How I Use Google Calendar to Block My Time
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Welcome to this session of Work Smarter, Not Harder Wednesdays.
This is take two because I didn’t realize that when I shared my screen earlier, it stopped sharing my voice. So, let’s do this again.
On the Next Level Monday of this week, and I’ll put a link to that video in the description, I shared how we need to have boundaries on our time and how we need to be really clear about what our working hours are, how we handle after hour requests, and a whole lot more.
So, be sure to go back and watch that video. But I did promise in that video that I would be sharing with you today how I set up Google calendar to help me block my time.
This has helped me immensely, and if you are someone who finds yourself, on Friday afternoon, wondering what the heck you got done, where all your time went and just how you’re going to make it through this year hitting any of your big goals, then this is definitely a video that you’re going to want to watch your way through.
So, I am not going to take me down this time but I am going to start showing my screen. I hope this works. I wish I could. Let me see how to make me smaller. All right, there we go. Great.
Now, you should be able to see my Google calendar. This is actually the last week in February and I wish I could get rid of me here but I again, I don’t want to lose my voice like I did before. I’m already losing it due to a cold here.
I really just started in… Maybe I should say I started sticking to weight in 2019, my time blocking schedule.
You can see that on Mondays and Fridays I have them blacked out color wise and it says “Do Not Schedule Here.” I had to put that in because I found that when I did not put “Do Not Schedule Here.”, I was scheduling there and those are supposed to be my times to work on outstanding client work, but even more importantly, to work on my own content.
I have blog articles I want to write; I have courses that I’m developing and are coming out later this year; I have podcasts and marketing and I want to go on other podcasts; I’m on virtual summits and telesummits; I’m writing my book.
These two days are specific for me to make sure that I am staying on top of everything that’s important.
Again, there is client work that gets done in this time, but for the most part, there are no calls.
Tuesdays, you can see it’s also blacked out. Those are podcast days.
When I launched my podcast in 2016, it was a daily show. Don’t ever do that.
Each episode was, each guest episode I should say was um, 40 minutes to an hour. So every week, I was recording up to 10 different podcasts and people were scheduling any day of the week at a time which worked for them.
But, what I found was that I was going back and forth between podcast calls, client calls, client work, podcast call, a little bit of work time, podcast call, and at the end of the week nothing was getting done.
So, when I cut back to twice a week in October of 2018, I also cut back my calendar so that people could only schedule on Tuesdays. And, effective yesterday, my podcast is down to once a week so that I can create more content like this.
I am only doing one day a week, still Tuesdays, but I have two specific blocks of time so that um, I know that I think it’s 11 o’clock and one o’clock on Tuesdays my time. That’s when I record podcasts. No other time. I don’t need to be constantly worried about my calendar and I can move forward in a productive manner.
Wednesdays and Thursdays you can see are green – green for money! – and those are my client call days.
I do do client work outside of those days as I already mentioned, but for the most part, when clients want to meet with me, those are the days that they happen.
And then I already talked about Fridays, but I want to bring up the big yellow chunk of time that you see on that day. That is an accountability call with my coach in the coaching program that I am personally enrolled in, and I love that it falls on Friday because a lot of the time that’s my content creation time. I might not be on that call because it’s a silent working session, but thanks to times like this, thanks to time blocking, my Pinterest is already pre-queued for the next month and my Instagram was already queued up for the next two months. That wouldn’t have been possible if I was not blocking out my time accordingly.
I’m going to pop to this week so that you can see what a real week looks like for me.
I’m not always perfect. There are times when client calls wind up on other days of the week.
So, this was this week. You can see that on Monday I had a Positive Productivity Pod group call. That is my mentoring group that I personally host. If you’re interested, just pop a message down below or visit the site for more information. And, that is a call that I host twice a month on Mondays.
Then Tuesday, there were supposed to be a couple podcasts yesterday. I didn’t have a voice, so those have been rescheduled.
Today, uh, in just a few minutes, I am recording a podcast with somebody I had to reschedule a couple of weeks ago. So that’s a rare exception.
But, when you look forward, when you look at tomorrow, I have a couple of client calls and a prospect call and that’s fabulous.
And, on Friday, I do have a client call, but that client works a full time job, so that’s the only day of the week that she could work.
The only way that people get onto my calendar for Tuesday or for Monday or Friday is if I grant them permission – if I personally schedule those appointments in or if they go through a team member.
If they use my scheduling link, they’re not going to be able to schedule.
So if you’re not already using a scheduler but you’re interested in one, I recommend Acuity or Calendly. I personally use OnceHub, which was previously ScheduleOnce.
And when I give people out my links, Tuesdays are the only day that the podcasting link shows.
Wednesdays and Thursdays are the only days that my VIP link shows. I think I’d better double check that.
But, I’m very protective of my time right now and that is why I’m able to do videos like this and produce my content.
I would love to hear how you are going to immediately start blocking out time on your calendar, and I’d also, just because I’m curious, I’d love to know what colors you’re going to use for your different blocks of time.
What color represents a “do not schedule here,” block of time? Is it red? Is it black? Is it some other color? Let me know.
Again, my calendar is set up in Google calendar. I have friends who, we’ve tried to set this up in iCal, but we haven’t yet figured out how to put in the color blocks that don’t show up as busy.
My color blocks – let me pull that back up again – my color block for Wednesday and Thursday, it’s actually marked as available because I still want to make sure that people can use my scheduling link and schedule their time. But for, for my own mental awareness, when I see that color block there, I know what it means.
When I see the black on Monday and Friday, I know what that means.
So the difference between Google calendar and iCal, I’m still trying to push through how to mark out the colors on those days, but have the time slot still be available so that people who are using schedulers can still use them.
And again, I recommend Calendly, Acuity or OnceHub, previously known as ScheduleOnce, if you’re looking for a scheduling system to use for yourself.
But, let me know what your biggest “aha’s” were out of this video. Let me know how you’re gonna use it in 2020, and make sure to um, like this page.
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Now, with all this said, go forth and make it a positive and a productive day.