4.01.2019

Clearing Headspace: How I Effectively Manage My Events and Tasks


Hello! It’s been a minute since my last post! I feel like lately something always comes *first* before blogging, and I hate that I haven’t been able to prioritize it lately. But hey, that’s life, and I have to live it even if that means dropping off the face of the internet for two months. I missed y’all, though, and I’m excited to talk all things scheduling, tasks, and calendar.


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Girls like us have a lot going on. Whether you're in high school, college, or beyond, there's always a lot -- and I know better than anyone that it can be overwhelming. Keeping straight what you have to do and where you have to be can take up a lot of headspace.

But shouldn’t we be able to devote that space to actually doing those things, implementing those ideas and being present in those places instead of just thinking about them? I certainly think so. 

That’s why it’s so important to me to “automate” my tasks and keep a tight hold on my calendar. Of course, it takes time to set these things up, but I promise the methods pay dividends by saving you time and reducing anxiety. Until I started unloading everything into my organization systems, I didn’t realize how much I was lugging around inside my head, constantly ticking off boxes and racking my brain for my next assignment due.

I’d love to share with you how I do this, with effectively using technology and a classic paper planner or notebook to seamlessly organize the chaos. It’s not perfect but it works for me, and I welcome all of your suggestions and how YOU manage your calendar in the comments below!

Tool 1: Google Calendar

I’ve used Google Calendar for at least three years now, and I love it more and more as time goes on. It’s flexible on how much/little you want to use it, but through trial and error, I’ve found a method that works for me.

Here is what goes on my “master calendar,” each under a different colored “sub-calendar.”

Main calendar (this is what comes automatically set up on G-cal): this holds club meetings, meetups with friends, non-school related deadlines, and random events and reminders that don’t fall under a category below.

Assignments/quizzes: this holds every assignment and quiz that is on any of my syllabi or brought up in class. I put them in as soon as I get each syllabus from the professor. I typically title the event with the “Class name, assignment, assignment number,” such as “RETL 268 TREND REPORT 2.” I often make abbreviations for recurring assignments and add the time of day it is due in the notes section of the event, instead of in the time slot, so that the assignment will still show up on top of the calendar.
Exams: pretty self-explanatory, but I give exams a color to themselves so that they stand out! I’ll put the chapters that the exam is over and the format in the notes section.
Readings: when I have to read chapters or articles for a class, I put the class and chapter number on this calendar.
Classes: I put my class schedule on this calendar with each class’ section number. This also makes it easy to delete a class if it gets canceled and add notes, such as when we are having guest speakers, for different class times! My calendar also alerts me 30 mins before each class to make sure I’m not late.
Blog: This is where I put goal dates for blog posts and other blog-related deadlines!
Sorority: This is where I put all ADPi related events -- chapter, philanthropy events, functions, etc.
Church: I put all the mass times/event times for my church on this calendar!
Travel: Anytime I am going to be out of town, I like for the event to be a different color to indicate it and make it easy to see visually when I won’t be at school.
Shared calendars: I also have the Google calendars of my boyfriend, Greg, best friend, Caroline, and roommate, Abby, shared with me! This makes it especially easy to know when Greg will be able to talk on the phone (#LDRLife) and where Abby is when I get home and she’s not in our room.
This is what my side tab with all of my calendars on it looks like!


Tool 2: Google Tasks


This one is newer to me, but it is so well integrated with Google Calendar that it’s been a total breeze to use. Google Tasks is basically my new secret weapon/BFF. How it works: it’s a side tab that you can easily enable on Google Calendar, but it also has it’s own iPhone and Chrome app -- making it super easy to add your tasks right when they pop into your head.

You can organize them by date, manually, or just in the order which you add them. By tagging them with due dates/times, Tasks will remind you when you have something due that day or something overdue.

You can also make separate “lists,” I have one for main tasks, one for emails to send, and one for blog tasks. For me, everything goes on Tasks. Laundry, working out, lab reports, calls to make, etc -- it’s all there, but it feels so good to have it in one place! It also counts and keeps track of all of the tasks you’ve ever completed, which is so satisfying and reminds me of all the progress I’ve made, especially on days where it feels like I’m bogged down and getting nowhere.

This is what my side tab of Tasks looks like on G-Cal!
A look at the Tasks app

Tool 3: Good Old Paper

Admittedly, I am using my paper planner less and less -- and I could see myself getting rid of it in the future. That said, for now, it helps me to stay on track while studying and doing homework because it is a physical item that I can lay out on my desk and be reminded of my tasks, schedule, and gratitudes.

How I use it: At the start of the week and before each day, I write my events and things I have due on the days of the week. This gets my mind set on what’s coming up in the next week/day to make sure I am dedicating my time accordingly. At the start of each day or the night before, I will write in the four tasks that I need to accomplish during that day. As I’m referring to my planner during the day, I fill in my gratitudes and check my boxes for loving my mind, soul, and body. I also sometimes check off how much water I’ve been drinking.

My planner also has a page for each week. Here, I fill in my meals for the week (what my sorority house is serving), as well as goals and prayer intentions. My monthly goals (like from this post) go on the intro page to the month. If your planner doesn’t have room for this, I recommend writing them on a separate piece of paper that you cut to the size of your planner and taping it in the pages.

Even though I’ve been relying on technology more and more, I really am a big paper and pen gal, so this is therapeutic to me!

Whew, that was a lot, but I hope it helps! Let me know below how YOU rock the planning game -- I’d love to hear it.

Stay sunny,
Meg

2 comments:

  1. I do recommend having a shared calendar with your BFF #blessed

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