There’s a way to get a sense of your whole year at once. It’s an immensely powerful tool, and it’s simple and easy.
Scheduling my entire year ahead of time is one of the best habits I’ve picked up in the last couple of years. In part I learned this from the excellent book The One Thing. (Affiliate Link)
Here’s my quick and simple way to planning out your entire year:
First, I want to do things in a huge visual way – so that I can grasp my entire year in a glance. To keep it simple, I print each month out on standard 8.5×11 paper and arrange the months in a square on my wall. Something like this:
I print out this calendar completely blank, without any of the reminders in my calendar program or anything to clutter it up.
I then add the following things:
- Vacation Time – As ample an amount as possible to rest from hard work.
- Big events – Piano events my students are in, the music festival I help coordinate, etc.
- Big Goal Deadlines – Just a few of the big item things I want to accomplish in the year.
Notice that I don’t clutter my calendar up with minor things like dentist appointments, daily reminders etc. All of those things are on my computer calendar, where I’ll be reminded in due course.
No, this calendar is for big picture stuff. It’s immensely valuable because it lets me think of my entire year as one big unit. And it lets me see visually how each week and month can logically flow into the next. Thinking in larger time-units is one hallmark of very successful people.
When you sit down to plan out your calendar, be ready to spend a couple of hours – it takes longer than you might think, but the payoff is huge. I love actually having a sense of where I am in the year, and what I’m doing with it.
What do you think? How do you plan out your year and keep track of your bigger goals and priorities? Let me know in the comment section below!