Issue #58

Sent to members on January 10, 2018

How I use Google Calendar

So far this week, I’ve talked about my little black notebook and the focus maps. Well, I also use one of the most popular productivity tools there is.

Google Calendar. 🙂

But, what do I do with it? It is a pretty flexible app and people have all kinds of different systems they like to use with Calendar. Mine isn’t necessarily the best out there, but it works for me.

So, I thought I’d share it. Here we go…

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Calendar apps are most commonly used to keep track of appointments and other timed events. But, when you run an online business as a solopreneuer, you don’t often have a lot of appointments. Your days are mostly free of timed events, but you still have a lot of different things you need to do.

So, I use Calendar to do that. I use it for planning projects, for planning repeating actions I need to do (like writing the Daily every day), etc.

With Google Calendar, you can break your schedule up into different sub-calendars, each with it’s own color code. My calendars, at least as of now, are:

  • Event Tracking. For keep track of dates which affect the schedule.
  • Admin. For things I need to do with are more administrative in my business.
  • Content. Any content releases on the schedule (like blog posts, videos, Daily, etc.)
  • Executive. Times for me working ON the business rather than in it.
  • Family. Cuz family time is always super important.
  • Marketing/Revenue. Any events, promotions which lead directly to revenue for the company.
  • Personal. “Me time”. Could be lunch, exercise, going camping. 🙂
  • Schedule Items. Any scheduled events. I break it up onto a separate calendar so that my online scheduler for member consultations automatically exempts these time slots.
  • Technical. For times I need to get in there and be a coder again.
  • Training/Delivery. For any actions specifically aimed at delivery of content or services to my Lab members.

Like I said, I color code these things. The result is that I can take a look at my calendar and immediately see how my time is spent.

Now, I plan the BIG items way in advance. We’re talking big projects like completing a whole Lab course. I’ll set a timeframe for that project. For instance, here in January, my goal is to complete the Email Marketing Engine training for the Lab.

At the beginning of each month, I will go through and plan the next month in a more fine-tuned way. I’ll place the Daily emails on the calendar, the blog posts, etc. I’ll put prep time for those things on there, so I know when to focus on them. I’ll plan out emails to go out. I do these things a month at a time because trying to get that detailed a whole year in advance is often pretty tricky.

The last thing I do is that I track my time retroactively on the day-to-day schedule. Sometimes, the day ends up going different than what I intended. So, I go back and retroactively place things on the calendar as the day goes by. This way, I have a running record of how my time is spent.

This practice helps me be more accountable to my time.

After all, time is our most precious resource. It is the one thing which, once spent, you don’t ever get it back.

Plus, I want lots of playtime. 🙂 I want to go camping. I have big trips planned. I have a home in the middle of various remodeling projects. I’m not here to live at my desk. So, I want my time to be spent effectively so I can move the needle and do what needs to be done.

To do that, I need to be accountable to my time. I need to manage myself and my schedule with the same discipline as I would be forced to if I had a regular job.

It’s funny… us self-employed people want to avoid jobs because of the imposed structure. Yet, when you’re in business for yourself, you find you need to impose structure on yourself just the same otherwise nothing gets done. 🙂

Ironic how that works. 😉

– David

Tech Talk

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