Today, I have a simple time management tip that most people don’t do.
In fact, it may seem downright elementary.
Let your calendar and todo list be best friends.
Put your todos on your calendar and make sure you schedule time for your most important tasks.
Your Todo List and Calendar Can Be Friends
Your todos belong on your todo list.
Not in your email inbox. Not on a scrap of paper or Post-It.
Having a list is step one. However, many people try to simply work their list, and then find out that meetings, interruptions, and daily life prevent them from getting to their most important tasks.
This is where your calendar can assist your todo list.
“To ensure time for your most important tasks, put them right on your calendar.” (Tweet Quote)
Here are two tips for putting your todos on your calendar:
- Block Your Time – If you don’t schedule your time, others will schedule it for you. Peek at your calendar right now. It is probably full of meetings, events, and obligations that other people scheduled. Do you have anything scheduled for your own work? Block your time before others claim it.
- Schedule Your Toughest Tasks – If you let life drive your day, you will find that you will be so busy, you never get to your most important priorities. Rather, you will get to the end of day and wonder, “How did I never get to that todo?” Make an appointment on your calendar with each of your most important tasks.
Schedule Your Todos
Take 5 minutes right now and schedule your most important todos on your calendar. Don’t skimp on time. Allot enough time to complete each task.
Your calendar can help your todo list put important work ahead of life’s daily happenings, interruptions, and general chaos.
Today, make sure you put your todos on your calendar.Question: How do you schedule time for your most important todos? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
12 thoughts on “Why You Should Put Your Todos on Your Calendar”
One issue with the calendar method is underestimating the time a task will take. Once you get past that hurdle, it is definitely one of the best productivity tips I can personally vouch for.
This also reminds me of a great new to-do/calendar app that does this called Timeful. Their web beta is pretty disappointing, but the iOS app is truly excellent and well worth a try as it schedules your to-dos into free blocks of time in your calendar. Pretty awesome.
Thanks for mentioning Timeful, Georgia. It sounds promising; it might just be the app I’ve been looking for. I’m going to try it!
Timeful was bought by Google and taken off the market. There are a few alternatives (I use SkedPal) and we explore them at ScheduleU.org
Well, I have had a difficult time on deciding how long a task will truly take. I am actually using Asana a lot these days. I do work in my calendar as well though. Great post, thanks.
Personally I have implemented the GTD system inspired by David Allen. According to that method I only put tasks in the calendar if they have to be done at a specific time (a meeting for example) or a specific day (buy concert tickets).
If I would organize everything in my calendar I would spend a lot of time re-organizing my schedule because of suddenly other things coming up.
True, but I think the point he’s making is don’t schedule EVERY task on your calendar — just those really, truly important ones. Block the time to get them done. One thing I always struggle with in my GTD practice is spending all of my time dealing with what’s incoming, versus dealing with the important stuff that has already come in and needs to get done. Sometimes major tasks just NEED to be scheduled so they get done, and so that others respect your need to do them. I use Todoist, so while I don’t put them on my calendar, I’ve taken to scheduling them in the application; my Karma (part of the app that tracks your productivity) suffers if I postpone a task, so I only schedule those truly important, must be done tasks and they take priority.
I’ve got to say, I have a written to-do list – if I used my calendar, I would constantly be moving things around.
I agree. it doesn’t always work for me to do it that way but most of the time it does. Putting them on my calendar also helps me plan more realistically. Otherwise I think I have way more time than I actually do.
I do this all the time and it’s a great idea. Although I’m not sure why some would say they’d just keep rearranging or moving it. If it’s scheduled in, just do it! I know it doesn’t always work but the majority of the time it would…wouldn’t it?
Does anyone know of a program similar to Timeful for windows?
Timeful looks really cool but I don’t have a Mac.
You could try SkedPal or visit ScheduleU.org to explore new emerging alternatives.
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