How to use Google Calendar for Schedule Work (and Family) Tasks

google-calendar-time-management

What’s the one difference between having a to-do list and making a calendar entry? To-do lists are static. It states what needs to be done.

Calendars are a commitment to making something happen. You’ve probably noticed that systems like GTD (Getting Things Done) work for a while but then become less effective as time goes on? Most people I know who’ve used them we’re enthusiastic at first but then, like New Year’s Resolutions…

Why doesn’t it work?

google-calendar-schedules

The problem with GTD and to-do lists is that they’re fine for identifying what needs to be done, but you probably know that already. Ok, so writing it down helps prioritise what needs to be done.

You can assign High, Medium, and Low.

But I’d say you know that as well. So, why is it so hard to, no pun intended, get things done?

It’s because you still haven’t plan when to do it. It’s still there on your list. The next step is to get it from the to-do list (paper or digital, doesn’t matter) and get it one step closer to completion.

Note: a good primer on getting started on Google Drive & Google Docs

How to sync Family, School and Business tasks with Google Calendar

There are three ways to do this using Google Calendar:

  1. Create a new calendar for High priority tasks. Assign these the colour red.
    google-calendar-create-new-calendar-1
  2. Create a second calendar for less important tasks. Assign these another colour, say blue.
    google-calendar-create-new-calendar-0
  3. Create a third calendar for family and personal. Assign these bright, shiny colour, say lime!

The next step is scheduling.

  • Assign tasks using the different calendars.
  • Give yourself some elbow room in case they run over.
  • Turn on all calendars. Your week should be full (in a good way) and you can see clearly what needs to be done when.

But you’re not finished yet.

  • Open your web browser and go to Settings.
  • Change the default home page to your calendar. If really want to keep your homepage and, if you use Google Chrome, you can set the Calendaras the second tab to that open.
    google-calendar-startup-pages
  • But try and make it the first.
    google-calendar-startup-pages-1

If you do this, then every time you go onto the web, you’ll get a reminder of what you need to do next. What you really should be doing.

Try it. It’s very effective. You see right now what you need to do today. It stops you getting pulled in different directions as things pop up.

The other benefit it that you can relax mentally. Instead of trying to remember everything, check your to-do list, check your Google Calendar.

And, of course, you can view it on your phone, your ipad and anywhere you’re logged into Google. Just make sure to sync.

TipZen Habits: Handbook For Life is worth a read. A nice alternative approach to time management.

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