Using Google Calendar is widely known as one of the best time management tools out there yet most people don’t use it, let alone use it effectively.
In today’s lesson, I’m showing you how to use Google calendar effectively by going through my personal calendar and giving you some ideas on how you can maximize your day based on your internal clock.
Everybody has a different internal clock and system that their body runs on. So, in terms of using our Google calendar effectively, we want to build our calendar and create a schedule based on that internal system. That way we can make the most out of our energy and time every day.
With structure comes discipline; with discipline, comes freedom.
What most people do wrong is they don't use their calendar as a productivity weapon to slice through the chaos of the outside world. You have dreams and ambitions and without a solid structure, based on your uniqueness, you won't be able to make those dreams happen.
Today, you will learn:
- How to know when you do are most alert and productive
- How to prioritize what matters most to you
- How to create structure in your day and prevent burnout
Let's dive in!
A huge piece to productivity is energy management. It’s our job to know when we are most alert, awake, focused, and productive so that we can apply that to our schedule in order to maximize our performance.
My question for you is, are you more of an early bird or a night owl?
The truth is, it’s actually not that black and white. World-renowned sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus, has devoted his life to helping people get the most out of their sleep and their life by understanding what their Chronotype is.
A Chronotype is essentially your inner clock. It’s unique to you and is your body’s natural rhythm for sleep, exercise, caffeine intake, even your best time to have sex. In the last 14 years of study, Dr. Breus has found that there are 4 Chronotypes that people typically fall under (Dolphin; Lion; Bear; Wolf).
Image Source: Business Insider
Understand this isn't cookie cutter. I'm a bit of a mix between a bear and a dolphin (BearPhin?). What I encourage you to do is try these out and see what works for you. You can also click here to take Dr. Breus's custom quiz and find your Chronotype.
Add these dates to your calendar and try them out for a week at a time to see how you feel. Once you've tested for yourself when you are most effective with your energy, we then want to pinpoint what matters most to us so we can add that to our Google calendar.
If we are going to use our Google calendar effectively, we want to make sure that we are adding only what is essential to our current life and our future one.
If I sat down with you and went through your calendar, what would I see?
If it's just phone calls and birthdays, you're not using your calendar to its fullest potential. That's why we want to prioritize what matters most to us then put it all on the calendar to keep structure in our life.
Again, with structure comes discipline; with discipline comes freedom.
When you're in control of your calendar, you're in control of your life. That's why it is paramount to know exactly what is most important and essential in your life then building that into your calendar.
"If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will." - Greg Mckeown
Take some time to write out everything that is most important to you (i.e. family, friends, hobbies, fitness, work, etc.) then, based on your chronotype, schedule it all on the calendar.
Here's a screenshot of my current calendar:
Notice how I have my work time scheduled for when I am most productive, my family & friend's time, weekends are for rest & hobbies, and my workout time. This is a fully optimized calendar because it's everything that I am working on/toward in my life.
I say my "current" calendar because my life is ever-changing, and so is yours! The beauty of this process is, again, structure. I can add, subtract, or change anything that I want on my calendar and I am always testing to see what is optimal for me and my life.
The key to all of this is abiding by your task changes. Moving from work to family time can be a challenge for many people because it can be very easy to carry our work into our family and friend's time and vice versa.
The way to counter this is to set timers and reminders for your task changes. Anytime you make a task change; pause, take a deep breath and set an intention for what you want to focus on next then go all in.
If you go over a time block or even finish early, it's ok. Be content with what got done that day. Again, it's about structure. The key is to stay focused on what's important right now. I you're working, you're working. Likewise, when you're with your family, be with your family.
I hope by now that you can see the importance of taking control of your schedule. Structure is everything and when you learn how to use Google calendar effectively it can be a game-changer.
Moving forward from here, take the Chronotype quiz; test out when you feel most alert, awake, and productive; identify what's most important to you and what you want to accomplish in your life; then schedule everything onto your calendar.
By doing this, you will have far more freedom in your life because you are running your life, not the outside world.
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