Calendar & planning
A calendar (whether a Google Calendar, Outlook or phone calendar), can save precious time. Most often, this is regarded as a business instrument and less useful for personal or family activities.
Below, you can find some ideas, which I hope could help you increase the efficiency of your calendar, and better planning of activities:
- No matter the activity: personal, professional, in the family or in the community, use a digital calendar
Why planning helps? Because, usually, what is being planned, is also carried out. Why you should schedule all your activities? Because, if you schedule, for instance, 2 hours on a Monday evening for your hobby, when do you think you will have better chances to actually do it? You’re right: when you scheduled IT. Otherwise, it is possible that some other activity may fill your time. Furthermore, through organizing the calendar you have a wider view of your activities. Time will always fill up, so why not planning from the start?
- Think of the moment of the day with the maximum productivity for you
If you know that morning is the most creative period of the day, choose then to work on your projects, planning, strategy or creative meetings with your team. A calendar could be split into 3 parts:
- High productivity (for contents creation, strategy & planning, learning) — could be in the morning
- Medium productivity (before and after lunch, when you can use the break for meetings and new projects). As Keith Ferrazzi said „Never eat lunch alone.”
- Low productivity (ideal for answering emails, organizing documents or planning the next day) — can be in the afternoon
- Use different calendars for different activities
You can use multiple calendars (in Google Calendar), with different colors in order to be easy to view in your calendar, by showing only specific activities. E.g. Separate calendar for family activities versus professional activities.
- Use all features of the calendar
Plan an activity, but don’t forget that in the calendar you can find many features like: setting reminder (with different time zone if the case), inviting guests and reminders and other available options. Both Google Calendar and Outlook have many tricks that could help you in planning and organizing activities. You can find more than 30 tricks for Google Calendar here.
- Plan carefully
Usually we plan too much (and we don’t manage to be in due time / frame into the time), or we don’t plan at all. David Heinemmeir Hansson from 37 Signals says „Plan 4–5 hours per day for intense activity. Days will fill up fast anyway”. We should take into consideration time for transport between two meetings, or we might find ourselves stressed that we won’t get on time. Google Calendar offers the possibility of setting a default hour of 50 minutes instead of 60 in order to include this time of lost time. Planning meetings should take into consideration the period before and after, in order not to create blocks of time that you cannot use for other activities. For instance, a meeting from 14:30 to 17:30, would leave limited time before (so after lunch), and less time after the meeting until the end of your program.
I hope my advice is useful. I created a Free Template for you to set your goals in 2016 available here: http://www.myproductivitykit.com/template/
I wish you a MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY!