Productivity systems can change lives. Do you want to experience a productive life where you have great satisfaction in completing your goals? Do you want to experience a week where you don’t feel it is wasted or aimless? Organising your life is a crucial step to for all these to come true. There are many different systems for different people. There are different pros and cons. It comes down to preference. But, some systems are suitable for beginners and are great for anyone who wants to start one.
There are a few well-known systems like Get Things Done, Pomodoro, and Gnatt Charts. Most people are using to-do lists on a daily basis and this is also a productivity system. I will recommend a system I use that you can implement with Google Calendar.
I learned this system many years ago and I feel it is a good system to start. I have added some improvements and improvised for Google Calendar. I consider this a hybrid system with elements from Get Things Done, Pomodoro, and maybe Eat the Frog. This system is flexible and you can choose parts to change to adapt for yourself.
How it works
This is a week-based system. At the start of the week, write down your goals or key tasks. For a start, keep to 3 goals. As you get more familiar, increase your goals. These goals are weekly goals and be realistic about them. It can be “Eat 3 homecooked meals” or “Plan to read one book”. From these goals, determine the subtasks needed to complete them. These tasks should be added to a day in your weekly calendar and should have a duration.
Implementation with Google Calendar
I assumed you have Google Calendar before starting this tutorial. I will use 1 goal as an example for this tutorial. As I show the steps, I will also explain the rationale. For this tutorial, I will use the desktop app.
1. Open Google Calendar
Start your Google Calendar. Like most calendar apps, you can view the calendar in month or week view. For our system, we can use a week view. We are adapting Google Calendar for our system, but Google Calendar has integrated Keep and Tasks making it easier for us to implement our system.
2. Set goals
Goal setting is a crucial step in many productivity systems, without it, our system becomes a simple to-do list. Goal setting in itself can be a topic itself. For this tutorial, we are setting the goal of “Organise an in-person workshop”. We want to note this down on Google Keep. In Google Calendar, you can find Keep’s icon on the right.
Click on it, and the sidebar will expand. You can add a note by typing in Take a note… section. We are going to use Keep to define our goals. Give your goal a title and write down your goals in the note area. Take time to consider your weekly goals. When you are more advanced, you can use Eat the Frog method for these weekly goals.
3. Create goal as a Tasks list
Goal setting focuses your attention and effort for the week. Your week will no longer happen without completing anything. Create your goal as a Task list. In a task list, every task can be assigned a date and duration. You can also check them off when they are completed. These features are great for managing your tasks, and improving productivity.
Go to the menu on the right and click on the Tasks icon. The Tasks interface will open up. Create a new list with your goal name. For our example, our Task list will be named “Organise an in-person workshop”.
4. Break apart goal into sub-tasks
You will need to think about the tasks needed for your goal. For this part, we implement the concept of time-blocking. Every task you create should have a set date and duration. Only if the task is on the calendar, then you will give it priority.
When you start to fill in your goals and tasks. You will see your free time. You can fill this time with meeting with friends or relaxation time. Make use of these blank spaces.
You should start a productivity system if you are serious about improving your life. When you implement this system, it is not just learning a system. When you set your goals, and create your tasks, you are actually forming habits. If you stick to the system, you are also improving yourself. Get started today!