Working from home can put extra strain on trying to optimise the way you use your time. So it’s vitally important you use the tools at your disposal to ensure you’re maximising each day’s potential. Google Calendar could be the answer to your prayers, here’s some tips on how to harness its power to get the most out of your day.
Find meeting times that suit everyone.
My first of many Google Calendar tips may seem glaringly obvious, but it’s worth noting that it can actually be very difficult. People are busy with other meetings, busy with day-to-day life and that’s fine. With Calendar, the heavy lifting can be done for you. Here’s how:
Click on search for people on the left, type in the name of someone you’d like to meet with. If they’re from the same organisation as yourself, you’re able to select their name and see their calendar overlaid on yours. This increased visibility of your colleagues’ availability makes it far easier to find an open time slot, fill in the meeting details and click save.
Operating on multiple time zones? With Google Calendar, that's no problem.
With technology, the world is becoming smaller and smaller with people becoming increasingly connected. This being said, time zones still exist, complications can still happen with regards to scheduling meetings and it can become a barrier to effective communication. That’s why this tip is so useful. One of Google Calendar's great features is being able to display multiple time zones.
It’s very simple to begin to display secondary time zones on Calendar, simply go to ‘Settings’. Scroll to Time Zone and click the box to display a secondary time zone and select the appropriate time zone. Need to add even more other time zones? Scroll to World clock and click Show world clock. By doing this, the time zones you’ve selected will show on the left side of your calendar below the month view. You are only able to display two time zones side by side on your calendar view, however you can have multiple world clocks.
This is a huge saver of time in your day, making the process of working out suitable times to arrange meetings with people over multiple time zones.
Want to make the most of your working hours? Share them with Google Calendar.
Being able to set your working hours makes setting up meetings so much easier. Not everyone has the same working hours, and it would be unfair to expect your colleagues to know your working pattern if it’s different to theirs.
With Google Calendar, users can easily add their working hours by exploring their settings section. One of the key benefits of this is that upon adding your working hours to Calendar, whenever any subsequent event invitation is sent to you, the invitee will automatically be notified if the event is outside your working pattern. This saves time, and takes any potential hassle out of creating events and allows you to focus on other parts of your working day.
Sharing is caring!
Let other users see your availability by sharing your calendar. Do this by adjusting your default settings in order to let others in your team or organisation view the full details of events on your calendar.
The benefits of this are plentiful but are best explained by looking towards a hypothetical example.
I’m busy, in and out of meetings all day, it’s hard to divide your attention when you’re on a video call with someone. Due to this, I can’t get any free time within the parameters of my working day to do some deep work, like writing blogs. But there, in the near future on my calendar, I see it. 1.5hrs of free time. A beacon of light. I can finally churn out a blog about the benefits of Google Calendar and how it can help you make the most out of your day.
But alas, I check my inbox. I’ve been invited to a 1 hour call to workshop future hypothetical examples in my blog content during what should have been my free time.
I can’t blame my colleague for this, they weren’t to know.
Fast forward a day and I’ve made my calendar available to be viewed by my colleagues. They’re able to see I have a slither of free time during my busy schedule and choose not to invite me to another crisis call about my lack of imagination - I am spared. They can instead look further on in my week to see a day where I’m less busy.
Give yourself breaks.
As is mentioned above, back-to-back meetings - although often necessary - can make your day more difficult than it needs to be. That’s why we strongly encourage you to leave yourself gaps between events in your Google Calendar.
Often, when in back-to-back meetings, you either feel overwhelmed by having constant calls and no time to work independently, or you feel that the lack of respite between calls has left you unable to prepare for the forthcoming call.
Giving yourself breathers between meetings can really allow for you to recharge, refresh and get your mind in the right place for your next meeting!
Hopefully by making use of these Google Calendar tips, you’ll be able to get the absolute most of your working day, ensuring that your workload has a nice even spread.
If you’d like to find out more about Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and how it could help make your organisation work smarter, book a discovery call!