(Picture: Facebook Thread–> AL: I missed the class on Adulting! P1: It was a 9am. So I skipped it P11:^RT P2: There’s no class, you just keep getting randomly smacked in the head til you learn P3: You can cook and go places on time. That’s like 90% of it I heard)
I didn’t like the idea of being smacked in the head until I learned. I still don’t, but, I have learned that mistakes and failures are key moments of growth. Not every lesson has to be painful though. Time management is a lesson that learned early on, can save a lot of “smacking in the head”.
I started my Google Calendar obsession in college, pretty much every day of the week was different, add in homework, work, friends, calling home, office hours, learning a new city (will it take 20 mins or an hour to get there), DINING Hall hours, I could not keep track. In Highschool, I was always given planners but rarely used them outside of reading the quotes. A paper planner/agenda works for a lot of people, but I prefer apps since my phone is always in my hand. Every time I tried to use physical planners, I would write an assignment down and never look at it again. I will say- there is value in handwriting things down, it helps with overall memorization (looking at you laptop note takers, I can see your open shopping cart ).
I love Google Calendar, there are other options, but this is free and I have an Android (Apple users you can use this too but there is also iCal using iCloud.)
I color code my calendar, it helps me to look at a glance how the day/week will look. If I see grey on my screen I know I need to throw in some gym clothes, If I see yellow – I have a volunteer activity that I need to dress up for ( I usually wear jeans to work, if I’m on a panel that day I’ll throw on more business casual), purple is social, brown is commute time (NYC transportation is ughh) red is t.v shows so those can be easily moved etc. Green is work, some weeks i’m in the office all day everyday others i’m traveling to school, so I like to plug into my cal. I like this method because of the visual.
(This is my laptop view, also have the app on my 1st screen on my phone)
Why Google Cal:
- Syncs with Gmail: If someone sends me a meeting or event, or I get tickets for travel and show its syncs right to the calendar.
- Less confusion: I have been known to send Google Cal invites, it specifies: time, location, and in the notes ticket # if it’s a show. Everyone is on the same page, some of my friends love it, others invite me before I can even put it in myself, others aren’t too happy with receiving notifications for us to hang out.
- Google allows you to set reminders and goals, which is very helpful. I set reminders for deadlines ( i.e papers, end of free trials, bills, savings, taxes, free ice cream day etc.).
- I also like the Goals. If you are trying to find the time to work out, Google cal will ask how many times a week you want to and find sometimes in your cal for the week.
- My last plug is the transportation feature. Linked to Google maps. If you have the address of where you are going you will get a reminder for when to leave ( train delays, traffic etc.). I am trying to be more intentional about adding “commute” to my calendar so I actually leave instead of saying I have time.
There are so many other perks to Google Cal and other mobile calendars…here are more ways Google Cal is awesome lol. Tips and Tricks. But seriously find what’s best for you. My job uses Office 365, being familiar with web calendars is helpful personally and professionally.
Paper planners/agendas are also really helpful. It’s always nice to cross a task out, or assignments are done, check goals met etc. There are planners for everyone, ex. Erin Condren has great planners for teachers. Booklet planners are also good for meetings, taking notes, and referring to your planner for available dates, jot down deadlines etc. There is also the tried and true wall or desk calendar.
I see things like calendars and budgets as guidelines. Just because I have Dinner from 6-8 does not mean I will lose my mind if it goes to 8:30 or even 10 – as long as there is red or white space ( and even grey space, I’m working on not skipping the gym) on my calendar I know I don’t have a concrete place to be and go with the flow.
Getting to places on time, meeting deadlines and goals is great, but, honestly, half the battle is waking up on the first alarm, no snooze. (Blog coming soon)
Share your time management tools below!