Time Management is Productivity

productivity, Google, calendar, time, management
Google Calendar increases my productivity and provides better time management just by helping me organize my days and sleep schedules

I’m a self diagnosed workaholic, so time management and productivity are vital for me. My workaholic attitude comes from years of watching people around me dump themselves into their work, be it helping family after work and on the weekends, or having multiple jobs. It just seems like a natural behavior to get ahead in life.

But I’ve found in having more than one job, one must have the ability to manipulate your time effectively so you can balance home life, bill paying, maintenance of that place you see rarely, feeding and spending time with your family/pets, and getting those hours in without costing yourself sleep and health.

How to Manage Time:

So to do that, I use Google calendars. And I have to stress that I use multiple calendars.  I layer them to give me the ability to do time management in blocks based on what I am doing and what type of work it is.

As my calendar display shows above, I have calendars for just about everything, such as housework (Cleaning Schedule), devoting one day a month/week to tasks/high traffic rooms that need tender care. When using it for example, I marked the every other weekend that my son is home, those Saturday’s are the days all the bed sheets get washed. (Yes I make my teenage son help with the laundry, I’m a mean mom.) Because it’s a routine day that fits the needs of what can be done to share the load, no pun intended, making the schedule more balanced and the work load easier to manage.

Then there’s the “Bill Schedule”. This lists the amount, the name, and if it’s an auto withdrawing item, a multiple day time window of the days preceding when it can no longer be canceled/changed for that months payment. That way I know when it is going to come out ahead of time and can visually plan out when my pay checks are coming in versus what is going out. (Another reason I like Google calendars is the color coding options within the individual calendars is also a nice feature for seeing “red” and “green”.)

Then there is the individual work calendars, where each company gets their own. These are either propagated by their RSS feed of my scheduled tasks, or by my manual addition if the company does not provide that type of service (such as my full-time third shift hours). Having these turned on and displaying overlaps provides me better time management and displays for me when I might have conflicts and allows me to never over book myself and start pushing into other vital things.

Time with friends and primary calendar use:

Which brings me to the most important thing of all, my social and sleep schedules. These stay on the primary calendar as a “Busy” items at all times along with any friend hang outs, doctors appointments, and day-to-day one time activities. And yes, I did just suggest scheduling sleep on your calendar, because lets face it, you can’t have productivity without sleep and a reason to be working so much, or eventually you WILL GET SICK!

Now, as that I am a mom but work third shift during the week (Sun through Thursday) I have opted to flip to first on the weekends so when my son is home at least one day I get to spend with him. People think I’m crazy, but I’ve been perfecting this art since 2005.

For those who might not know, I work third shift volunteer at a convention but for years I would need to be back to first in 36 hours after it was over for work when we got home. What I learned is when flipping between a first and third sleep schedule, always give yourself more sleep rather than less.

So on weekends when my son is home, Friday afternoon I take a good nap of about 3-4 hours, get up and then drive to pick him up. I spend Friday evening with him and then sleep Friday night. Saturday is a first shift day and then again Saturday night I sleep. On Sunday I take a 4-6 hour nap before work in the afternoon and I’m ready to go 10:30 pm back on third shift.

This process gives me the time and ability that when I want to schedule something, I turn my calendars all on and there you go, conflicts reflect, I can shift some items around for better time management. And then as you need, you can make sure you get it all done, but remember the most important thing, more sleep is better than less.

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