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To-Do or Not To-Do? Take a Calendar Approach

To-Do or Not To-Do? Take a Calendar Approach

To-do or not to-do? Take a calendar approach

How often do you ever clear your to-do list? Do you find yourself just moving incomplete tasks to the next day, and then the one after that? Does it feel like no matter how many tasks you check off, there are always more to refill the list? Stressed just reading this? Forget the traditional to-do list and embrace a new method: scheduling tasks directly onto your calendar.

Swapping one aggravation for another?

To-do lists can be overwhelming. They grow continuously, making it hard to feel accomplished. Today, Matt Robison and I will talk about changing the way you approach productivity. 

Instead of keeping a running list of tasks, start scheduling blocks of time in your calendar dedicated to knocking out the work. Sounds like swapping one aggravation for another, right? It’s not! This method not only provides a visual representation of your workload but also allows you to manage your time more effectively. Here’s how it works:

  1. Use your existing tools: If you’re already using a digital calendar for meetings and appointments, start scheduling work tasks there too. For Apple users, the built-in calendar app is a great tool.
  2. Block time for tasks: Identify open slots between your meetings and block out realistic chunks of time to tackle specific tasks. And don’t just block 15 minutes, schedule more time than you think you will need because nothing ever goes according to plan.
  3. Visualize your workload: Seeing your tasks on a calendar helps you understand how busy you are. It is hard to overschedule yourself if you literally don’t have any time to spare.

Batching similar tasks together can save time and reduce the mental load of constantly switching between different types of work. For example, handle all your email responses in one block or schedule all your marketing tasks for a specific time.

Creative tasks can be more challenging to schedule because they don’t always fit neatly into time blocks. Allow yourself the flexibility to take breaks and seek inspiration. Stepping away from your desk and going for a walk or journaling can spark new ideas and boost productivity.

Bonus Time

What happens if a task takes less time than you anticipated? Use those extra minutes wisely:

☑️ Knock out small tasks: Have a list of quick, two-minute tasks that you can tackle during these short breaks. This can include checking emails, making brief phone calls, or prepping meals.

☑️ Take a break: Use the time to get up, move around, or grab a snack. These short breaks can improve your overall productivity and well-being.

Not Enough Time

Ever find yourself mid-stride in completing a 15-minute task, only to realize you’ve already been at it for an hour? Sometimes things take longer than planned. Schedule larger chunks of time for each task to account for this. If you finish with time to spare, refer back to bonus time. Still running over even with the extra planned time? Don’t sweat it. Look for other chunks of time that can be condensed to accommodate.

Not ready to let the list go

Do you get an endorphin high from checking the block on your to-do list? Matt has the hybrid solution for you! Maintain a to-do list for quick tasks and use your calendar for larger projects. This way, you can efficiently use your spare time and still keep track of everything that needs to be done (and check the block!).

Ditching the traditional to-do list in favor of calendar scheduling can transform your productivity and reduce stress. By blocking out specific times for tasks, visualizing your workload, and allowing for flexibility, you can take control of your schedule and achieve more.


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To-Do or Not To-Do? Take a Calendar Approach

Episode 144 •

27th May 2024