If you have been listening to this podcast for a while, you’ll know that I am constantly weaving in topics about time management because I believe it’s one of the most important things you need to get better at as both an accountant and a mom.  You need to understand efficient time management, productivity, and work-life balance from all different angles.  

As an accountant and a mom myself, I understand the unique challenges that come with balancing a demanding career and family responsibilities. Our calendars can often feel overwhelming, with deadlines, meetings, school activities, and personal commitments vying for our attention. 

It’s easy to feel like we’re constantly racing against the clock, trying to fit everything into our schedules.  But in our attempt to manage our time, our lives can often become unmanageable.

When I coach accountant moms and teach them a better process for managing their time, I’m always on the lookout for ways that they might be using their calendars against themselves.  It can be tricky to see in yourself, which is why I wanted to do a podcast episode on this topic.

I know you’re doing your best to listen, learn, and put my suggestions into practice, but sometimes you’re missing the point of time management.  The way I teach time management shows you how to improve your relationship with time and with yourself.

When you use your calendar as a powerful tool rather than feeling like it’s working against you, it empowers you to take control of your time.  You can feel more focused, balanced, and productive without burning out in the process. 

I want you to imagine a world where your calendar becomes your ally, guiding you toward increased productivity, reduced stress, and more quality time with yourself and your loved ones. This episode is here to help you transform that vision into reality.

I would love every accountant mom to see their calendar as their personal assistant and best friend.  I want you to feel so amazing at the end of the week that when Monday rolls around, you’re not suffering with the Monday blues.

The truth is that time is our most precious asset, and when we use our calendar against ourselves, we devalue that asset.  We need to learn how to appreciate time more by being more intentional. 

So whether you’re a working mom in a corporate accounting firm, managing your own accounting practice, or juggling multiple clients, this episode is designed to provide you with actionable strategies that will transform the way you approach your calendar. You’ll learn how to optimize your time, increase your productivity, and find a sense of harmony in your life.

This week I’m going to discuss the ways you use your calendar against yourself and what you can do instead.


Ways you use your calendar against yourself


Many of us rely heavily on calendars to manage our busy schedules, but sometimes we unintentionally sabotage ourselves in the process. From what I’ve seen for myself and the accountant moms I coach, there are typically five ways in which we can inadvertently use our calendars against ourselves:

#1 – You don’t acknowledge what did get done: As ambitious individuals striving for success in both our professional and personal lives, we often set high expectations for ourselves. We create lengthy to-do lists and fill our calendars with tasks, deadlines, and commitments. 

While it’s important to have goals and aspirations, it’s equally important to acknowledge and celebrate the progress we make along the way.  The truth is that when we don’t acknowledge what did get done, we fall into a pattern of focusing solely on what’s left unfinished or what didn’t go according to plan. 

This can lead to feelings of frustration, self-doubt, and even burnout. We dismiss the smaller accomplishments as insignificant, believing that only big achievements matter.

And then we wonder why we feel busy all the time.  

#2 – Beating yourself up when you didn’t follow it perfectly: As driven individuals, we often set high standards for ourselves and expect nothing short of perfection. We meticulously plan our schedules, aiming to adhere to every task, deadline, and commitment. 

However, life has a way of throwing curveballs our way, and it’s important to recognize that perfection is an unrealistic expectation. When we don’t follow our calendars perfectly, whether due to unexpected events, unforeseen circumstances, or simply human limitations, we tend to be hard on ourselves. 

We criticize our perceived failures, feel a sense of guilt or shame, and question our capabilities. This self-imposed pressure can lead to increased stress, decreased self-confidence, imposter syndrome, and even a fear of taking risks in the future.

#3 – Not giving yourself white space: In our fast-paced and demanding lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of filling every available minute with tasks and commitments. We often prioritize productivity and efficiency above all else, neglecting the importance of creating space for rest, reflection, and self-care. 

However, not giving yourself white space can have detrimental effects on your well-being and overall effectiveness.  White space is that unstructured, unscheduled time in your calendar when you allow yourself to step away from the constant demands and busyness of life and give yourself permission to recharge and rejuvenate. 

Some of the reasons why not giving yourself white space can be problematic are an increase in stress and burnout, a reduction in performance and efficiency, a decrease in problem-solving and decision-making capabilities, and a lack of self-care.  

#4 – Not being kind to the future version of you that has to follow your calendar: When we plan our schedules, it’s easy to focus solely on the present moment and the immediate tasks at hand. However, failing to consider the well-being and needs of our future selves can lead to unnecessary stress, overwhelm, and a sense of being trapped by our own plans.

When we plan our schedules without considering the capacity and limitations of our future selves, we may set unrealistic expectations. We might fill every minute with tasks, overestimating our ability to complete them within the allotted time and creating undue pressure as we constantly feel like we’re falling behind.

By not being kind to our future selves, we don’t allow for the flexibility needed to navigate unexpected events or changes in circumstances. As we know all too well, life is unpredictable, and it’s important to build in buffer time or leave room for adjustments when necessary. 

#5 – Looking at your calendar as a measuring stick: Many of us have a tendency to view our calendars as a rigid measuring tool, where the quantity and busyness of our scheduled activities become the primary indicators of our productivity, success, and worth. However, this perspective can lead to a host of challenges and negative consequences.

When we view our calendars as a measure of our productivity, we may prioritize filling every available time slot with tasks and commitments. This focus on quantity can overshadow the quality of our work and the impact we make. It becomes about checking off boxes rather than engaging in meaningful and impactful activities.

Looking at your calendar as a measuring stick may lead you to disregard or undervalue essential non-calendar activities. These include self-care, personal growth, reflection, and relationships. 

These activities, although not explicitly scheduled, are crucial for your well-being and overall success. By solely focusing on what’s on the calendar, you may miss out on these vital aspects of life.

Also, when you constantly measure your worth and success based on the activities on your calendar, it can lead to heightened stress and pressure. Every minute becomes a race against time, and any deviation from the planned schedule is perceived as a failure. This constant pressure can negatively impact your mental health, well-being, and overall enjoyment of life.

Okay, now that I’ve discussed some of the ways you might be using your calendar against yourself, let’s talk about what to do instead.


What to do instead


While I believe that your calendar is one of the most important tools you can use as both an accountant and a mom, there are some things you can start implementing to stop using your calendar against yourself.

If you can relate to issue #1 – you don’t acknowledge what did get done, you’re going to want to build positive momentum, boost your confidence, and fuel your motivation for future endeavors.

One thing you can do is keep a gratitude journal where you take a few minutes each day to reflect on and write down the things you accomplished. It can be as simple as completing a task, meeting a deadline, or even taking care of your well-being. By practicing gratitude for your achievements, you cultivate a positive mindset and become more attuned to the progress you’re making.

The next thing you can do is set milestones along your journey and celebrate when you reach them. This could be treating yourself to something you enjoy, sharing your accomplishments with a supportive friend or family member, or simply taking a moment to acknowledge your hard work and dedication. Recognizing milestones helps you see the bigger picture and appreciate the incremental steps that lead to success.

Lastly, you can surround yourself with individuals who appreciate and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Share your successes with them, and allow them to remind you of your progress when you may be too hard on yourself. A supportive network can provide valuable perspective and help you maintain a healthy mindset.

Remember, every step forward counts, and you deserve recognition for your efforts, no matter the size of the accomplishment.

If you can relate to issue #2 –  beating yourself up when you didn’t do it perfectly, you can begin by making a decision to treat yourself with kindness and understanding when things don’t go according to plan. Recognize that setbacks and deviations are a natural part of life. 

Instead of berating yourself, offer words of encouragement and support, just as you would to a close friend or loved one facing a similar situation. Self-compassion allows you to bounce back from challenges with resilience and maintain a positive mindset.

The next thing you can do is, instead of viewing deviations from your calendar as failures, see them as opportunities for growth and learning. Understand that unexpected events or changes in priorities provide valuable insights and can help you refine your future plans. Embrace the idea that flexibility and adaptability are essential skills in managing a dynamic life.

Lastly, learn to let go and adjust by accepting that there will be times when your plans need to be adjusted or even completely rearranged. Embrace the art of letting go and be open to adapting your schedule when necessary. This flexibility allows you to navigate unexpected challenges without being weighed down by self-criticism.

Remember, your worth and value as an accountant mom are not determined by how perfectly you adhere to your calendar. It’s about finding a balance that allows you to be productive, fulfilled, and present in all areas of your life. 

If you can relate to issue #3 – not giving yourself enough white space, start dedicating specific time blocks in your calendar for rest and rejuvenation. Treat these breaks as non-negotiable appointments with yourself. Whether it’s a short walk outdoors, a mindfulness practice, or simply enjoying a cup of tea, these intentional breaks help you recharge and reset.

The next thing you can do is, instead of scheduling back-to-back activities, allow for buffer time between tasks. This buffer time serves as a transition period, enabling you to complete one task, reflect on it, and prepare mentally for the next one. It also provides flexibility in case a task takes longer than anticipated or unexpected interruptions arise.

Lastly, learn to set boundaries and say no to activities and commitments that don’t align with your priorities or values. By being selective about what you allow on your calendar, you create more space for the things that truly matter to you.

Remember, white space is not wasted time; it’s an essential ingredient for a balanced and fulfilling life. By intentionally creating white space in your calendar, you honor your well-being, nurture your creativity, and maintain a sense of equilibrium in the midst of life’s demands.

If you can relate to issue #4 – not being kind to the future version of yourself, make sure you consider your future self’s needs for self-care and well-being. Schedule time for activities that rejuvenate you, such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones. By prioritizing self-care, you ensure that your future self is better equipped to handle the demands of your calendar.

Next, be mindful of your own limitations and capacity when planning your schedule. Set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish within a given timeframe. It’s better to have a more manageable workload and a sense of accomplishment than to overload yourself with unrealistic expectations.

Lastly, embrace the fact that plans may change, and be open to adapting your schedule when necessary. This flexibility allows you to respond to unexpected events or opportunities without feeling overwhelmed or trapped by your own plans.

By being kind to the future version of yourself, you create a more supportive and sustainable schedule. You allow yourself the flexibility, self-care, and adaptability needed to navigate life’s challenges and pursue your goals with a greater sense of well-being.

And if you can relate to issue #5 – looking at your calendar as a measuring stick, begin to shift the focus to purpose and impact.  Instead of solely focusing on the quantity of tasks, shift your attention to the purpose and impact of your activities. 

Reflect on why certain tasks are important and how they contribute to your goals and values. By aligning your schedule with purpose, you prioritize meaningful work and activities that make a difference.

Next, recognize that your calendar should include time for self-care, rest, personal growth, and quality relationships. Incorporate these activities into your schedule and give them the value they deserve. Remember that a well-balanced and fulfilling life is not solely measured by productivity but by the overall sense of well-being and happiness.

Lastly, take time to regularly reflect on your schedule and assess whether it aligns with your priorities and values. Consider if any adjustments need to be made to ensure a better balance and alignment with what truly matters to you. Regular self-reflection allows you to make intentional choices about how you spend your time.

Remember, your calendar should serve as a tool to support and enhance your life, rather than a rigid measuring stick of your worth or productivity. By shifting your perspective and embracing a more holistic view of success, you can create a schedule that aligns with your values, promotes well-being, and allows for a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Hopefully you now see some of the ways you might be using your calendar against yourself, but more importantly, what you can begin to implement instead.  As I shared, your calendar is your time management best friend, so make sure you improve your relationship with it.




Time is our most precious asset, and when we use our calendar against ourselves, we devalue that asset.  

We need to learn how to appreciate time more by being more intentional.