One of the most essential factors in a successful life, regardless of what success means to you, is time management. You already know it. You’ve heard it a million times. Yet, somehow, you let time get away from you. You find yourself spending too much time on unimportant tasks and too little time on what matters. For ages, calendars have been here to help people manage their time better.
Whether it’s a physical, paper calendar, or a digital Calendar, you know you need help. Time management is far too critical to both your personal and professional lives to leave things up to chance. Here’s what you need to know about leveraging calendar insights to improve your time management.
Why Time Management Is Important
Face it — these are hectic times, and people are only getting busier. If you don’t manage your time, it manages you. It’s not your fault. It’s just the nature of the 24-hour day. There are simply too many things to do in a day. The nice thing is that proper time management skills can affect real change in your life. The even nicer thing is that these skills are easier to learn than ever.
Proper time management helps you turn aspirations into actionable plans; big goals can feel overwhelming if you don’t lay out steps and a Calendar in those steps. Time management can also ensure you don’t burn out; you can block out free time or even “play” time. The more you enjoy your life, the more likely you will continue to meet your goals. Finally, time management can get you focused, and who doesn’t need more focus?
What Calendar Insights Offers Users
You’re on the right track if you already use Google Calendar, Calendar.com, or another digital calendar. Many users don’t realize that one of the features we offer is Calendar Analytics. Calendar Analytics will help you view your entire calendar at a glance. Whereas Google’s Time Insights only shows users how they spend time in meetings, other features can show you everything.
The blessing and the curse of calendar insights, in general, is that you have to take a good look in the mirror. It can be off-putting to see how you actually spend your time. But once you see this feature as a blessing, it can change your day, week, and life. Calendar insights allow users to review, reflect, adjust, and improve. So you can achieve those goals!
How Calendar Insights Can Help You Enhance Time Management
Use the App
The first thing you have to do to start utilizing Calendar Insights is to use the app. So many people sign up for services, pay for a subscription, and never use the service. Calendar insights cannot help you if you don’t fill out the calendar and schedule everything each day. Of course, you can take a day off and call it leisure, but schedule that, too!
Take full advantage of all the features in whatever calendar you use so that the insights can give you an accurate picture. Choose the best plan for you, based on what each one provides. Then, start syncing your other calendars; your current schedule is always available. When you take this approach, insights will be your best friend.
Review Calendar Insights Weekly
Once you have scheduled out an entire week, work hard to stick to your schedule. Avoid overcommitting yourself, be okay with scheduling events or tasks for a later date, and don’t be afraid to fail. You won’t get it perfect the first time, the second, or maybe even the third. That’s the whole point of this exercise. The goal is to make the schedule, stick to it, and then review it.
At the end of your week, review how your time management went. First, did you accomplish your weekly goals? Are you closer to achieving your more long-term goals? What went right, and what went wrong? You’ll be able to use calendar insights to see where you had too many meetings, too little free time, and more. Get honest with yourself in this review so that you can make the necessary changes.
Decide Which Parts of Your Calendar You Would Like to Prioritize
About that honesty … Once you’ve done your review for the week, it’s time to make necessary changes. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Humans tend to do the same things over and over, even when it’s not working. What needs to change in your calendar? Do you need to schedule fewer meetings and send emails instead? Block out time for deep work? Move afternoon items to the morning and vice versa.
So many times, you won’t know what will work until you know what doesn’t work. This is the brilliance of calendar insights. You can get a clear, big picture of your week and say, “That doesn’t work for me.” Then, all you have to do is decide to do something different. As you do these reviews with yourself each week, you will learn more and more about how you do your best work.
Adjust Your Calendar to Align With Your Priorities
Create a calendar for the next week that aligns with your decisions. Remember, those decisions are based on your priorities. When you keep your highest goals in mind, you rarely make unnecessary changes. You can adjust next week’s calendar and several weeks ahead to align with your priorities.
Keep in mind all along that you are simply working out a system for your time management. This new schedule will undoubtedly need tweaking as well. That’s okay. Don’t be afraid to create the calendar as best you can based on your review; move forward. Each week you do, this will improve, and you will find yourself hitting goals and meeting priorities.
Adjust Your Life to Align with Your Calendar
Finally, perhaps your biggest job is to align your life to your calendar. All the scheduling in the world won’t help you if you don’t actually follow your calendar. You can review and adjust according to calendar insights, but you must follow through. Follow-through is everything. Remember, this practice is not a prison sentence, not something you are being forced to do. Create the calendar you want that aligns with your goals and priorities.
If you don’t like the schedule you’ve created, change it! Check your insights if you feel like you are not getting the best work-life balance! How can you live a more purposeful, authentic life daily? By cutting out what is getting in your way and bringing in more of what you love. Calendar insights can help you do exactly that.
Use Calendar Insights to Your Advantage
Finally, calendar insights are another feature to help you manage your time. Like all of the features of your go-to calendar, it is a tool you can use. The idea, always, is to get you to a place where you feel productive, successful, and happy about it. Any feature or tool getting you closer to that state is worth it.
Featured Image Credit: RDNE Stock Project; Pexels; Thank you!