New Year’s Resolutions: Learning from Mistakes Edition

As I write this, many of us—myself included—are in the midst of finals week. That means, among other things, that (a) there’s too much to do and (b) our schedules are likely quite different from what they are in a normal week. Those two things can combine to cause trouble.

A case in point happened to me today (December 15). While drinking that first, all-important cup of coffee, I took a look at my calendar. I was surprised not to see a meeting on it—one for which I’d helped set the time. I’d been thinking all week the meeting was today; as it turns out, it was yesterday—and I missed it. Sigh.

Thankfully, though the incident was embarrassing, it wasn’t a catastrophe. But it got me thinking about how to avoid a repeat performance. The two things that occurred to me are really obvious, but sometimes at semester’s end I need to remind myself even of the obvious.

  1. Look at my calendar. Every. Single. Morning. Before getting involved with whatever craziness the day may have in store.
  2. If there’s anything getting added to the calendar that’s not part of the usual weekly rhythm, the calendar item gets set up—at the time it goes on the calendar—so that it sends an SMS reminder ahead of the event. (I keep my schedule in Google Calendar, so this is really easy for me to do. Sending reminders about events or to-do’s can also easily be done in other ways.)

Had I done either one of those things on the morning of December 14th, I wouldn’t have missed that meeting.

So the two items above have become New Year’s resolutions for me. Doing those two things consistently should help me get the year started right, and hopefully by the next time finals week rolls around, they’ll be such an ingrained habit that I won’t be missing any more meetings.

Are you making any resolutions for the new (calendar) year? Let us know in the comments!

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by striatic]

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