping in touch with my 7 projects (all work related) and my professional licensing requirements (3 days away doing courses). I think I’ll be doing the same thing this weekend.

  • http://www.thecreativebridge.com Jon Owen

    THANK YOU!!!  I’m a place where I really need this now.   I’ve been so swamped I haven’t been able to keep up with reading/blogs/social media lately.  I saw the title and knew I had to read this post.  Thanks.  

  • http://twitter.com/Beth_Bates Beth Bates

    I am a wife, mom of 2 active kids, blogger, church administrator, women’s ministry co-leader, chair of a PTO committee…the list really could continue.  Without realizing it was triage, I recently made some calendar changes myself.  My husband and kids were too often getting the “leftovers” of me.  So I started by saying no to a book group I was asked to join & help facilitate.  And then worked my schedule out to work from home 2 days/week.  The things I was passionate about were getting too little attention because of the things that were lower priority, but higher persistence.  As the school year and the two current sports seasons come to an end, I plan to use summer to look at those other things that need to be triaged!

    • Jim Martin

      Beth, I appreciate the way you expressed how you are doing this in your life.  Reading examples, like the ones you mentioned, can help trigger our thinking as we think about our own need to address these calendar issues.  Thanks.

  • http://www.betterhealthtoday.co Kay Wilson

    What a great post and just in time for me.  I start feeling like my day is getting away from me and I begin to avoid my calendar.  So Triaging after I finish my day!  Thx, Michael

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I feel honored that with as busy schedule as you have that you emailed me back Michael. Thank you, I really appreciate that.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Kimanzi,
      Yes, that often gets overlooked—with all the stuff that Michael has had to cut out that he remains very personal. That has always encouraged me, too.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Thanks, guys. I feel like I am slipping behind with my crazy schedule. I appreciate your encouragement.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I appreciate things like that too Kimanzi. It’s always nice to hear a quick response from someone that is busy but has taken the time to get back with you.

  • http://twitter.com/r_lewis Ricky Lewis

    Whew, good stuff. We just had a new baby and I’m definitely needing to prioritize the important stuff and cut things out. Right now impotent stuff is my wife and kids so I am really having to make sure the things that are important at work are at the top of the list so they get done. 
    Thanks for this and your podcast yesterday to help focus our efforts and stay on track with “priority management”.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I need to do email triage. As I’ve traveled, I’ve kept up with email but have had to cull out the interesting but non-essential stuff. You made the cut because you’ve earned my attention over the years (not that I’m anything special, but just to let you know you are something special).

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       I had to do that recently as well. It was hard to cut some things but it had to be done.

  • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

    As a self-employed artist there are continual decisions to be made about how time is spent. Working on my blog/website? Photographing new work? Taking new photos? Attending a workshop? Doing the bookkeeping? Finding ways to market my work?

    An artist can forget to actually produce the work itself!So, first I do the work that has a guaranteed check at the end (commissioned drawings and paintings). Second, I do the work for the next show. After that, I work on the things that have no deadlines.Everything else has to fit in as it can. Sometimes my husband will say “Wow, you need to sweep the studio steps off!” I reply, “The broom is over there if you’d like to do that.”

  • http://girlmeetspaper.com Jane Graham

    Augh — this couldn’t be more timely for our family! Thanks for the practical steps to help us wade through the waves of “productivity.” Hopefully our slogging can return to swimming :)

  • Jason C Lawrence

    This came at the right time.  I am a busy guy doing two jobs within one, and working very hard to be further disciplined to eliminate the things that don’t matter,  but also focus on my steadfast boundries such as being present for my family.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Great to hear Jason! Isn’t it amazing how simple things like a blog post can come at just the right time and affect us?

    • Jason C Lawrence

      Absolutely, some simple wisdom goes a long way.  Triage is a new beginning to a better schedule.

  • http://twitter.com/HomemakersDaily HomemakersDaily

    I feel the same way.  I defiitely need to do some calendar triage, too, before I lose my mind. I need a fair amount of time to just piddle.  It rejuvinates me.  But lately I’m rushing from one thing to another.  I don’t want to live this way.  Great post. 

    • Jim Martin

      I like what you said regarding rushing from one thing to another.  “I don’t want to live this way.”  Do I ever relate this this!  What helped me break some bad habits (with time and scheduling) was finally being able to say, “I don’t want to live this way.”

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I’m doing ok right now but I have to see a few things out this month that I can no longer change. Once they’re done with I feel that june will be a good month in terms of having a clean calendar with things I know I am needing and wanting to focus on.

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  • Sandy

    This is good advice.  I use the words “high pay off activities”  I work on the areas that get me closer to my goals.  If they are not part of the high pay off activities I put them off to another month or delegate it to someone else.  It helps to take the stress off and it moves you further towards accomplishing what you need to accomplish.

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  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I’ve been doing triage myself over the past couple weeks, even today.  My schedule over the past few weeks has drained my emotional and physical reserves. So I’m intentionally making sure the next few weeks allow for adequate rest and recovery. It started with a nap this afternoon. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Michele. You did an OUTSTANDING job at SCORRE. As an Achiever, I hope you can rest in the satisfaction of having achieving something really significant. Your speech was a home run. (We’ve got to get it recorded.)

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Thank you, Michael. Trying not to pick it apart, and instead just rest in it. We have a GREAT team, which makes me love what we do even more. (As for recording, Brian said the same!)

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Michele, Michael’s right: You were awesome! Build in some rest as you enjoy the achievement. You deserve it!

          • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

            Thank you, John. So glad I finally got to meet you face to face at SCORRE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allison-Galbraith/678356763 Allison Galbraith

    This is a refreshing, useful and highly practical look at the age old problem of time management. When you do this exercise, do you ever find it is the same tasks that keep getting postponed ie the ‘important but not important now’ tasks? If so, how do you actually get those done?

  • Sharon Leukert

    My Crohn’s Disease has come out of remission and is beating me and my schedules up pretty bad. While we get it back under control, I’ve developed the Gravy Principle: I put two things to accomplish on my list for each day. Anything else that gets done is gravy. It has taught me to prioritize very carefully what those two things are.

    During the final countdown to your daughter’s wedding: Anything wedding related is a priority. Everything else is gravy.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I love “The Gravy Principle!” Excellent word picture. Sounds like a good blog post, Sharon.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Love that principle! By the way, two of my daughters have Crohn’s, including the one getting married. I understand the challenge it can be.

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  • http://www.EmergingLife.org J.R. Miller

    Just a thought, but calendar “triage” is not excuse for failing to live up to your commitments.  It demonstrates poor planning and lack of integrity if one keeps overcommitting. It only takes one or two times for me to write off guys, or gals, who do this kind of thing on a regular basis  I want to work with people who are capable of basic scheduling… far more fun and way less waste of my own time to do work with people who know how to handle life.

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