Time is money friend. I know you’re juggling multiple projects (work, life & play), so timing is everything. If you have a tough time keeping track of all your to dos, or you want to get even more done, Google Calendar can really help you.
This post will show you how to use Google Calendar to best utilize your time and make sure you get everything done. And yes, you can absolutely use the same organizational structure for other applications like Outlook and iCloud Calendar.
Life is messy…
Your life is a series of events. By breaking them down into blocks of time, you can better manage what you can get done. This leads to desired outcomes, reaching your goals and beating your own expectations. Ready to get started and change your life for the better?
Have You Brain Dumped Recently?
This isn’t as gross as it sounds. A brain dump is the act of taking some time to write everything down that’s in your head. The key to doing this successfully is to write things down as you think of them, and not as it should fall into your to schedule/do list. When you feel you’ve exhausted your brain, then organize it. Learn more about brain dumping (including techniques I use) via this great article by LifeHacker.
The Art of Scheduling Your Time
How do you know what you need to do if you don’t have the deadlines smacking you in the face? The answer: by scheduling each event of your day into a virtual calendar like Google Calendar. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 executive or a head cashier at McDonald’s, your schedule probably looks a lot like this:
Wake up time
Work start time
Work end time
Yes, I’m psychic! This basic outline and the results of your brain dump are a good place to get started.
Here’s what adding an event into Google Calendar looks like in action:
Incorporate all the important details so you don’t have to remember them, like:
- Name of what you need to get done
- Time it happens (& if it repeats)
- Where it is happening (links to a map)
- Which of your calendars it relates to (work, personal, family etc)
- Custom description (copy and paste emails, Skype messages etc)
- Related attachments (images, files etc)
- How other people are involved (which invites them to the event)
- Color coat events (“Event color”), so personal items look different from other events
How to Set Alert Reminders
Google Calendar also has handy email and pop up alerts (“Reminders”) to help keep you on track. Simply pick which alert type you want and when you want it to alert you.
If you sync your calendar between your devices, you’ll be alerted no matter which screen you’re looking at. This is a great way to stay nimble and ninja at timing.
This is what your weekly calendar should look like in action. You can also view it by “Day” or “Month” but I find this view the most effective. You can see the scope of work ahead. Look daunting? It’s exactly what you’re already doing, but instead of seeing it in this form, it’s stuck floating around in your head. In this form, you know exactly what needs to get done and when you have free time.
This is your life. Kinda cool, right?
When you first start using a calendar system, you’ll notice you can do more or less than you expected. You’ll also know exactly how long things actually take to do; so you can allocate your time more wisely. Say it with me now, “I don’t have the time.” Ah, feels good doesn’t it?
It doesn’t matter which system or app you use. The important part is you can add, edit and complete tasks whether you’re on your computer or on the fly via your phone. I personally use Gmail because it works for how I like to work; everything in one place (email, tasks, calendar, documents). There are tons of paid and free services like Wunderlist, Kalendi and Outlook.
Now go on and get…..things done.