Google Calendar Update
You may remember from my last post that I decided to sit down and try to use Google Calendar to schedule my work week. My initial goal with the program was to put all the stuff I’m trying to do out there so I could try to work it all in and find the best time to do different activities. After spending more than two months with it, I’ve come to a conclusion.
I’m Trying To Do Too Much!
After weeks of feeling like I’ve made a huge mistake, I’ve stumbled on to something. Here’s what I found.
The stuff that wasn’t getting done was either stuff I shouldn’t be doing or stuff that I couldn’t work on because my time was limited by the stuff I shouldn’t be doing. A clear pattern did emerge though. In most cases, the work I was completing were things I was good at or enjoyed doing. The rest of it just didn’t fit either of those categories.
Because it is linked somehow to my google account, I would get a LinkdIn email every day telling me what I had scheduled for that day. At the end of each day, I found I had accomplished roughly one third of what I set out to do. I don’t have to tell you how that makes you feel, do I?
Was This a Failure?
Absolutely not! Even though anxiety can creep in from time to time when you’re not knocking it out of the park financially, I still was able to take away some good lessons. Let me tell you a few of them.
First, by being able to look at my day every day, I felt good that I had taken the time to look at my business and the things that I thought needed to be done. Taking action of any kind towards success is a success and should be celebrated!
Second, I had a system in place to analyze patterns like the ones I told you about above. Each activity that would not get finished or even started gave me an opportunity to take a closer look at it. I could then ask myself if this was something that needed to be done or something I just thought needed to be done. I’ve discovered a few of the scheduled tasks simply are not important for moving me closer to my goals. Usually, they were things that would be classified as “nice to do” but not “critical”.
Third, I was able to look at my list of “nice to” activities and simply eliminate them or keep them in a back burner position in Google Calendar like the weekly tasks area.
Finally, it gave me the confidence to move my Google calendar from a strictly time-based listing of activities to a daily theme-based tool. Instead of receiving an email with a listing of things that need to be completed along with a time they need to be done, I now get an email that tells me what part of my business I’m going to work on that day. My Google Calendar now reads “Strategizing Sunday” with a description in the activity that defines what I am to be doing in a general sense. On each Sunday, I’ll make a list of things I must get done and assign them a theme day to complete them on. I’m sure this will need more fine-tuning. At least now I know if my goal is to write a blog post it needs to happen on Writing Wednesday and Publishing Friday. Make sense?
Other than that, I’ve made two other changes. I’ve shortened my workday because I’ve seen how much of Parkinson’s Law I’ve been operating under. I’ve cut my work day effectively in half for the time being. Once I see that I’m making real progress on my goals, I’ll be happy to add time to a work day that needs it. As opposed to filling in an eight hour day with whatever just because you have eight hours.
The other significant change is that I’ve officially taken a day off! What? Are you crazy? Nope. And I am far from so successful that I have the time to burn. Rather, I’m more interested in taking Saturday for my wife, dog and myself to do whatever we can get into. No guilt or regrets. My family is much more important to me than anything and it’s time my work schedule reflected that!
I’ll be blogging about my progress with this system in the future. Make sure to sign up for updates so you don’t miss anything!
What About You?
Have you been struggling with your schedule? Have you tried mapping out the various activities of your business only to find you have way more things to do than you could EVER possibly accomplish? Are you using David Allen’s Getting Things Done? That’s the next project I’ll be working on because I’ve heard so many good things about it. I think he won me over right away when he said we need to stop using our brains for storage because they are not built for that. HA!
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you’re struggling with so I can address it in a future blog post.