Setting goals, meeting deadlines, putting out fires, and managing a to-do list that only ever seems to get longer as the week goes on can quickly become frustrating.
You end your week wondering if you actually made any progress, despite knowing that you put in plenty of time.
How can you stay organized and ensure all of your priorities are being met when you already feel overwhelmed?
It’s actually easier than you might think, and if you’re already using Google Calendar to manage your important meetings and events, you’re already halfway there.
Here’s how to stay organized and measure your progress with Google Calendar.
- Mind Sweep
Get everything you need to do, want to do, and are obligated to do out of your mind and onto paper (or a Google doc, whatever works for you).
This is more than a to-do list because it’s meant to clear out the clutter – the things that will inevitably pop up and distract you while you’re trying to work on something else.
Just because you write it down doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to get done immediately, but it does mean it has a permanent place to live where it can’t interfere with the other things you need to prioritize.
Add to this list any time something comes up so you feel confident you won’t forget about it.
- Categorize your list
Creating categories will help you create balance between what you have to do and what you want to do. You’ll assign colors to each of these categories so you can quickly look at your calendar and see how your week is stacking up.
Which categories you choose will be totally up to you and the work you need to do and/or want to measure, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
– Project Work
– Business Development
- Add your must-do’s
You likely already have your scheduled meetings and events on your calendar, but what about the work that has to be done to meet project deadlines, or the action items that have to be completed to ensure you reach your big goals?
Break these goals and projects into smaller tasks that you can complete throughout your week and month so you’re not left scrambling to get things done on time or left wondering why you still haven’t made any progress toward your goals.
Pick a day and time/length of time you’re going to work on these tasks and add them to your calendar. Treat this block of time like you would any other important meeting or event on your calendar – meaning you won’t cancel or reschedule it unless absolutely necessary.
- Add reactive time
Emails need to be responded to, unexpected phone calls will need to be had, and there is undoubtedly going to be something, or someone, pop up that you did not plan for.
Create time for these things before they happen by adding reactive time to your calendar.
By doing this, you eliminate the sense of urgency these often come with and put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your time by being able to say “I can’t do this right now, but I have time for it at (whatever time you’ve scheduled a reactive block)”.
- Add focus time
You’ve created space for the things that absolutely must get done, you’ve created space to react to the unexpected, now it’s time to create space to focus.
Focus on the other tasks on your to-do list or simply let yourself breathe for a moment so you can gain clarity or find inspiration.
Add time to your calendar to focus on what might cause you stress or anxiety in the future and spend that time eliminating those feelings for your future self by completing those tasks or making enough progress on them that they don’t become a problem.
Measure your success
With Pav*r, you can create detailed reports of exactly how you spent your time. Those Categories you created can be easily added and color-coded, plus you can create Labels if you want to get an even more granular report of your time.
For example, if your Category is Project Work, you could have labels for each of the clients whose projects you’re working on so you can see both how much time you spent on project work overall, and see how much time you spent on each client.
Our detailed reports will show you a pie chart of exactly how much time you spent on each calendar category and label, and will produce a spreadsheet that includes every calendar entry.
Use Pav*r to help you not only understand where your time is going, but measure your progress towards your goals or use the data to adjust how much time you spend in each category.
Spent 30% of your time in meetings last week? Maybe you decide to say no to more meetings so you can spend more time on income-producing activities.
Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. With Pav*r, you’ll have an easy way to measure your time so you can better manage it to feel more in control of your most important resource.
How to Stay Organized with Google Calendar
- Color Code Calendars
- Utilize the Calendar list to manage things like your own calendar, holidays, tasks, reminders, etc. By assigning a color to each you will spend less time having to find each calendar and can visually see how you’re spending your time throughout the day.
- Utilize All The Features
- To the right side of your calendar, you’ll find features that seamlessly integrate into your calendar and can also be utilized from anywhere. Tasks allow you to keep track of your to-do lists in multiple places while also allowing you to set a date and time for them to be completed. They’ll now automatically show in your calendar if you have it selected!
- Add Pav*r app plug
- Share Your Calendar
- Cut back on repeating your schedule through emails, texts, or phone calls.
- Take In the Views
- You can adjust how you view your calendar easily. My preference is to have it on a weekly view and I can switch between day or month if I’d like. If you’re a person who also likes to have paper to write on or your job doesn’t allow you to have a device in some areas, it may be helpful to you to print out your calendar in the morning for that day. Through settings you can easily print your day so you can scribble or doodle- whatever makes you most productive!
- Sync or Swim
- The digital age allows us to synchronize our apps together so we can spend less time entering and exiting applications – meaning we have more time for more important things!
- Speak Up- Use Your Voice
- Want to avoid having to open your calendar to manually add something to the calendar? Need to add something to your calendar quickly and not get distracted by the rest of your phone or computer? You can simply ask google! Now that is being efficient and productive!