Back in post 28 of the Working Tools series, I wrote about calendars. I had 18 on my Mac.
On closer examination, many of the calendars were functioning as task managers. Not very well, I might add.
I still have multiple calendars, but I’m using calendar sets now. I have three.
- All calendars.
1 is self-evident, 2 is my personal calendar, my wife’s and our shared one.
Number 3 is the one that I’m writing about. This set has only three calendars. My personal, an exchange calendar from a client that I’m doing a lot with, and a new calendar, called “TimeBlocking”.
How I’m using them
Personal contains fixed obligations. So scheduled recording of 1857 with TJ. An obedience class with Charlie, that type of thing. I’m being disciplined about not putting tasks in here. Those belong in Omnifocus.
The client has a plethora of calls, meetings and huddles, some of which I must attend, and others which I might, subject to the rest of my obligations.
I put aside time to plan my day. At the moment, I do this as part of my “close down routine” before leaving my home-office for the evening.
Step 1. I open Omnifocus and my daily notebook. I add tasks to Omnifocus from my book. I tick off any that are completed. There may even be some rattling around my head.
Step 2. I open up the Forecast Perspective, to see what’s coming tomorrow, or tagged with “Next” (The Peter Akkies method). I get an idea what are the most important three things that I want to achieve.
Step 3. I open up my calendar app and switch it to the focused set, and daily view. I use Fantastical, but most apps will support this method. Most of the day is free. I set up an event from 0900 until 1000 and name it for the most important thing that I need to get done. If necessary, I might extend that to 90 minutes, but probably no longer. If the task is longer than that, I’ll split it into separate blocks. Then, I make another block to follow the first…
Step 4. I fit the blocks around any commitments. However, I try hard to get the most important things scheduled in the earliest available blocks.
Rocket science isn’t it?
It’s always the simplest things that work for me. And this is nothing if not simple. As is my wont, I bought a course on this - from The Sweet Setup. The course is led by Mike Schmitz, co-host of the Focused podcast, and I got value from it.
I fill the gaps around the blocks with bits and pieces - the ephemera of desk life, and I may, in the afternoons, do something completely unscheduled, secure in the knowledge that I have cleared my three most important things.
I also track my time, so that I can compare reality with my plan, but that’s a whole other post.
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