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WHEN AND HOW: Calendar

When should you use Calendar and how do you use it with best practices.


Source of truth for how you are spending your time during the day.

"If it's not in my calendar, it's not happening."



The right mix of:

  • Internal Meetings
  • External Meetings
  • Focused Time for Work


  • Context switching by constant checks of software like Email or Slack which distract you especially in meetings
  • Unnecessary or Pointless Meetings

Our Preferred Tool:



  • Smart Meetings

    - Do we need this meeting?

    - If yes, there needs to be an agenda and pre-work.

    - Avoid updates

    - Roles: Meeting Leader (trained in how to handle a group discussion), Meeting Notekeeper (takes detailed notes and time checks the meeting)

    - Notes, Decisions, and Action items are captured/logged.

  • What is your ratio of meetings to work time?

    Most people have too many meetings.

  • Time Blocking

    Focused Time for work.

  • Smart Calendaring

    Limiting when and how many types of appointments per day or when people can schedule with you. Don't give unfettered access.

  • Build Hoops/Barriers to Entry

    Ie. people who want to meet with you need to complete a form, etc.

  • Peak Time

    You are more productive at certain times of the day.

  • Focus Days

    Block out Monday for internal meetings and Fridays for administrative catch up, doing training, etc.

Use Key Features of Google Calendar to Save You Time:

  • Integrations

    ie. Zoom

  • Multiple Calendars in One View

    Display personal, family, and work calendars in one screen.

  • Show Out of Office or Focus Time

  • See other people's availability in "Meet with..."

  • Attach Agenda and Other Necessary Pre-Work to the Meeting Invite

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't believe in meeting agendas so why do I need one?

If your meetings are effective and the right quantity (ie. not too few but not too many), you don't need any help.

Most people complain that they are in too many pointless meetings. This could be reduced by better work systems (like Asana) and tight meeting agendas.

Do I really need to add 'Focus Time' blocks to my calendar?
If you don't, you might be booked into a meeting. Everyone needs uninterrupted blocks of time each day to accomplish their most important tasks. Using 'Smart Calendaring' techniques like blocking for 'Focus Time' is the most effective strategy we have seen.
In my team, we are meeting-ed to death. How do we stop this?
First, list out all recurring meetings. Then, ask yourself if they are still necessary or can be replaced by better software systems like Asana. For the meetings that remain, make sure there is an agenda, pre-work, and a designated leader and notekeeper. After the meeting, take a poll: out of 10, how effective was this meeting. If the average is less than 7, consider eliminating this meeting altogether. 

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