A Calendar is Key

I recently completed a 10 week public speaking course at UCLA Extension. Each week we had to prepare a short speech to present to the class and instructor. For my final assignment, I was asked to give a 2–3 minute TED Talk on a topic of my choice. Here is a transcription of what I came up with:

Throughout our childhood, we are conditioned to take breaks. Naptime, recess, winter break, spring break, summer break….simply a change of pace.

However, once you get older and have a “real job” it can quickly become “work, work, work” and much harder to find the time for these breaks.

I, myself, like to set rewards that can help motivate me get through tasks.

Do you really need to clean your kitchen? How about you don’t let yourself watch that new episode of your favorite show until all of the dishes are clean.

Have to take care of some unpaid bills? Reward yourself by getting a scoop of your favorite ice cream afterwards.

The same concept might be used to train a dog, but hey…IT WORKS!

This brings me to my larger point. It’s critical to always give yourself an exciting vacation or some sort of event to look forward to on the horizon.

Nothing can be more demoralizing than coming back to your day job after a great trip, looking at your calendar and seeing that all you have planned for the distant future is “work work work.”

It seems to be more culturally acceptable in Europe to take long vacations during the summer. Now I’m not saying that you should always take a month off from your commitments at home, but I think we can learn a thing or two from our friends across the Atlantic.

Whether it be something as simple as a weekend camping in the woods, planning a party for you and your friends or heck, even just going ahead and booking yourself a luxurious vacation across the world, give yourself something to look forward to outside of your weekly routine.


You’ll feel refreshed at work, more content at home and more relaxed with life. There’s no shame in going out there and giving yourself something fun to anticipate.


All it takes is a calendar and the confidence to set a date.