Millennium Mom

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MM Blog 2/26: The calendar

Your calendar, you either love it or hate it. It can be your best friend, marking important days, vacation of a lifetime, or your salon appointment. Or it can be your worst enemy, when you stare at it and find back-to-back-to-back meetings the entire day or week.

This week I have been on both sides of the equation. For the first three days of this week it was my worst enemy. On Sunday evening, when I did my normal "reality check" at about 9pm to see what the next day entailed, I realized it was a 7 to 7 day. This did not make Arnie happy, as although I wrote "Jo work PM" on our family calendar, I didn't tell him and put it on his calendar. This was a miss on my part...I broke one of my own tips. Thankfully he could be home by 6pm to relieve Amber. So off I went at 6:35 am to start my day. A 7-9 am call with the Head & Shoulders team, a 9-11 am Video link with the Professional team, only to leave at 10:30 am to drive to another location where my next video link was from 11-12:30 with the Hair Leadership Council. I slipped out at 12:35 to be back downtown by 1pm to begin judging a case competition where we had six of the top business schools come to present a recommendation for a problem we gave them. That would last until 7pm with cocktails and dinner.

Tuesday and Wednesday thankfully were not 12 hour days, just my normal 10 from 7 to 5. But booked solid, I had two 30 minute breaks on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. It was painful. I was so looking forward to getting to my desk this morning and having time to get through my emails and think. It is the latter that I miss most often. I have to keep sticky notes in my car as I find the commute allows me to think more than anything else these days, so I jot down notes to myself while driving. It isn't because there is something magic about my car or the route I take, it is simply time to think without interruption.

If I know I need to get something I will block the time on my calendar and put in "write 60 memo" or "analyze xyz report" but as you rise in management, you find your work is done by others, which means you need to meet with them for updates, etc. But it doesn't mean you can stop thinking and coming up with great ideas, so figure out how to carve out time for that, regardless of your level.

Thankfully, today was back to my love my calendar day. I had a few openings in the day and I found myself walking to the peoples desk to talk vs. emailing them. Perhaps it was because I could, that I wasn't so frantic rushing to another meeting and I could actually have the conversation vs. a quick email. It felt refreshing to connect with people. Then tonight I did our family calendar for the month of March. I realized Oriana our Spanish teacher will be back from her six week trip to Columbia. That made me smile as I know the kids will be glad to see her. March also marks Claire's birthday, she will be five and I can't believe it, time really does fly. I remember the day she was born and the doctor saying "it's a girl" to my disbelief. I will also get to go home to New York this month and see my family, which of course made me really happy.

So it was an up and down week with respect to my feelings about my calendar, like most I am afraid. In the end they are a wonderful tool that helps to keep my organized. I just wish they weren't so full every now and then.


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