- Every Commitment is in the Calendar.
For personal and family commitments, I use Apple Calendar. I’ve set up calendars for each person in the house w/ a phone (currently 4 people) + an overall ‘Family’ calendar. All these calendars sync across (at least) nine devices in hopes an up-to-date calendar will always be right at hand. Every commitment – whether with to yourself, or others – goes in the calendar. A sampling:
- take down Christmas lights (repeating annually)
- install Christmas lights (repeating annually)
- Monthly Goal Review (monthly)
- take out the garbage (weekly)
- Weekly (P)Review (weekly)
- each run of my marathon training plan (daily)
- the next logical, atomic, step for each active project (e.g. Grade Beer 4 of my current BJCP Tasting Exam step, start pizza dough, make yeast starter for saison, the ‘Now’ across the Trello boards)
- and the usual smattering of kids’ instrument lessons, sporting activities, and social commitments.
- “I would be thrilled if…” in Apple Reminders
In addition to shared shopping lists (Groceries, Costco, etc) in Apple Reminders, I’ve recently moved all of my Goals and Aspirations into a series of nested lists in Apple Reminders. The different timeframes help me maintain focus because I know the other stuff is coming up next month, next year, etc.
Yes, I frequently move stuff between the lists. Often kicking a given item from month to month to month. No worries, it’s the ‘I would be thrilled if…’ list not the ‘I must list’.
Here’s how it’s currently structured:
- Backlog (default)
- “I would be thrilled if…”
- (the current month) in April 2022
- (the upcoming month) in May 2022
- in 2022
- in 2023
- Before I’m 50
- Someday Maybe
- My Life was Unsuccessful Because I Didn’t…
- Waiting for: (Stuff on hold until a pre-requisite is fulfilled)
- Tactical Backlogs in Trello
For big, complex, ongoing projects (e.g. family vacations, new applications I’m building) I create a project-specific Kanban board in Trello to breakdown the aspirational outcome (#2) into bite-size tasks for the calendar (#1). Each Kanban board has the following four columns:
- Backlog (all the things)
- Next (3-5 of the most significant, riskiest assumption things)
- Now (the most significant, riskiest assumption thing – this is likely in my calendar)
- Weekly (P)Review
Every Sunday afternoon, I grab a pen, a notebook, and two devices. I scan the past week’s calendar looking for key accomplishments and highlights for the family Jar of Awesome, and I preview the next week. Looking for key commitments in need of additional preparation, resolve potential conflicts (e.g. my running schedule w/ early work meetings), then once the core calendar is in place, I scan through all the Reminder lists, and Trello boards looking for things to fill out upcoming week’s capacity. This takes 45-90min.
- Monthly Goal Review
Additionally, the first of each month, I take 30-60 minutes and review all the aspirations in the Reminders lists. For each one of them I ask the following:
- Am I making progress on them?
- Do they still resonate strongly?
- Are they currently in the right time horizon?
- Are there things that should be removed or added?