Default Diary – A guide to blocking and rocking your day!
Author – Cathy Love
This blog has been previously published however I wanted to share it with you again as the content is still relevant and valuable.
We’re all super busy and there is never enough time to get everything done.
Yet some people seem to get more done that others. Do they not sleep? In this article, I explain how I use a default diary to help get things done in a systematic way.
I can’t take credit for creating the concept of a default diary and there are plenty of others who have covered the subject but here’s a quick rundown to get you started.
What is a Default Diary?
A default diary is when you book in blocks of time to do specific tasks and at specific times. The theory behind this technique is that you develop habits to plan for, and complete specific tasks on a regular basis. This, in turn, prevents a build-up of tasks and, of course, the associated stress.
The default diary ensures time is blocked out for the important but non-urgent tasks that usually hover near the top of your to-do list for days or even weeks on end. The taks that either never get done or just get done at the last minute.
How Does the Default Diary Work?
Basically, it’s a case of having regular recurring blocks of time covering different aspects of the business.
For example, each week, I have Management Monday, a day where I’m focused mostly on business development tasks. Ideas and tasks for business development obviously arise throughout the week, but because I know I’ve got time allotted for those already, I don’t have to drop what I’m doing to action a task arising. I just note the task or idea down and tackle it when the day comes around.
Some blocks may be allotted weekly, and some fortnightly, depending on how much time they need in a given month.
I’ll usually spend a day each month on Marketing Magic. This is perfect for me as it breaks marketing down into manageable chunks that I know I can focus on for a day then put aside, knowing that they’ll be added to in the coming month.
Twice a month I’ve also set aside 90 minute blocks for financial matters. So if invoicing is a task that keeps slipping on your list then you’ll want to try a default diary for financial matters for sure.
The Wealth Dynamics Plugin
If you’re a fan of Roger Hamilton and his Wealth Dynamics profiles, then you could also add another layer of detail to your default diary. The Wealth Dynamics profiles are descriptors of how we view and behave in the world. I, for example, am a Dynamo/Creator. No points for guessing that I love coming up with ideas and then creating things around those ideas.
Roger’s suggestion for creating your default diary is to anchor your week around your profile. So for me, Wednesdays are the days I lean towards creative parts of the business. These are the ‘what’ days for me. Thus Thursdays are my ‘who’ days, when I’m focused on connecting with others, Fridays are my ‘when’ days, when things that are timely get my attention. Mondays are ‘how’ days, which is all about the back-end of the business. And then Tuesdays are my ‘why’ days, when I apply thinking to the purpose or mission of the business.
Arranging your default diary like this makes sure that all the necessary aspects of the business are covered and that you are playing to your strong suit in the middle of the week. Not every business lends itself to this but as you move more into a leadership role and spend less time facing clients, it’s an approach I can highly recommend.
Block It to Rock It!
No matter what you are using for your calendar, you’ll be doing yourself a favour if you start blocking your time in a default diary.
Make use of your calendar features, including recurring items and colour coding so it runs on autopilot.
I can promise you’ll get a lot of comfort knowing that you actually do have time to get the important things done, and a sense of pride when you actually get them done.
Block It to Rock It!