I hope you’re working well on achieving Goal 1 for this week. I am making progress on my goal in dedicating some time each day to complete my graduate work.
If you stick around, I want to tell you about two tools that I have used to help with planning and productivity.
These may not be new to you, but I am going to show you how they can be used to help you reach your goals.
Put Your Goals on Autopilot with Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a very easy, no frills tool if you need a way to keep track of your schedule or goals.
If you don’t already have a Google account, you can sign up for one for free and navigate to the Google Calendar app.
Once you’re in the app, you can go ahead and plan out some time that you want to dedicate to working towards your goal.
There are 3 key features that I want to highlight about Google Calendar:
- You can color-code your tasks/goals
- You can set reminders for when a task/goal is due
- You can set tasks/goals on repeat (so you don’t have to re-type them into the calendar every day)
Walkthrough Example – Using Google Calendar for a Fitness Goal
Let’s say that you have a fitness goal of losing 5 pounds in 1 month. Each weekday, you plan to exercise for 1 hour as well as adjust your calorie intake.
Here’s how you would plan this out on Google Calendar:
1. Go ahead and click the “+” symbol to create an event (in your case, a goal)
2. Give your goal a name – I’m naming this one “Exercise – 1 Hr.”
3. *Key Feature Alert – Choose the time you want to start and end working on your goal. Now, click on the button that says “Does not repeat”. Since our goal is to spend 1 hour exercising each weekday, click the option that says “Every weekday (Monday to Friday).
4. *Key Feature Alert – Set a reminder choosing how you want to be notified about this goal. Leaving it set as “Notification” will allow you to receive reminders on your phone and computer. You can also choose the amount of time you want to be notified ahead of time. I am choosing 1 hour.
*Key Feature Alert – If you plan to add other events to your calendar, go ahead and select a color for your goal so that it is easy to recognize when looking at your calendar.
6. If you don’t want to edit any other options, click the “Save” button, and that’s it!
Now, you don’t have to be concerned trying to fit in time for your goal: you’ve already scheduled out a block of time and set a reminder for yourself.
Goals on autopilot! Now, this next tip is for my people who struggle with getting started and staying committed to a task or goal.
Pomodoro Your Way to Completion – The Pomodoro Technique
In an earlier post in which I mentioned ways you could get started being productive, I brought up the Pomodoro Technique, and I provide specifics about this productivity strategy here.
I believe that this strategy works well if you find a task to be overwhelming or time-consuming such as writing a lengthy paper or completing a project.
And what’s simple about the Pomodoro Technique is that all you need is a clock, phone, watch, or to be able to check your time between each Pomodoro (which is 25 minutes). I have used the free online tool Marinara Timer in the past; now, whenever I want to use this technique, I use the online time tracker, Toggl.
If you have trouble staying focused, by using this strategy, you can build up your ability to focus if you make this routine or a habit.
For example, if you have a presentation that you plan to give in front of your classmates or coworkers, you could use the Pomodoro Technique in the creation process to sit down for 25 minutes and then give yourself a 5 minute break, doing this for 4 times.
This gives you the opportunity to get started and make progress while also giving yourself short breaks. It really helped me a while back with jumping on things that I needed to complete, so that now I don’t use this technique as often because I’m more adjusted to sitting down, getting started, and taking breaks to relieve my attention.
And those are 2 tools to help you with achieving your goals this month! I would love to hear how they are helping you and the progress you are making.
Here’s Your Goalwork That’s Due Next Monday (Jan. 15th)
- Use Google Calendar for setting your goals
- Try the Pomodoro Technique if you have trouble getting started working on your goal
- Post your progress in the FB group (I will comment in return 🙂 )
As an up & coming post for next week, I’ll be talking about tracking your progress and a tool that I use that allows me to see how much time I spend on what projects.
Let’s get those goals!