Now that you have your “ideal schedule” identified (click here for previous post), you can use it to help manage your time. Your ideal schedule is your vision of what will work well for you. As with any vision, use it to determine your next steps by moving toward the vision. And in the case of your calendar, as you fill up your “real” calendar with your appointments and specific plans, schedule things in a way that gets you as close as possible to your ideal schedule.
For example, as a new coach I remember being so thrilled to have a new client that I was willing to offer any scheduled time that would work for my new client – never mind if it would work for me. I have seen the same thing happen to other new coaches. However, if you have an ideal schedule, you can offer a new client a couple of appointment times that will work well for you rather than randomly scheduling appointments based on what is good for each of your clients. You may have to be flexible, based on the availability of your clients, but as you make your adjustments you can do so intentionally, being mindful of your ideal schedule.
I use Google calendar as my scheduling tool. Within Google calendar I can create and use several calendars, and I can select which one or which combination of calendars I want to view. I have created one I call “Ideal” and when I’m scheduling a meeting or planning my day/week/month I use it as a guideline for how to map out my “Real” calendar. Google calendar allows me to see both the “Ideal” and the “Real” side-by-side which is helpful. Of course other electronic calendars have the same function (check yours to determine the possibilites), and similar calendar views can certainly be done on paper as well (my previous method 🙂 ).
It is not important for me to strictly implement my ideal schedule – that would feel very constricting for me. Instead I view it as a tool that helps me make intentional choices about how I spend my time – and that actually feels very freeing.