The traditional saying “seize the day” has origins that date back more than 2,000 years. It’s one of the oldest philosophical mottos that many people still live by today. The phrase “carpe diem” is Latin and actually translates to “pluck the day.” However, the more widely accepted translation is “seize the day.” Seizing the day means enjoying life to the fullest and every moment. After all, tomorrow isn’t promised.

It might sound like a great phrase to live by, but making the most of every day can be difficult. Life gets busy and stressful; sometimes, everything will feel out of control. This is where a calendar comes in handy. It helps you plan your day and make the most of every minute.

To make the most of your day using your calendar, start by breaking up your day. Using different strategies, you can masterfully tackle your day and use your time effectively. Here are morning, midday, afternoon, and evening strategies to help you seize the day.

1. Morning Strategies

How you start your day is important because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Using the following strategies, you can make the most of your mornings and start the day off right.

Establish a Morning Routine

Use your calendar to establish a consistent morning routine. It can be tempting to hit snooze and sleep until the last possible minute. But there are several benefits of having a morning routine; it reduces stress, boosts energy, and enhances productivity. Calendars help you establish a morning routine because they keep you on track with tasks and hold you accountable.

Calendar software such as Calendar, Microsoft Calendar, and Google Calendar help you create a schedule for your day, including your morning. For example, your schedule could look like this:

  • 5:30 am: Wake up (create a task or a reminder for this)
  • 6:00 am: Shower, get ready, and get dressed for this day (create an hour-long event)
  • 7:00 am: Block off an hour of “you time.” Exercise, journal, cook a big breakfast, or walk. Make time for whatever makes you happy and starts your day off right.
  • 8:00 am: Start your work day in the right headspace.

Using your calendar to structure your morning will help you create a routine and confidently stick with it.

Review and Prioritize Your Day

If you don’t have any meetings at the start of your work day, block off 15 to 30 minutes. Use this time to respond to emails, review your day, prioritize tasks, and make a to-do list. It’s important to use this time wisely if you have it, so you aren’t overwhelmed with tasks throughout the day.

2. Midday Strategies

After the morning comes the middle of the day, and this time can often be jam-packed. You must implement effective time management strategies to tackle the middle of your day. Here’s how to use your calendar to make the most of your time in the middle of the day.

Use Time Blocking

Time blocking essentially means to block out every aspect of your day — whether that means scheduling time on your calendar for a meeting or time for rest. Everything should be scheduled so that you know how your time is being spent. Time blocking helps you get the most out of your day if you do it effectively.

Batch Similar Tasks

If you notice that many of your tasks are similar, batch these tasks together. For example, if you spend a large portion of the middle of your day responding to emails, make one task. By batching similar tasks, you can organize your calendar and maximize every minute. If you’re responding to emails at random throughout the day, it can become a distraction.

3. Afternoon Strategies

In the afternoon, you might hit a slump. You might feel tired after lunch or hit a wall from working so hard in the morning. These strategies can help you make the most of your afternoon.

Plan for Breaks and Downtime

If you’re using time blocking and scheduling breaks for yourself, one should definitely be in the afternoon. Everyone’s natural circadian cycle causes sleepiness and decreased alertness in the afternoon. Even a 15-minute break to grab a fizzy beverage or take a walk outside can refresh and rejuvenate you.

Limit Distractions

When you’re fatigued, it’s easy to get distracted. Maybe you decide to scroll on your phone, or maybe you talk to your friends in the office. Whatever the case may be — in the afternoon, it’s more important than ever to limit distractions. Understand the common distractions in the workplace and how to restrict them. Distance yourself from things that could distract you and stay hyper-focused on your work in the afternoon.

4. Evening Strategies

Lastly, don’t forget about the evening. Evenings are essential because they help you reflect on your day and prepare for the next one. Reflecting on your day and getting ready for tomorrow is essential for success in seizing the day.

Practice End-of-Day Reflection

End-of-day reflection helps you leave the day less stressed and more prepared for tomorrow. Use a journal to write down general thoughts about your day. Think about areas for improvement, but also focus on positive aspects.

Understand what it is that you need to improve upon to make your days more productive. But also, what do you need to continue doing? Is your morning routine currently helping you start your day off right, or is it hindering your success? Focus on the changes you must make and what needs to stay the same. Making the most of each day requires looking closely at each day and ensuring things are happening as they should.

Set Up for Tomorrow

Make time at the end of your day to glance at your schedule for tomorrow. Adjust if additional meetings, events, appointments, or breaks need to be added. Your future self will thank you if you make time to set yourself up for success tomorrow.

When setting yourself up for tomorrow, look at your schedule. If you have a lot of meetings, see if you can prepare for any of them in the evening. This will save you time the next day and ensure you still have time for your morning routine. You should also consider how many breaks you have scheduled throughout the day. If you have a busy day but only a lunch break scheduled, consider giving yourself more time to relax. Having enough rest time means you’ll have more energy, be more productive, and be in a better mood.

Make the most of your time while you can. Each day is a gift, and tomorrow isn’t promised. The phrase ‘carpe diem’ can have deep meaning, encouraging you to live as if there is no tomorrow. It can simply mean you make the most of every moment by managing your time effectively. Everyone deals with busy, overwhelming schedules. So, pull up your calendar and start seizing the day — there is no time like the present.

Featured Image Credit: Brett Jordan; Pexels