If calendar management is a weak spot for you, these five time-saving calendar hacks will change your life!
The little things can make a big difference when you’re running your own business! Entrepreneurs know this well, which is why they’re always on top of finding ways to save time and manage their calendars more efficiently.
In his research on productivity and time-management best practices, Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, spoke with more than 200 billionaires (including Bill Gates), Olympians, straight-A students and entrepreneurs to learn about their most valuable tips. He discovered that ultra-productive individuals don’t work according to a to-do list but their calendars. By scheduling everything from appointments, deadlines to small tasks, they can get a better overview of their day and make sure they’re making the most of every minute.
While using a calendar might seem like a no-brainer, there are certain hacks you can employ to make the most of this time-management tool. Here are some tips:
Use time blocking technique
One of the best ways to use your calendar is to time block. It means designating a certain amount of time for a specific task. This helps you stay on track and keeps you from getting sidetracked by other tasks. To block time for different tasks on your digital calendar, simply choose a start and end time for the task. Then, add a title for the task and any other relevant details. Once you save the event, it will show up as a block of time on your calendar. You can use time blocking to work on a project or even to make time for a midday break. If you need to, you can always adjust the start and end times for the tasks.
Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, is a big proponent of time blocking and swears by its effectiveness. He is known to block the entire day for a certain theme. For instance, Monday is devoted to management; Tuesday to product; Wednesday to marketing and growth; Thursday to developers and partnerships; and Friday to recruiting. This allows Dorsey to focus all his energy on one theme at a time, creating a rhythm that keeps his head clear on his daily goals and promotes efficiency.
The calendar overlay method
The popular calendar overlay method was created by John Zeratsky, a productivity expert, to help people make the most of their time. The idea is simple: First, build a calendar template (which he calls the “overlay”) with all the features of your ideal day, including meal time, work duration and breaks. Then, project this overlay on and off your regular calendar to see where your time is going. For instance, you can check if your scheduled meetings fall into your work hours. If not, you can make changes to your overlay to fit that meeting into your day.
“Sometimes I copy an event from my template to my real calendar. But most of the time, I don’t need to—even knowing my template is there helps me stick to the plan,” he explains in one of his blog posts. “Since it’s not my real calendar, I can make a mess and not worry about deleting a meeting or causing myself to show up for something at the wrong time.”
Zeratsky often schedules two events simultaneously in his overlay to avoid procrastination. That is, if there are no tasks for certain blocks—say you have no meetings for the time period blocked out for your daily meeting slots—you can work on the other event.
The Pomodoro technique
Created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, who was still a university student, the goal of this technique is to reduce internal and external distractions’ impact on focus and flow.
The Pomodoro technique is great for making the most of your time and getting things done. The idea is to break down your work into 25-minute intervals, also called “pomodoros”. After each pomodoro, you can record what you have done and take a five-minute break to reset yourself for the next pomodoro. After four pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
There are several Pomodoro applications in the market, such as Clickup, Focus and Pomodor. Some offer better scheduling by connecting with the primary calendar or time tracker. If you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity, give the Pomodoro technique a try!
There you have it—calendar hacks that can save you time and boost your work efficiency. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the most of your time and accomplish more on a daily basis.
- Five Easy Hacks to Stay Focused at the Workplace
- 5 Video Games That Can Make You More Productive at Work
- 5 Digital Declutter Tips to Stay Organized and Productive at Work
Header image courtesy of Pexels