All posts by Deanna Ritchie

Moon Calendar

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Moon Calendar

Measuring time has always been important. Scratch that. It’s essential. Measuring time is crucial, not just because you may run late to a meeting, which is a big deal. But, measuring the time used to mean the fact of whether or not you would survive. For example, if you planted a crop during the wrong time of year, you wouldn’t have food to eat throughout the winter.

Because keeping track time was so vital, people turned to a reliable source: the moon. As a result, a calendar was created using the phases of the moon. It may not be used today, but it was a tool that played a significant role in people’s daily lives for centuries. And, it’s influence can still be felt today.

Overview of a moon calendar.

A moon calendar, or more commonly called a lunar calendar, is easy to define. It’s a calendar that follows the monthly cycles of the phases of the moon. It’s one of the oldest calendars in the world that creates lunar months, also known as synodic months. Don’t get caught up in the complicated terminology. A lunar month is simply one that occurs between two successive syzygies, such as new moons and full moons.

Although solar calendars, which are determined by the solar and have influenced the Gregorian Calendar, lunar calendars were essential. And, there can impact can still be felt today.

For example, each lunation is approximately ​291⁄2 days (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 3 seconds, or 29.530588 days). Because of this, it helped determine where each month alternates between 29 and 30 days. The word month is derived from the word moon.

Additionally, ancient civilizations used the phases of the moon to help identify the seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter). Since each season has three full moons, this guided them in knowing when to schedule vital activities like harvesting and hunting.

Today, the moon calendar is used for ritual purposes, as opposed to official business. Easter, Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, and the Chinese New Year are just a handful of holidays that rely on the lunar calendar.

The lunar calendar further explained.

Are you still a little confused about how a moon calendar works? If so, we hope to clear things up in the following section.

The days between each moon phase.

Again, on average, there are 29.53 between each phase of the moon. How was this figure determined? Well, some incredibly smart folks figured out a long time ago that a new moon appears every 29.53 days. It should be noted. However, that does vary just slightly. Some months it’s 28 days while others can be 30.

What’s fascinating is that it takes the moon around 27.3 days to orbit the earth. However, it needs 2.2 days to “catch up.” The reason? Our little third rock from the sun travels roughly 45 million miles around the Sun during the time the Moon completes one orbit around Earth.

Another question you may have is the first day of the month start on moon calendars? Well, it depends. For example, lunar calendars, such as the Hebrew and Hirji, began when a lunar crescent was noticed. The Hindu calendar started the day following a new or full moon. And, lunisolar calendars like the Chinese determined the first day of the month by when an astronomical new moon occurred in a particular time zone.

Are lunar calendars more accurate?

Lunar calendars may have been accurate when establishing months. But, it’s a bit off when it comes to the number of days there are in a year.

A lunar year is only 354 days. So, if you were to use an accurate lunar calendar, you would lose 11 days annually compared to the widely used Gregorian Calendar. That’s because it takes 365 days for the earth to orbit the sun.

After three years, the lunar calendar would be about a month behind the solar Gregorian Calendar. Some moon calendars have taken this into account and get back in sync with solar calendars every 33 years.

Solar calendars also have their flaws. Take leap years as an example. They were meant to address inaccuracies. But, one day still drifts around every 3216 years. Lunar calendars, on the other hand, only have an error of merely 2 seconds annually. If you’re keeping track, that comes out to 1 day every 31,250. If you were to use this measure then, lunar calendars are ten times more accurate then the Gregorian Calendar.

The moon phases of the lunar calendar.

There are eight lunar phases within the Lunar calendar. Each phase is determined by where the moon is located in relation to the sun. As Deborah Byrd explains on EarthSky, “The moon, Earth and sun are aligned with Earth in the middle. The moon’s fully illuminated half – its dayside – faces Earth’s night side.” Additionally, the moon will always rise in the east and set in the west. Its orbital motion is also towards the east.

With that out of the way, here are the eight moon phases in order:

New Moon

The first phase is called, appropriately, a new moon. The new moon occurs when the moon is directly between the Earth and the sun. When the moon is between the Earth and the sun, the dark side of the moon is facing the Earth. So, the new moon is often not visible to us.

Waxing Cresent

Have you spotted just a sliver of the moon in the sky? This is the beginning of the Waxing Cresent phase. But, thanks to “earthshine,” there may be times when you can see the rest of the moon. This phase usually occurs a couple of days after a new moon.

First Quarter

This phase begins when the moon is to 90 degrees between the sun and the Earth. It received its name because at this point the moon has completed ¼ of the lunar cycle.

Waxing Gibbous

Technically, this phase covers the time between the first quarter and full moon phases. This is because waxing gibbous means “growing shape.”

Full Moon

Two weeks after the new moon, it becomes wholly illuminated. Hence, we have a full moon, and its orbit is halfway completed. A supermoon appears when the moon is at its closest orbit point with the Earth. A micro-moon is when it’s at it’s furthest. Also, a lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth.

Waning Gibbous

If waxing means increasing, then waning stands for decreasing. A week after a full moon, it appears smaller since the amount of the moon that is visible decreases,

Third Quarter

This name was given to this phase because it’s ¾ completed. Sometimes, however, it’s also called the Last Quarter phase. Regardless of the term you use, it happens three weeks following a new moon.

Waning Crescent

The Waning Crescent is the final lunar phase where the moon appears to be just a tiny sliver in the sky. It occurs four weeks after a new moon and concludes when the sun and moonrise at the same time.

Do want to know what phase we’re currently in? You can visit sites like Or, if you’re crafty, you can create your own moon calendar.

What about the Harvest Moon?

On top of the eight phases of the moon, each full month of the year has it’s own unique name. These names were usually related to agriculture or the weather. For example, the Harvest Moon occurs when the moon is closest to the autumnal equinox — this is usually in September. Because it’s so bright out, farmers were able to work late harvesting the crops they planted in the spring and summer.

Here is a list of the common names used in North America:

  • January — Moon after Yule
  • February — Snow Moon
  • March — Sap Moon
  • April — Grass Moon
  • May — Planting Moon
  • June — Honey Moon
  • July — Thunder Moon
  • August — Grain Moon
  • September — Fruit Moon (or Harvest Moon)
  • October — Hunter’s Moon (or Harvest Moon)
  • November — Frosty Moon
  • December — Moon before Yule

What about a blue moon? This occurs on average every 33 months when there are two full moons in one calendar month. Because there are only 28 days in February, there will never be a blue moon in that month.

How the moon affects the Earth.

“The moon is the easiest celestial object to find in the night sky — when it’s there. Earth’s only natural satellite hovers above us bright and round until it seemingly disappears for a few nights,” writes Charles Q. Choi on “The rhythm of the moon’s phases has guided humanity for millennia — for instance, calendar months are roughly equal to the time it takes to go from one full moon to the next.”

More importantly, and despite being ⅙ of the size of earth, the moon has a profound influence on our planet. Most notably, the rise and fall of sea levels — aka tides. Believe it or not, tides can also take place in lakes, the atmosphere, and within the Earth’s crust.

According to Choi, “The moon’s gravitational pull may have been key to making Earth a livable planet by moderating the degree of wobble in Earth’s axial tilt, which led to a relatively stable climate over billions of years where life could flourish.”

Additionally, if the Earth didn’t have a moon, the length of a day wouldn’t be 24 hours. It would be just 8 hours. In other words, the Earth would be spinning at a much faster speed. And, that would result in some pretty intense winds.

It’s also been found that animal behavior is influenced by the moon; this is true when it comes to tides and moonlight. One study even found that pet emergency visits increase during full moons.

Because of all of these, it’s no surprise that the moon has influenced everything from popular culture to calendars.

The origin on the moon calendar.

As already mentioned, lunar calendars are some of the oldest calendars ever used. But, who were the first civilizations to fully embrace the moon calendar?

Encyclopedia Britannica states that the “Sumerians were probably the first to develop a calendar based entirely on the recurrence of lunar phases. Each Sumero-Babylonian month began on the first day of visibility of the new Moon.”

“Although an intercalary month was used periodically, intercalations were haphazard, inserted when the royal astrologers realized that the calendar had fallen severely out of step with the seasons,” continues the Britannica article. In around 380 BC, however, “fixed rules regarding intercalations were established, providing for the distribution of seven intercalary months at designated intervals over 19-year periods.”

It was eventually Greek astronomers that “devised rules for intercalations to coordinate the lunar and solar years. It is likely that the Roman republican calendar was based on the lunar calendar of the Greeks.” It was also the Greeks who took note of how the moon influenced everything from tides, agriculture, and human behavior. This information was input into their calendars.

Jutta Russell over at Living With The Moon, adds that “As the first tribes settled down and agriculture evolved around 9000B.C. the Ancient Lunar Calendar was the essential tool for planting, harvesting, to raise taxes and worship the gods.” These ancient lunar calendars were “passed down from one generation to the next and followed by urban and rural populations alike.”

It was the Babylonians who were created with developing the lunisolar calendar. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the Chinese calendar. Unfortunately, by around 1582, people began to rely more on the Gregorian calendar. However, it was adopted by China until 1912 and Russia in 1918.

Are lunar calendars still used?

Today, the lunar calendar has fallen out of favor. Pretty much corner of the world now uses the Gregorian calendar. There are some exceptions, though. Saudi Arabia, for instance, still uses the Islamic calendar, which is genuinely lunar. The downside is that they’re usually 11 or 12 days behind everyone else.

Outside of Saudi Arabia, moon calendars are mainly reserved for religious and cultural purposes. Easter and the Chinese New Year are celebrated in accordance with the moon. This why the dates vary from year to year.

Additionally, Ramadan starts and concludes with the first sighting of the Waxing Moon. Because of this, it explains why the crescent moon is incorporated symbol in many flags of Islamic countries. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, also uses the moon to determine when the Jewish calendar begins in the autumn.

These events are so important that today they’re legal holidays in most countries.

Moon Calendar was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie

How to Manage Multiple Clients (Without Suffering From Burnout)

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Manage Multiple Clients

Can you manage multiple clients without losing your mind? When you first start your business, your goal is just to land a single client…any client. As time goes on and your business grows, you’ll start to develop new client relationships which will require you to split up your time.

One day, you may even get to the lucky place where you can be more selective with who you work with. Regardless, you will still need to learn how to manage multiple clients. Freelancing businesses especially can be very feast or famine so want to do your best to maintain the clients you have without getting overwhelmed or burned out.

If you’re finding it challenging to manage multiple clients, here are some tips and strategies that can help.

1. Prioritize Your Clients Throughout the Week

Depending on how many clients you have, you will likely have to split up your workload so you can focus on each client on a particular day and time. If you have 5 clients and work 5 days per week, you may want to dedicate a few hours each day to each client.
But what if you have more and don’t want to work Monday through Friday? Odds are each of your clients have different needs. Some may need communication and provide bigger projects while others may be more hands-off and assign smaller tasks.
Set your schedule up each week so that you know which clients you’re working with and how much time you’ll need. Bigger clients may need to take precedence toward the beginning of the week or vise versa. Keep deadlines in mind and come up with a schedule that works best for you and allows you enough time to perform well for each client.

2. Realistically Manage Client’s Expectations

Have a conversation with clients early on about their expectations and how you can accommodate them. Be honest about what your schedule/availability looks like along with the fact that you have other clients as well.
If you don’t work weekends, speak up and let clients know. Also, let clients know when it’s the best time to reach you to discuss projects and other topics. If Monday – Wednesday works best for you to prioritize a particular client, communicate that to them and they will likely feel special and appreciated that you are dedicating a specific time block to their needs.

3. Consider Using a Project Management System

I don’t know how I managed clients in the past without using a project management system. Sites like AsanaTrello, and Basecamp allow you to organize your tasks and separate projects which is great for being able to manage multiple clients.
I personally use Asana and I like how I can see everything I need to do for each client daily along with the deadlines. Asana automatically sends email reminders when a task or coming up due or it’s overdue. This way, I never forget a client project large or small.
You can also share files in Asana and communicate easily with clients by leaving a comment under the task. If you’re working on a team, Asana is also great for this because you can create sub-tasks for each task and assign different roles of the process to different people. This saves me time and eliminates a lot of stress when I’m trying to effectively manage all my clients and meet deadlines.

4. Schedule a Meeting Day

If a lot of your clients request to have meetings with you, consider scheduling them all on the same day. Sure, this can sound like overkill, but it can actually do the opposite when it comes to your productivity. Having a meeting every day or even multiple times during the week can slow you down.
You have to stop what you’re doing to attend your meeting which means a lot of your projects will be partially completed throughout the day. It’s probably better to just load up all your client meetings on one day. That way, you can knock everything out at once and won’t have to worry about refocusing on important tasks.
Also, be sure to bill clients for meetings that take you away from your work or factor those costs into your project rate.

5. Do One Task a Time

You may think you need to multi-task because you have several clients but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve done the stop-and-go routine when by working on several different projects at once and it never pans out.
Instead, stick to your schedule and do one thing at a time. If you feel overwhelmed at the start of the day, pick a specific client project to work on and don’t switch gears until you’re finished.
Schedule in time for breaks or to check email but try to focus on the task at hand and cross it off your list before moving on.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

In order to effectively manage multiple clients, you need to know your limits and be comfortable with saving no. If having 10 clients is too much for you, be honest about it and either say you’re fully booked, or hire help and raise your prices.
Saying no may be tough especially if you feel like you’re turning money away but realize there are plenty of opportunities that will come and go. If you don’t have the time or energy to take on an extra client or project, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by taking it on anyway.
Don’t compromise your quality or attention to detail by overloading your schedule. This will lead you to get extremely burnt out. Instead, know your limits, hire the right help, and schedule in downtime so you can take breaks and decompress as needed.

How many clients do you have and how do you manage them all while maintaining your sanity?

How to Manage Multiple Clients (Without Suffering From Burnout) was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie

How to Balance a Job Search Plus Your Freelance Work

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Job Search

Job hunting can be a long and tedious process that can be difficult to find time for on your Calendar. Especially if you want to land a job that compensates you well, provides a schedule you can live with, and allows you to enjoy your job. It can be challenging to find a job that combines most of the things you want in any situation. If you are working at a full-time job or already doing freelance work, you will need to balance a job search plus freelance work.

As a freelancer with all the other demands on your time, it can be even more difficult to find a day job that meets your requirements. If you struggle to find time to job hunt while freelancing, try some strategy listed below to find space on your Calendar. Of course, it is easier said than done — but it’s definitely possible.

How to find time for job hunting while freelancing.

A job hunt can be difficult under any circumstance, but it can make it even more difficult when you add freelancing into the mix. It can be a struggle to find time to hunt for jobs, let alone find time actually to land a job. Instead of continuing to struggle, take action to find the time in your Calendar.

Find your reason.

Before you start applying for jobs, decide why you are applying. The simple answer is usually money but try to look beyond that. Think about your career hopes and your plans for the future.

A few reasons to start job hunting include:

  • Bored or tired at the current job. Sometimes you outgrow your job; you’ll know when it’s time to move on.
  • Location. You do not have to live in a particular place if you don’t want to. Maybe you want a change of scene or have a specific person to move closer to. Either way, where you live your life is a huge decision, and if you want to make a change, then you should.
  • Money. If you feel under-compensated at your current job, then you may want to start looking for a new job.

Apply to jobs that fit into your general plan. Of course, be open to new opportunities but avoid things you already know will make you unhappy.

Decide what you are looking for.

A job hunt is not just for any position that will hire you; the position should also be something that meets your requirements. Before you start job hunting, decide what you are really searching for. Although every circumstance is different, you likely have a set of requirements for your future job. The more carefully you think about what you what, the less likely you will have to repeat the process in the near future.

Some things to think about include:

  • Time commitment. You may be looking for a full-time job that will take up the majority of your time. Alternatively, maybe you hope to transition into a part-time role that will allow you to focus more on your own business. Whatever your needs, remain realistic about the amount of time you are willing to commit to your future role.
  • Compensation. All jobs will compensate you somehow, but you need to make sure that you are being compensated in a fair way to you. Otherwise, you may be unhappy in your new job before you even start. Think carefully about what compensation you would need from a job for it to be worthwhile. Don’t just think about financial compensation; consider healthcare, retirement, and other benefits that some companies offer. Be realistic and fair about this thought process based on your skills and the financial responsibilities you have.
  • Environment. A job could be housed inside a corporate cubicle, in a comfortable, well-lit office, remote from your home office, on a factory floor, in a warehouse, or even outside. During job interviews, make sure to ask questions about the work environment. Try to stick to work environments that would make you comfortable.

Determine how quickly you want to land this new job.

Depending on your situation, you may be open to a longer job search than a short one. If you are in immediate need of a job, you will need to ramp up your job search efforts to full strength immediately. However, if you are just hoping to transition into a new job in the next couple of months, then you may not have to devote as much time every week. Be honest with yourself about how quickly you want this new job.

Take a hard look at your Calendar.

Now for the hard part, take a close look at what you already have on your Calendar. If you are a freelancer, you likely have several meetings and deadlines on top of your day job’s workload.

Sometimes it can be exhausting to keep up with the freelancing without adding another responsibility to your plate. Think about how much time you currently have to commit to a job search with your current freelancing commitments. The answer might be that you do not have a lot of spare time, so you will need to get creative.

You may consider holding off on any new freelance commitments if your time is limited. However, that may not be an option for you. In that case, you will need to power through the job search. It can be a busy and challenging time but remember that it will come to a close when you land the right job.

If possible, set aside time each day to work on your job search. Even if you only have a few minutes to check the job boards, make use of that time.

Create a list of jobs that you intend to apply to. When you have more than a few minutes available in your schedule, take the time to apply. The key is to only apply to jobs that you would be happy with and have at least most of the qualifications.

Take advantage of all spare time in your Calendar. You may need to add additional time to your day to job hunt effectively, which may mean giving up some of the fun things on your Calendar for some time. Utilize the weekends to spread out your job hunting activities as a way to make the process less overwhelming, but most of all, take care of your well-being.

Create a killer application package.

An excellent way to maximize your time is to focus on creating a killer application. Before your job hunt is in full swing, the first thing you need to make time for is building a fantastic resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter sample.

As you apply to jobs, the premade package can be tweaked when appropriate. Instead of creating an entirely new resume, and cover letter for each job, tweak small things to make your application stand out.  It is more time-efficient than taking the time to create an application package from scratch for every single job.

Start applying.

Whenever you have time available, make that job hunting time. Find the small spaces of free time between other things to look for jobs and apply. You may want to set a goal of a certain number of submitted applications per day or week. Staying on a submissions schedule will help you stay on track with your job hunt even if you are crunched for time between freelancing and a traditional job.

Good luck.

Job hunting can be time-consuming and exhausting, but you will land the right job at some point. Just keep looking for the right opportunities and making the timing to apply on your Calendar. At the end of the hunt, you will be thankful that you put in the time to land your excellent new job.

How to Balance a Job Search Plus Your Freelance Work was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie

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