The Importance Of Importance

I’ve always had the notion that there was something inherently artificial about putting important dates in an appointment calendar, especially an electronic one.

In the ever-evolving practices for managing my life, I find that I have different priorities than most. I find that I have little interest in the common goal of becoming more efficient, or maximizing my productivity, or accommodating other people’s schedules, or any of the other priorities often labeled as good “time management”. I seem to be far more interested in what makes my life more enjoyable and interesting first, and as exclusively as possible.

In that process I’ve always had the notion that there was something inherently artificial about putting important dates in an appointment calendar, especially an electronic one that will reach out and slap me upside the head (figuratively speaking, of course) when an important date arrives. I have one of those calendars. In fact, I have several. And all are nearly void of entries. That is not because I don’t do stuff; valuable stuff, and stuff with other people. It’s just that I find that I don’t need to put reminders of that stuff in a calendar in order for them to happen. Is that weird?

To my mind, if you can’t remember an important date unaided by even a paper calendar, doesn’t that mean—by definition—that it isn’t really important? And, perhaps, that it should never be. And if it is the sheer volume of dates that compels all of this calendar-entering, maybe the message is that you’ve got too much unimportant stuff going on. That would be valuable to be aware of.

…something doesn’t make your life better just because we can make it happen by any means…

I’m not saying that I’m right, and everyone who uses their calendar is wrong. I’m just wondering if people are aware of how all that calendar-keeping feels. Does it remove your stress or create more of it. Just because you don’t choose to put some event into an appointment calendar doesn’t mean it won’t happen. And if you made it a practice to not put things into a calendar, you might indeed end up making fewer appointments, but that might end up being one of the more positive decisions you’ve ever made.

What occurs to me is that something doesn’t make your life better just because we can make it happen by any means. How it feels on the way to making it happen should make a difference. Among those things that we bring about unaided by calendars and seemingly effortlessly, we rarely refer to them as important. Rather, they just get done as a natural expression of our lives and who we are. That feels way better to me.

So, what of those events that we are likely to forget if they don’t get entered into a calendar? What significance does that hold? It is likely that is meant to tell us something about who we are too, rather than the importance of the event: a valuable and honest message about our purpose and true mission in the world might be found in how little we can actually commit to a calendar.

But only if we’re listening.

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