Organize Next Year’s Schedule Right Now

Organizing your life can be daunting. But if you take a year-by-year approach, you can get organized for good in 2012  

Credit: Flickr/mcgraths

Whether you use a computer or paper, you can start planning for next year now

Organize your annual schedule at the start of the year to avoid missing out on events

Readers of this blog know about my ongoing struggles to cope with masses of paperwork and mounds of e-mail. While I haven’t conquered the paper monster yet, I have learned how to use one simple technique that allows me to plan for events in the upcoming year.

Whenever I come belatedly across an event, a festival, or contest that occurs annually, instead of lamenting the fact that I’ve missed it, I flip to the last week of this year’s agenda (I use the Moleskine weekly notebook) and write the date and the item down. (Those of you who use electronic calendars have it even easier, because you’re not limited to the current year).

Schedule Now When You Have the Time

This year I’ll miss the Okanagan’s Fall Wine Festival, as well as the deadline to apply for funding for a project. Next year, I’ll be ready in plenty of time because I’ll already have the dates written down. By scheduling at the beginning of next year, I’ll be fresh and I’ll have pletny of advance notice for that year’s events.

Instead of regretting a missed chance to apply for that annual scholarship or attend that fun-sounding exhibition, I can resolve to do so next year.

Make Sure to Schedule Events You Want to Attend Again

If you’re super-organized, you can even make note of great events you did attend, like the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s annual free concert in Deer Lake, so you’re sure to go again next year. Some organizations will even allow you to sign up to receive automated e-mail notices as deadlines or events approach. (I’ve already got enough e-mail, so I always uncheck this box).

Planning for next year in these small matters might seem counterintuitive if you’re more of a plan-as-you-go type. Still, there’s something highly satisfying about knowing when you’re going to apply for that grant in advance, instead of scrambling to complete an application at the last minute or, worse, turning up only to hear the show’s sold out or the hall is full.

Give it a try and let me know if it works.