Well, Thought Partners, we’ve just about made it through October. We’ve spent this month introducing new habits and revisiting trusted ones around time management, priority setting, releasing perfectionism, and conversation skills.

In preparation for THE HOLIDAYS (yes, in my house we start our holiday season with Halloween and we keep the decorations rotating through my birthday in mid-January, because, why not?) today we’re going to discuss our calendars! Specifically the beauty of an underbooked calendar. 

That might sound counterintuitive since we all know the holiday season essentially means our calendars become overbooked. The challenge really comes when we ask ourselves “booked with what, exactly?”  Often we get so caught up in saying yes and overbooking ourselves, that it almost becomes a badge of honor. “I’m sooooooo booked; I have no time to enjoy life.” 

Therefore, the last habit, I will share, of highly successful people, has us looking through the lens of two important questions:

  • Will this matter in 5, 10, or 20 years?
  • Is having a calendar jam-packed with elaborate plans worth a crowded life?

Highly successful folks leave space. That space, over time, allows for extraordinary, unplanned things to happen. 

I’m not saying we should aim for a lack of order. I’m advocating for an ordered life AND an underbooked schedule, creating room to breathe, think, create, and truly enjoy your time here. 

I have a great friend whose mantra is “ONE LIFE.”

If I debate eating the cake or passing on it, she calls out “ONE LIFE.”
If I question if I should do something out of obligation, I hear “ONE LIFE.”
If I lament having overbooked myself……you guessed it…”ONE LIFE.”

So I challenge you, as you embark on upcoming holiday festivities and various year-end, work-related deadlines, when you look at your calendar and you begin to (over)commit yourself, will you ask yourself these questions?

  • Will this matter in 5, 10, or 20 years?
  • Does this event or activity add to the fullness of my life now?
  • Is this something I want to spend time doing in my “ONE LIFE”?

If the answers are YES, put it on the calendar.
If the answers are NO, give yourself both a holiday off AND the gift of space.