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Springing into a new year

Photographs: Pexels

Text: Monika Pedersen

Fireworks are still shooting into the night and exploding to share their wonderous colours, champagne corks are still popping, and the thought of a fresh start of a new year ignites excitement. And with it, the idea of possibly making changes and resolutions.

A New Year’s decision I made long ago, which has been a lifesaver, is to keep a calendar.

Calendars are essential

A busy working and social life calls for a means to document activity. The former way was to write down activities on a paper calendar. It may not be the most selected option anymore, but the fact that all the tasks need to be written by hand, it can be argued, ensures that the recall is sharper as they are better committed to memory.

Nevertheless, with huge technological advancements, more modern and popular laptops or mobile phone alternatives with apps such as Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and ICal, to mention a few options, are far more preferable. There is a method for everyone, and customisation might include a pop-up notification system, colour coding, or a catchy alert sound setup. A calendar must be kept in a particular spot, so it is to be at hand and regularly checked for its purpose to come into effect.

School calendars

Very young children may have a calendar that the family follows at home. At school, the calendar is in a strategic place, as well as the schedule for the day. Each morning, there is a ritual of two selected students informing the class of the date and, more importantly, providing the ‘road map’ for the day so students have an overview and the security of knowing what will happen. If they forget, which often happens, they can be redirected to the schedule.

Older students are way beyond this activity but also need to keep a diary. Most are totally dependent on their mobile phones, so this is the device they prefer. It is imperative for students who are in their final school years to keep track of coursework deadlines, exam dates, and college paperwork requirements and interviews.

Keeping a calendar also helps keep tabs on the jobs to be completed and those that need to be rescheduled. When teaching, a weekly plan is kept to provide an overview and to lessen the anxiety of time evaporating by being able to adjust activities to ensure the curriculum is covered.

"A New Year’s decision I made long ago, which has been a lifesaver, is to keep a calendar."

Being organised

Calendars lessen the chance of a double booking or a missed appointment, while a shared calendar informs colleagues or family members of what is happening. It helps with organisation, communication, transparency, and documentation.

The hours of the day are often insufficient for all the jobs demanded. Consequently, it is essential to prioritise the number of activities within a day to allocate sufficient time to do a good job, to avoid the unproductive feeling of overload or stress, and to possess a realistic overview of task and time logistics.

Useful New Year resolutions

The New Year’s resolution to keep a calendar has been one I have never regretted. Sadly, I can not be so lyrical about other resolutions that were not kept and faded in the first few weeks. Perhaps the quality and pertinence of the decision or resolution ensure its longevity!

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