1. Your priorities. If you spend your entire week working on things other than your priorities, than these are not your true priorities. This includes personal priorities like sports, regular date nights, time for meditation etc. Make it an iron rule to defend these “meetings with your priorities” like any other meetings. If need be, move them around but don’t cancel them.
2. Projects you are procrastinating on: A calendar appointment is the simplest (albeit weakest) commitment device. There is a huge difference between: “I will do my taxes this weekend” and “I will do my taxes on Saturday at 15:00”.
3. Expiry dates. For passports, licences, important warranties, for important documents add a three month and one month reminder to avoid nasty surprises. After extending the documents add the relevant contact details to the note to make extensions more efficient in future.
4. Death dates. Many will contact you on your birthday. Only true friends will also connect with you the day one of your loved ones passed away. A day we all particularly appreciate messages of support and remembrance.
5. A gift list/reverse wish list: Before Christmas and birthdays we find ourselves instantly needing to come up with thoughtful gifts. If in the course of the year a loved one express a wish/like for something or mentions a passion/hobby add it to the gift list, either as a note on a Christmas “gifts” entry or on their birthday entry. This year, or next, you will bring a delightful surprise.
6. Regular medical appointments All of us need to see our doctors regularly. Best to arrange the next appointment when you leave from the last, or add yearly reminders. Add health screenings that you may be entitled to.
7. Calls to loved ones. Something that may just fall off the radar. If it is in the calendar, you can defer it, but don’t cancel it.
8. Holiday planning. The best airline deals for Christmas can be found before September. So schedule the booking of those tickets early.
9. Preparing your tax filings: What a millstone! Rather than drag it around until the weekend before the deadline, schedule chunks spread out over time: Start gathering the documents in January. Start downloading and populating the declaration forms in February, Making it an iterative process means it doesn’t have to be correct straight away. This takes a lot of stress out of it
No: don’t schedule it. Yes, I know, all well-meaning marriage counsellors think this is a good idea. I don’t. If your date nights are scheduled (remember scheduling personal priorities?) and actually take place somewhat regularly and are focused on the two of you, everything else will fall into place. You are good.