There are a lot of reasons that you should be using a Google calendar every single day. As you may know by now, I am a big advocate of having a hybrid system. I like using both a paper planner and a Google Calendar. It’s something that I teach every single person and use myself every single day. A paper planner helps you set your intentions for time, routines, and focus. When it comes to ensuring you (and your kids) are in the right place at the right time, your Google Calendar Tips will be invaluable. They’ll also help you manage your company commitments effectively.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Learning from My Last-Minute Rush: The Importance of Google Calendar Planning
The other day, I was running up the stairs to get something before we went to school. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, my gosh, if I had put this on the calendar like I was supposed to, I wouldn’t be rushing around at the last minute right now.’ Learn not only from what’s working for me but also from what isn’t. I’ve been thinking things through lately, especially as our kids grow older and we move into a new house. We have to deal with a lot of other changes that are quite different from when my kids were little. These might not be things you’ve ever considered. So, here are the three Google calendar tips I find incredibly helpful.
Google Calendar Tip #1 – School Events and Drop-off Times
The first one is one that I have not gotten super skilled at. It’s not a habit for me yet. It is probably one of the only things that’s not systemized right now. I recognize when things are not systematic, because it’s like a hiccup in my day and causes friction. Since I don’t have that friction most of the time, it feels very big to me and I just don’t like that feeling. I don’t like constantly rubbing against the grain all day long. It’s really exhausting.
Google Calendar Tips – Setting Up School Events in the Calendar
The other day, when I was running up the stairs, I was looking for a library book because it’s library day at school. It must be the fourth time I’ve told myself to go sit down with the kids and put these dates in the calendar. If you don’t already have this one thing in your calendar, which we’ll talk about right now, then this is kind of like the bonus to it.
The first one is adding in all of your kids’ school events in the calendar. This could be a carnival or any other random event. I want to challenge you though, to take that even deeper and actually put your kids’ drop-off time in there. A little hack for that is making sure that you put if you’re doing this in your Google Calendar, to put the leave-at time. I then set the time to be the time that I need to leave the house. And I set the start time and the end time to be identical, then it doesn’t give me a range at all. It just has one number in the calendar event. That way I’m able to put who’s doing drop-off that day. So it just says for example ‘Chelsea drop-off kids’ or ‘Chelsea, leave for school at 7:20am’ or whatever time we leave.
Google Calendar Tips – Adding Event Notes
Right there in the location section of your Google event is where you can add notes. It looks like it should be an address but you don’t have to add an address. You can put any note you want in there. It will then show up on the face of the event, when you’re viewing it from your phone. For example you can indicate if it’s PE or a half day that day, or whatever day it is at school. We have fun Fridays, library once a week, PE twice a week, orchestra twice a week and student council twice a week. I can add all these different things in there. We need to be able to prepare for certain things the night before.
When I click on my calendar, I want to see those things so that the night before I’m looking for the library book that needs to be returned in the morning. So that is one thing that you and I are both going to do right now. If you don’t know where to find the information ask your kids or pull up the school website and you can find out when their specific events are. If it doesn’t show you what days your kids have PE, extracurriculars, music, or anything else that they need to be prepared for, then just email the teacher. Go the extra mile and get this done. It is going to dramatically improve your life.
Google Calendar Tip #2 – Scheduling Work Hours
Let’s look at the second thing that I am consistently doing that maybe you have not been thinking about is to put your work hours in your calendar. I’m a big time blocker, and a work block is one of my five blocks. But it’s kind of double-dipped, and there are a few things that I double dip, because they cannot be missed. They are a fundamental need. And my work block is a fundamental need.
Now for my husband, his work block is not a fundamental need. Because someone tells him when to go to work and when he can leave. I don’t have those definitive parameters. And I have also kind of expressed my heart many times here on the show that my MO is to lean into my house and my motherhood, which is why I do this podcast. It’s what my strengths are. It’s where I love to be, I love to be at work too.
Consequences of Not Allocating Work Time
If I don’t have the time and space reserved for work, I will most certainly just spend my time at home doing all the extra things. I will just hang out or I will do something extra. There’s always something to do. I’ll be with my kids, I’ll serve someone else before I serve myself. And that’s fine. I think that’s noble and all. However, at the end of the day there are other things that need to get done. If I don’t take care of those things, and I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to continue to serve in the capacity that I know I’m supposed to be serving right now.
“If I don’t have the time and space reserved for work, I will most certainly just spend my time at home doing all the extra things.”
Google Calendar Tips – Collaborative Calendar Sharing
I have a specific calendar that says Chelsea Jo’s work hours. This gets shared with my team, my husband, and when my kids get old enough to have an electronic calendar, it’ll get shared with them too. So they know when Mom is working.
Just like I did whenever I was interpreting in the corporate world, people in the corporate world could see when I was working, it would say where it was working. Or if I was working in the community if I was doing freelance and it said when I was going to be gone because I wasn’t available. I literally wasn’t going to be home and now working from home.
The Challenge of Working from Home
It’s like where it doesn’t really matter that mom’s working because you just barge in the door. Don’t you? No, we don’t. So there’s so many benefits to doing this. Obviously, you’re going to want to structure your work blocks inside of your paper planner in your time box. That’s super important. It’s a part of structuring your day, but making sure that it’s in the calendar and you’re reserving time for it is vitally as important.
Google Calendar Tip #3 – Meal Planning
Last but certainly not least, the third thing I do believe is that you need to be putting on your calendar that you may or may not already be doing is your meal planning. This is a chore for a lot of people. There are many different ways to make this feel less of a chore. But to stay on topic, I want to talk about how it can dramatically improve your productivity. This will keep you from feeling like, ‘Oh shoot, now we got to go to Chipotle’ (Chick-fil-A, Rubio or Canes).
Google Calendar Tips – Planning and Grocery Shopping
What I want to see happen is for you to sit down and know you have time reserved to not just sit down and plan your meals, but also to go to the grocery store. Then you’ll be able to get all the food, bring it home, get the old food out of the fridge and even wipe the shelf down. It takes two minutes to spray the spray and wipe the wipe and be done. You can have a nice clean refrigerator every single week.
Then you can put all the food back in there, replace all of your bins and all of the bulk stuff, like whatever needs to be done. Put time in your calendar for that. And I know you’re like, ‘What the heck, who has time for all of that?’ Well, maybe you don’t right now, what I know for sure is that there’s a trade-off for everything. There’s a trade-off for everything. And as long as you start small and build on these little teeny tiny nuances within your actual schedule, like what are you holding time and space for?
The Efficiency of Home-Cooked Meals
Research shows that cooking at home is not slower than dining out. It is not faster, it feels faster, because you didn’t get to just show up and do nothing. But it is not faster. And it is obviously way more expensive.
We have to come to this place where we say yeah, I may not have time for that now, but I want to make time for that. So what are you willing to sacrifice on the weekends? Or maybe you do it on Friday before the weekend comes because your husband works nine to five. And Saturday and Sunday is just 100% family and you’ve got sports, and maybe you have church, or maybe you have friends, maybe you’ve got a lot of stuff going on on the weekends.
I highly recommend not doing this Monday morning. There’s nothing worse than Monday morning when kids don’t want to get out of bed and there are so many things to get going. It’s the start of your workweek. You want a fresh, clean slate on Monday. I can tell you that I have really truly sacrificed and given up almost my entire weekend to just be the time and the space where I reset nearly everything. So I don’t have to touch it all week long. And the only way that I was able to do that was by putting it in the calendar.
Prioritizing Fundamental Needs and Home Management
There are so many other fundamental needs that I do put in the calendar. I also put them in my planner. And I would love for you to learn how to do that for yourself. I want you to know what it is that you need to make time and space for. To be sure of those things that you should be prioritizing.
Explore the Home Management System
If you want to be a part of that and you want me to hold your hand and guide you through it, you can grab my home management system for systemizing your life. You can come in as a DIY student, or you can come in as a VIP student. As a VIP you’ll get all the bells and whistles, bonuses and amazing fun things.
Weekly Goals and Support
I want you to be able to feel super confident that you know exactly every single week what you need to have accomplished before you go into Monday and what you’re leaving for Monday through Friday. As a VIP student we are there to support you every single week. Me, my team and my student success coach. We just had literally over 100 women come and join us. We have a lot of students every single month that join us. It is a fun, fresh start for every single person.
There’s always other women that are starting right at the same time as you. It’s really fun to go through it with other women and watch them in action. We can be inspired by the work that they do. If you want to dive into this further and receive support, such as learning how to share your calendar with your husband, or getting your husband and kids on board with these strategies, don’t worry. We cover every single aspect of it in my four-week home management method.It’s super straightforward.
Take Action with your Google Calendar Tips
Go get your three brand new events added to your Google Calendar. Then head on over to our free Facebook group. Share your wins with us and any other Google calendar tips that you might have to share with our community!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any resources that can help me with the meal planning you mention so that I can make more home-cooked meals?
Yes, you are welcome to download my menu cards. This is the only system you will need in your kitchen to succeed all week long!