5 Productivity Calendar Hacks for 2018

 Image supplied by Gerard Doyle

Image supplied by Gerard Doyle

2018 is well underway and you no doubt have a bunch of new goals and objectives you want to achieve.

What we don't want to do is work harder, we want to work smarter. With this in mind here are five productivities hacks that will help you achieve your 2018 goals without burning the midnight oil.

1) Default your calendar to default to 25 or 50-minute meetings windows. If you use Gmail, then all you need to do is enable 'speedy meetings'.

The main benefit of speedy meetings is that it creates that time between sessions that you need before the next block of work starts. How can you possibly get from a phone call that ends at 3:00pm to a meeting room at 3:00pm?

2) Book your work tasks into your calendar. Outside of meetings the work that you get paid to do takes up time. As such it should have a place in your diary. Failing to put work blocks into your diary typically results in a day full of meetings when you don't get any actual work done. The key to booking your regular work into your diary is that you're forced to consider how long it will take you, and it also forces you to realise when you don't have any more time left.

3) Book your lunchtime into your diary. I know this sounds ridiculous, but how often do you find yourself eating lunch at your desk or missing lunch altogether? If your lunch is set as a recurring appointment in your diary, then you have to consciously choose to skip it or book a meeting over the top. From a productivity standpoint taking a break will result in a more energetic start to your working afternoon.

4) Get up early and set your diary agenda before checking emails. This productivity hack comes from Ashton Kutcher and is amazing because it means you are now setting your agenda before other people's emails start to dominate your day. Remember, the emails you initiate are for your agenda, the emails you receive are pushing someone else’s agenda.

5) Maintain a personal and a work diary. You don't only need to diarise your work day, but you need to organise your personal life too. That could be after work, or it could be picking up the kids from school or grabbing that gift for your Aunty. The point is you need to manage your multiple lives, and the best way to do this is sync both calendars to your iPad/phone, so you have a single view.

Written by: Gerard Doyle, Founder, Fractal Pty Ltd