With so many personal and work obligations, your day can be pretty hectic. Without proper planning, you may find yourself jumping from one appointment to the next. Appointment-hopping can leave you with little time to focus on the work that must be done.
Google Calendar offers users an opportunity to organize their day and to schedule a time to focus on necessary tasks. So whether it is scheduling focus time to focus on family events or around necessary work meetings, you can organize your day. And you can do so by also ensuring you face no distractions during your focus time.
When you use Google Calendar, you can learn how to better manage your time, processes, and workload. Google Calendar can help you improve your time management, not only with schedules for work meetings, international calls, and family birthdays but also for focusing on the time needed to complete essential tasks. You’ll need to take advantage of several other Google Calendar functions before getting the most out of your focus-time planning so that you don’t miss important events or double-book something on your work, personal, and family schedules.
First, let’s review some of the basics of Google Calendar. These include scheduling appointments, synchronizing calendars to ensure shared events are not missed, and setting up task managers.
Google Calendar Basics
Google Calendar offers basic features that can make even the unorganized user a master of their own time. Google Calendar is time management and scheduling device created by Google. It allows users to schedule appointments, organize daily tasks, schedule reminders, and even automatically reject meetings that occur during pre-designated periods of focus time needed to complete tasks.
Google Calendar can be integrated with other applications to make scheduling easy. For example, a user can schedule a Google Hangout call with the click of a button.
Google Calendar Syncs Multiple Calendars
If you work off of multiple calendars that display a variety of upcoming events, either personal or business, things can get confusing. Thankfully, you can sync these calendars into one to capture a complete look at your scheduled events. This is important if you are trying to carve out needed time for focused work without missing other occasions that demand your attention.
The Google Calendar synchronization feature allows you to see all of your calendars in one place. First, open your Google Calendar. select the “settings menu” icon, which looks like a gear, then click “settings.” Scroll to “import & export,” and export the calendar you need to merge into yours. Then, go to your main calendar and select the “settings menu” icon again, then “settings.” Scroll to “import & export,” then import the selected calendar into yours.
Repeat these steps for all calendars that include your events and appointments. These can consist of work team calendars, vacation calendars, family calendars, social calendars, and others you might use.
Google Calendar Automatically Adds Holidays
Now that you have added all relevant work and family calendars to yours, you can also account for religious and national holidays. These can be added to your calendar to help keep you organized for focused work. For example, holidays can impact a deadline for a project that requires you to schedule focus time to complete the task.
It is essential to know any holidays that can affect your ability to meet the deadline and have them on one calendar. If you work with colleagues in different countries, you can add those holidays to your calendar.
First, sign in to Google Calendar. Then, under the “my calendars” tab, hover over and select the three dots beside your calendar. Next, click “settings and sharing,” and under “add calendar,” click “browse calendars of interest.”
Here you will find different religions; select the box for the nation or religion you need to add to your calendar. Again, working with colleagues or clients in other countries can help keep you informed about those holidays. If you prefer to choose individual holidays to add to your calendar, you have the option to do it one at a time.
Google Calendar Manages Tasks
You can ensure you have the time needed to focus on work or any other important task by managing all tasks in one place. Google Calendar allows you to add daily tasks, which can help identify when they need to be done and arrange them around your focus time.
First, access Google Calendar. On the right side, you will see the “tasks” tab. Click on that, then click on “get started.” Click “add a task,” then type in the relevant information about the task. You can select the pencil icon to add deadlines for the tasks and additional tasks required for individual projects.
Google Calendar’s Focus Time
Now that you have organized your calendars and put everything in one place, you can benefit from focus time. Google Calendar offers the focus time feature to reduce distractions. The focus time feature is included in the Google Calendar school or work account. When you add this event to your calendar, it blocks the time you have selected for you to focus on the task that needs to be completed.
First, access Google Calendar. Select the day and time on the calendar that you need to add the focus time. Above the new event, select “focus time.” You can adjust the start and end time. Once you’ve completed the entry, click “save.”
Repeat Focus Time
If you need to schedule focus time for multiple days, you can repeat your entry in Google Calendar. This is helpful if you are scheduling your work week and need to regularly set aside focus time recurring. This will create the necessary structure in your week to complete essential tasks.
First, click on the focus time appointment you need to repeat in the Google Calendar. Then, select the “down arrow” beside the “doesn’t repeat” option that prevents the event from repeating. Next, select how frequently you need to repeat this focus time from the drop-down. This will then duplicate the event on other days to carve out the focus time you need during work.
Make Focus Time Private
If your Google Calendar is shared with colleagues or relatives, you may not want others to see your focus time on your calendar. In addition, some people may wrongfully interpret focus time as “free time” and think you are available during these periods. Google Calendar allows you to change your privacy settings for the event. You can make it either public or private. If you need to make the focus time private, you can change the privacy settings.
First, below the calendar’s name, select “default visibility.” Besides “default visibility,” select the drop-down button. Here you can choose either public or private to set who can view the event.
Decline Meetings During Focus Time
While carving out focus time for yourself to complete important tasks is essential — you also want to avoid distractions from others. Google Calendar allows you to automatically reject meeting invites during your scheduled focus time. If a colleague or friend sends you a call or meeting invite during your scheduled focus time, Google Calendar declines it. First, select the focus time you chose, then select the box beside the “decline meetings” option.
Modify or Delete Focus Time
Once you have scheduled focus time on Google Calendar, you can also change or delete it. For example, you may complete your task and no longer need the focus time, or you may need to extend time. But, again, making the change is easy.
First, open Google Calendar. Then, select the focus time you need to change or delete. Next, select either the edit or delete option. To edit, click “edit,” and then make your changes and save. To remove the event, click “delete event.”
Image Credit: Eren Li; Pexels; Thank you!
My name is Angela Ruth. I aim to help you learn how Calendar can help you manage your time, boost your productivity, and spend your days working on things that matter, both personally and professionally. Here's to improving all your calendars and becoming the person you are destined to become!