Check your online calendar: It’s full of large events that take up at least half an hour of your day, right? Although it’s important to put things like birthday parties and meetings on your calendar, don’t neglect the little things.
Even the smallest of tasks can be added to your online calendar. Doing so will help you pick up good habits or take care of responsibilities that, while not particularly time-consuming, are easy to forget.
Bite-Sized Work Worth Scheduling
Not sure which tiny tasks deserve a spot on your calendar? Here are eight you can add now:
Check Your Email
Going through your inbox should be a quick task, but it’s easy to waste hours reading, sorting, and responding to emails each day. An online calendar can help you condense your email time, so the rest of your time can be spent on more worthwhile projects.
Choose a time to check emails and add them to your online calendar. Set parameters, so you have a stopping point. You can create multiple checkpoints throughout the day to keep up on emails without getting distracted by every inbox notification.
Exercise Your Brain
Simple brain games can improve your focus and memory in the long run. Make them habitual by adding a recurring event to your calendar. Brain teasers might be fun, but they need to be done consistently to make a difference.
Mental exercises come in a huge variety. For example, you can try and name all 50 states without consulting a map or seeing how many words you can write down that start with the letter G in 60 seconds. Math quizzes and puzzles stretch your brain in different but equally beneficial ways.
Take a Break
It may feel strange to schedule your break time, but doing so could make a huge difference in your productivity. Adding breaks to your schedule can help keep them from turning into distractions.
Add a 15-minute break or two into each workday. You may feel tempted to dismiss the notification when it pops up, but try your best to obey it. Once break time is up, get back to work promptly.
You can schedule lunch breaks, social media time, or whatever activity works best for you. When in doubt, stretch your legs. This will be especially helpful if you spend long hours at a desk. Standing up will get your blood moving and help you keep your mind sharp.
Do a Ten-Item Pick-Up
Working parents have a lot on their plates. Trying to balance their careers and their families leave little room for much else, including keeping the house tidy. To stay on top of the messes that accumulate, turn to your online calendar.
Once a day, block off a short window of time to do a quick clean of your house. You can call this the ten-item pick-up (or whatever number you choose), asking everyone to take two minutes to pick up and put away some things. This will help keep things from getting too chaotic and set your home up for a less frequent deep clean.
Write in a Journal
Keeping a journal is another great way to improve your memory and store thoughts and ideas you want to reflect on later. Journaling can also relieve stress by providing a safe and private place to vent so you can move on with your day.
Journal entries don’t need to be lengthy or time-consuming. Set a short time in your online calendar to do some writing. Even a couple of minutes is enough time to put a few paragraphs on the page.
Life gets busy. This makes it hard to keep in touch with people, even those we love the most. Whether it’s close family or an old friend, taking the time to connect can be tough if we don’t plan for it.
Whenever you think of someone you want to contact, make an event in your online calendar. This could be for an upcoming birthday, a check-in with grandma, or a simple “hello” to an old friend. Your online calendar can keep you accountable to ensure you actually make the call.
Grocery shopping is probably a regular activity for you, so why not add it to your online calendar? Shopping is easier and less stressful when you set aside time to do it. Using your online calendar cuts down on unnecessary trips to the store, saving you time and effort.
Adding this event to your online calendar gives you time to take inventory and visit the store at a less-busy time. The less time you spend shopping and waiting in checkout lines, the happier you’ll be.
Enjoy Some “Me” Time
With so many things on your to-do list, it can be difficult to make time for yourself. You deserve a chance to do something you enjoy. Make that happen by scheduling some moments for yourself in your online calendar.
Perhaps you’ve been itching to read the latest Stephen King book or to watch an old rerun of “Friends.” Maybe it’s a massage you’ve been craving. It only takes a little time each day to treat yourself, but doing so can make a world of difference to your mental and emotional health.
Not every task on your to-do list needs to be a big one. The little ones matter just as much. Add them to your online calendar, and watch what a difference it makes in your day.