Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 62


Join us live each week at and get your questions answered by submitting them at anytime right here: You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on December 6th, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • How To Be More Productive With Google Calendar
  • What Are The Best Productivity Timer Apps?

To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit:

Hey, I’m Adam with Productivity Academy. Welcome to the Productivity Academy weekly Q&A number 62. Gonna cross my fingers for a little bit better technical outcome on this one. Last week, we had two videos. If you haven’t seen those, you can find them in the group. If you’re not a part of the group, you can join by clicking below, answer a couple questions on, you know what you’re looking for, in terms of productivity, processes, all that it’s free to join, just want to make sure that you want to be there.

And then today, we’re going to be talking about productivity using Google calendars. And really, I think important ways to manage your time and then to save a lot of time, okay, and the end result of what you can do with this, like the action item is really simple, but it’s one of those that pays off really big. So I’m excited to share that and then had a question about productivity timer app. So we’re going to talk about that show a couple of those and then why you might want to be using those.

So real quick if you’re watching this live thanks for tuning in. If you got any questions, go ahead and ask them all keep an eye on the side there and see if anything comes in and answer those as time allows. If you’re catching this after the fact again, you can join us in the real world productivity group by clicking the link below and if you’re into just checking this out the replays you can click subscribe as well stay up to date on these as well as app reviews, one-off videos for automation, processes, productivity, time management, all that good stuff.

Um, let’s see, I’m going to attempt to not share my screen because that is no longer an option. So curious how this was going to go. So we’ll just talk through it which is not quite as good, but it’ll be fine. So what I want to talk about with is productivity with Google Calendar and how you can get more out of that.

So the first off the reason is why right before we go into this, and I tried to do this in terms of tools and apps and stuff like it’s neat, but that’s not the reason it’s got to fit into some sort of framework or, or your framework, rather. So for myself, my foundation or my framework, it has to do with time management. Okay. And this is something that I didn’t do when I was younger, and definitely learned to incorporate. And that’s basic time management or time tracking. And the reason behind this is if you’re not really tracking the time it takes you to do things or planning ahead saying, I have this much time, then, you know, you tend to wildly under and overestimate how long things are going to take.

And in general, we tend to underestimate because we think we’re faster and then you add too many tasks and then you’re totally screwed because your project runs out of time. Alright, so that’s the general idea. And as time goes on, you just get better and better about doing this plus in today’s world, it just makes your life easier if you are using and it doesn’t have to be Google Calendar, but an online calendar some sort that probably ties into other areas especially if you’re helping are working to run a business that maybe you’re managing calendar bookings, people are booking your time you’re a consultant.

That, you know, you need to have your time mostly accounted for during business hours so that then maybe someone could schedule a meeting with you. Or you can look and see, hey, do I have time to take a meeting, things like that, and then becomes important as well, like I said about project planning, okay? When you start to know, Okay, I understand that I need X amount of hours to do this sort of a task. And then once you get to the point of, Oh, I want to hire someone, I want to delegate some of this now you have an understanding of how long that stuff takes. And it can, you know, really save you a lot of time and a lot of problems to when trying to hand off these tasks.

So with that said, what you want to do though, is a lot of people, you start off and I did the same thing with you just create a calendar event. Okay, let’s just say it you need to write a blog post. It’s a this is a classic example. You say it’s going to take you an hour and so you just block off that time. That’s a great first step, but it’s the first step of many and what you’re missing out on there is having those resources at hand.

So what we end up doing a lot of times is while you’ve a lot of yourself an hour usually takes a little bit of mental time to kind of switch into that from whatever you were doing. And then you’re going to be like, okay, you need the folder, right? Where’s the blog post go? Are you writing it in Google Docs? What? Where’s that folder at? You know, is that somewhere down there? Is it supposed to be in Dropbox? Where my resources do I have like a list of things to look at, do I need any tools open to go.

So I think you’re seeing the trend here where a lot of times we waste that time, you got to open up a bunch of stuff, you’ve got to track down the right folder or whatever it is. And just by simply when especially for recurring task if you open that up, and your calendar and then you add any resources you need in there. So for blog posts, let’s say again, will use Google Drive example. Let’s say you have a folder for your post and you have maybe a template in there that you start with. So you include a link to that so you can just click it opens. You don’t have to waste any time maybe using a tool like buzzSumo or something else to research content.

You have a link to that once you’ve logged into that you grab that link, wherever you are, wherever you want it to be, put it into your calendar event, and then do the same for any other resources you’re going to use, again, anything with, like research or just anything you might need, you list all that stuff out, and then at the top, go back and say, what’s the rough process for this? Do you want to spend five minutes kind of outlining or gathering information, put that in there and, you know, put in the rough steps isn’t going to be really detailed, you could do something else maybe in Trello or somewhere else if you wanted to. But this is just to get you started to you’re not spinning your wheels thinking okay, what was it exactly I’m supposed to be doing and where my resources at.

So just a quick calculation to if this if you if this was something you could put into your kind of daily routine and let’s say you spend like 30 seconds, just 30 seconds, you know, three, let’s say four times a day looking for stuff when you have these kinds of tasks. So that’d be 30 seconds times four and five days a week and will say 50 weeks in a year. Wow. Okay, so that 30,000 seconds, which is 500 minutes. Okay, so that would be what?

Yeah, that’s right, a little over eight hours. So you can spend eight hours a year, just like looking for folders and doing stuff like that. And that’s when it’s fun to look at these numbers and be like, Oh my god, like, I can’t imagine wasting that much time. But wouldn’t it be nice to have that time back so that you’re not frustrated? You’re not just getting sidetracked. You know, if you go and you need resource and you’re looking for something like buzzSumo or you’re typing it in, but then you end up in your email somehow, you know, that stuff happens. So it’s kind of a two fold increase in productivity right there. So hopefully you start doing this. It’s one of those again, like I said, it’s simple to get started. But then the output can be phenomenal. You really start saving yourself a lot of time and then as you develop a team getting them to do this will save them a lot of time cut down on mistakes cut down on their frustration. So to me, that’s a win-win.

Okay, so we had some questions about productivity timer apps, you know, what’s the best productivity timer app or which one should you use. again as I say with all of these, you know, make sure you have a strong framework or foundation and then get the tool that fits in but I will definitely share some of mine and see if it works for you. So the idea behind this a lot of people use timers is managing their time obviously. But then for Pomodoro technique, so maybe the classic one is like 25 minutes on of like, block distractions, block everything go and then take five minutes off, get up, you know, walk around, do some non-focused tasks, and this has roots in a lot of areas.

I mean, literally scientific research as far as, like, how you learn how you perform, you want to have these really focused times but then you need these times where you’re away I guess, and I believe that learning how to learn course it’s diffused mode so that you’re just doing something else don’t stay focused. And we all know that you know that you can’t stay focused forever. So doing this with a timer can really help you be more effective.

So I guess I wanted to share these on the screen, but I’ll put the links below one of them, I use a real simple one is egg timer, and it’s and you or you can just what I do is type in like a timer, and then the minutes or whatever I want, like 25 minutes or one hour and then the link will usually just come up already. With that you click it and it starts a countdown timer like on the whole page and you can get a little alert audio on it and then the page will come up when it’s done.

So that’s a really fast one and to us if you’re just you know, you don’t have anything bookmark and then tomato timer, which I believe is Yep, and if you search I believe product to vt timer app that will come up that’s a really cool and it’s a real simple page. You can set it for a Commodore you can change the amount of time and you could set it for a short break long break. Just really handy. And again, these are really useful so that you have a go-to ways. So you’re not getting lost, especially, let’s say, you know, you’re supposed to be doing something for 45 minutes that you might want to set that so that you have that reminder of, Hey, I’m done.

Or you could set it for 40 minutes could be helpful to say, okay, you know, time is almost up, you got five minutes need to wrap it up, maybe do a little summary of like, Okay, if you’re done, that’s great. If not, hey, what are the remaining action items or things I need to do on this, get that written down, get it put somewhere where you can start working on it during your next work period for that,

So pretty cool. And then beyond that, just use whatever app you want, you know, use your phone, grab that set the timer on that you could anything to me that has some sort of notification. In this case, I find that to be important so that you don’t just blow past it, you know if it’s silent or it doesn’t bring up your attention and then incorporate that into your workflow and see how it works for you.

So again, the best app is the one that works for you. So I think that is it today I don’t see anything else. Alright, so that’ll do it. Thanks for checking it out. And again if you’d like to ask questions live or ahead of time, you can come join us below or you can hit the subscribe button if you’re watching on YouTube and stay up to date with these app reviews as well as the podcast to which reporting into YouTube and we’ve got a good one coming up believe in two weeks it will be posted and really interesting stuff so stay tuned, and I’ll see you next week.

About the author

Adam Moody

I'm Adam Moody with the Productivity Academy. Get your productivity, time management, automation, and organization questions answered here. Be sure to check out the Productivity Academy YouTube Channel.

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By Adam Moody

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