The Year Calendar
I tend to get stuck in day, week, or month tunnel vision when I plan. But, like “The Shower Principal” episode of 30 Rock tells us: The same things happen every year.
This episode starts with Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) swearing to her accountant that, “I bought a meditation stool, and this year is gonna be different.” But he reminds her that she’s made similar claims every year, and in the same sweater.
Then she finds last year’s journal and it has all of the last year’s problems and solutions in it, which helps her navigate her day like a psychic.
This concept shouldn’t be novel, but it feels that way when you plan in weeks or months. Sure, there are plenty of things you can’t predict, but lots you can.
This lead me to create a Trello board called “Year Calendar” and put down every predictable thing that has to happen this year. Then I figured out how early I could tackle each one.
Think about it: Is it better to file your taxes on April 15 or the end of January after you’ve received all your W2s?
Is it better to book a major event a month before it happens, or 6 months before, when tickets, airfare and hotel rooms are cheaper?
Sometimes advance planning doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to be advance.
I used to struggle to get my dog a kennel spot over the holidays, even when I booked in June. So I went from booking early, to ridiculously early. Now, right after the holidays each year, I book her kennel for the next holiday season. It’s overkill, but that’s the point. There is such a thing as too early to fail.
So look at your whole year, list everything that has to happen and do everything as early as you can:
Need Valentine’s Day reservations? Book them in January.
Send your mother flowers every Mother’s Day? Order them in April.
Want a killer Halloween costume and not settle for whatever’s left on the rack the week of? Amazon one in September.
Want awesome Christmas presents but hate searching the mall last minute? Order all your presents online, Cyber Monday.
If you want to be really baller, do everything you can in January. Who cares if you look crazy? Done is done.