Take a second and think of the greatest pair. I’m thinking of PB&J, Batman & Robin – and a hot dog at a baseball game.
Do you know what else goes perfectly together? Your calendar and productivity. Seriously – try to improve one without the other; Instead of trying to make it work, try to improve in any area of your life and you will be successful if you combine your calendar with your productivity goals.
That being said, here are 10 calendar hacks for the most productive – maximum productivity of each.
1. Book a vacation to solve a problem.
“We all have to do, create and learn to build the business of our dreams,” said Togney Stone, a brand strategist and digital product entrepreneur. “But we find it difficult to find time.”
Things are easier to do if you apply the following formula;
Time x Intense concentration focused on a single task.
When time is a problem (or an excuse), the key is to increase your focus, adds Togney.
What is the best way to do it? It’s easier said than done. When we are free from confusion, we can create real value – and that leads to authority, visibility and profit, “he added.
First, ask, “What do you really need to learn and apply to move your business forward?” You will discover that these are big tasks that are difficult to accomplish if you “just double” here and there if you have the time. And, if you’re like most of us, “free time” is often short supply.
“Solution?” He asks. “Take a break to solve a problem.”
Your problem-solving vacation works like this;
- Set aside two to three days in your calendar. Or, whatever it takes to make meaningful progress,
- Next, add an extra day. Why? Most of the time, we overestimate what we can do within a given time frame.
- Lastly, make sure you focus on the things you have decided to add or change.
“Treat this problem-solving vacation the way you want it to,” Togney advises. “Let your clients know in advance that you will be out of the office on those dates, work your schedule on those days and when the time comes, turn on your autoresponder and do nothing but focus your attention on the problem you need. Solve.”
Multitasking and social media are prohibited. So during your vacation, make sure you’re “off the grid.”
2. Map out your calendar for the whole year.
I know. Planning your whole year in advance? This sounds like a monumental task. Besides, how can you predict what will happen in the future?
While these are legitimate concerns and it will take an early time commitment, it can be the key to your time management.
Now, does this mean that you set your time per minute for the next 365 days? Of course not.
Instead, you are adding essentials. Examples would be quarterly meetings, birthdays, holidays, travel, vacations, art events and recurring priorities. Getting them into your calendar prevents conflicts, reduces stress and anxiety, and ensures you’re working on the right things at the right time.
3. Design your ideal week.
Now that you have your large photo item in your calendar, you can scale things again And, it designs your ideal week. Unlike your full year mapping, you can do this on a weekly basis. Personally, I like to do it on Sundays.
“The idea is like a financial budget,” explains Michael Hyatt. “The only difference is that you plan how you will spend your time rather than your money. And like a financial budget, you spend it on paper first.”
“I will survive if I can control 100% of what happens,” Hayat advises. So instead, a common grid organizes its schedule, and each day is assigned a theme that is “divided according to a specific focus area.”
4. Keep your daily schedule simple.
There is no need to complicate your daily routine. In contrast, it is best to keep your daily schedule simple.
For some, it may just be your top three priorities for the day. While it may be effective, it does not take into account various factors. For one, what if you identify the wrong priorities? Have you allocated the right amount of time for each item? After all, what if you still have priorities that require work?
How do you achieve effective and efficient daily schedule? They’re not as complicated as that.
Take Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule, for example. While staying open, straightforward and structured, it encourages routines.
Franklin’s schedule included only six blocks:
- Getting ready for the day: bath, breakfast, personal study, and work preparation (3 hours)
- Morning work (4 hours)
- Current Project Review and Lunch (2 hours)
- Afternoon work (4 hours)
- Dinner and rest and winding day (4 hours)
- Sleep (7 hours)
Get over here to get it over here.
If anyone wants a more productive day, they can use this template as a guide.
5. Sync your calendar with your circadian rhythm.
“Humans have a precise internal clock that shapes our energy levels throughout the day: our circadian process, often referred to as a circadian rhythm because it tends to be very regular,” wrote Christopher Burns. HBR. “If you’ve ever had a jet lag, you know how long the circadian rhythm can last,” he insisted. For each of us, “this natural – and harsh – effect has a significant effect on our alertness or ability to sleep.”
What’s the impact on your calendar and productivity? When we plan our day, we need to consider our own circadian rhythms.
“The most important tasks should be handled when people are at or near the top of their alert (within one hour between noon and 6 pm),” Burns recommends. “If the alert is low (very early in the morning, around 3pm and late at night) the least important tasks should be scheduled.”
6. Assign names and timeslots for downtime.
Many of us mistakenly believe that taking a break is nothing more than a waste of time. I mean 15 or 20 minutes can be used to finish an important task. However, this is an old idea.
In fact, you can increase productivity by taking regular breaks throughout the day.
The key, though, is not to be confused. In other words, do not stop 15 minutes break every 90 minutes. Instead, set a time slot for each day and decide how you will spend it in advance. Ideally, this would be based on your circadian rhythm.
By assigning a specific name to each break, such as “Wednesday I break: 15-minute walk,” you can be sure that it has been used effectively. You can throw your gym or walking shoes in the car after seeing your planner on Wednesday morning.
It is essential to avoid both equal and opposite errors;
- Excessively engaged in breaks
- Absolutely not taking a break
These two flaws have been the subject of much scientific research over the past decade. Don’t let your downtime slip. Make the most of certain parameters, such as setting a 15 minute timer. Above all, make it a priority as you make important meetings.
7. Stop trying to manage time.
Although it may sound counterintuitive, if not obsolete – you can’t actually manage time on your own. As such, it is even futile to try. Instead, you should focus on your control. You have control over yourself – now how do you make the best of yourself? Work on these items:
- Power. Instead of bulldogging through work, take a break if you’re exhausted. Every now and then, you may have to do it. But, if you continue to do so, your energy reserves will be completely wasted.
- Priority. Before anything else, add your priorities to your calendar. And, make sure you join them first. You do not want to waste your resources on tasks that may be dedicated, rescheduled, or deleted.
- The brain. “Neuroplasticity is the idea that the brain (even the adult brain) can create new pathways,” Ted Desan explained in the Entrepreneurs Project. “Every time you train your brain to eat frogs, it becomes easier to do it next time. Because you’re building a path and re-training your brain to do things that are challenging. “
- What is essential? In other words, focus on the important ones. This will keep your calendar free from clutter as well as keep you fresh and energetic.
- Focus. Try what you can – but you can only focus so long. Try Pomodoro technology or the 52/17 rule so you can recharge all day.
- Emotions. Negative emotions can be both annoying and tiring. Make sure you adapt your schedule to self-care or to have fun – both are essential to your well-being.
8. Use nudges.
To help keep you motivated, set a soft “beep” or “calendar notification” ringtone on your smartphone to alert you when it’s time to move on to the next block. You are being asked to stay on track without fear of death or disrupting your current activities
What if you’re using a paper calendar? Don’t worry. If you want to be reminded to go to the next block of your calendar, set a phone timer or even an analog kitchen timer. Ding from a kitchen timer can be as effective as notifying your phone.
9. Do not fill in the blanks.
While planning and reviewing your calendar, you may have noticed some blank spots. Okay, that’s fine – of course. For example, if there is a two-hour interval between tasks, you may want to re-evaluate your calendar. But, if there is a 30-minute meeting, leave it alone?
Some would argue that it is a waste of time – just like a break. The truth is, you can use this time block as a buffer between meetings to avoid running late or preparing for the next meeting. It can also be used to reflect, meditate, expand and reconnect with the events of the day. You can also use it for unexpected, last minute work or emergencies.
10. Don’t fall into the calendar-default trap.
“The man who discovered the default hour in calendar software wasted millions of hours,” Jeff Hayden wrote in an Inc.com article. There is no doubt about it. As a result, many meetings are not effective and are even trivialized because of their length.
“Most things can be handled in 30 minutes,” Hadden added. In addition, most meetings can be “managed within 15 minutes-especially if everyone present knows that the meeting will only last 15 minutes.”
“Don’t be a slave to the calendar tool default,” he advised. “If you absolutely know you need it, just set an hour.”
Image Credit: Vlada Karpovich; Pixels; Thanks!
The 10 calendar hack posts appeared in the first calendar for maximum productivity.