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Why integrate to-do software with your calendar

Time flies like a blink of an eye these days, and unfortunately, we cannot do anything about it. The notion of understanding time as a limited resource has its name in psychology – temporary awareness.

To be exact, it’s a view that time is a real, insufficient resource that needs to be budgeted the same way we estimate our money. It is not the same as time opinion, which is merely the ones’ perception of the passing of time. Most people would concur with the statements “time is finite” and even “time should be planned like money,” but much fewer of us transfer this approach to our daily lives; as determined by series of experiments conducted in 2001 by D. Soman.

People with high temporary awareness usually control their time better, in turn being more optimistic, healthier and less pessimistic.

However, studies show that effective time management improves our well-being in many other ways: lowering psychological distress, anxiety, hopelessness, perceived stress, and even job-related physical tensions, at the same time boosting overall life satisfaction. Luckily, today’s technology provides us powerful tools for time management (or: powerful time management tools) t, that are easy to apply and very often free, but the most significant advantage of them is the possibility to integrate them.

The simplest, yet the most fundamental tools for improved time management and increased productivity

Preparing a to-do list forces you to write down any work-related task you’ve to get done; which is the first step of making a good layout for your workday, and it enables you to plan your tasks, as well as prioritize them. Prioritizing stops you from feeling overwhelmed by your duties and in turn, benefits you to focus on what is more important. With a calendar integration, you can also place your to-do’s into your schedule.

Particularly now, when shared calendars are so usual, it’s easier to “steal” our time. Sharing the timing is a helpful feature, but it also makes it more difficult to refuse someone who saw your schedule and did not see any scheduled events. That is why we have to use our calendar as a place where we store all we do, including our to-do list; to budget our time correctly. We only have as much time as in our calendar; our jobs and chores also take time, and we cannot neglect them.

Besides, we also tend to “steal” time from ourselves. When planning events & tasks in two different, non-integrated apps, it is much easier to overbook yourself; because we do not immediately see the works we have planned in the calendar; as well as the events in our to-do list. Research tells that only about 50% of to-dos are done the first day, and 41% of them are never finished at all. Opening your to-do app and viewing all of the tasks you should have done, but did not find the time to do is merely demotivating and integrating your to-do list, and your calendar benefits you in building higher temporal awareness and stops you from being confounded by your tasks, meetings, and other duties.

It’s essential to notice, however, that to plan your jobs and reserve time in your schedule for them; you should be conscious of how much time your activities are taking. You can employ a stopwatch or a google spreadsheet to watch how much time your tasks are making, but it is easier to use good time-tracking software instead. TimeLive tracks time seamlessly with a desktop app or mobile app, or even in your web browser. You can integrate it with a to-do app of your choosing, and with your calendar of course; so it will be easier for you to determine how much time you require for specific tasks.

Another reason why it is crucial

To desegregate these two apps is that it’s simpler to look back on what you have done. A simple study led by Francesca Gino in an Indian company consisted of asking a group of the workers to spend the last 15 minutes of their work time to write down all of the things they’ve done well in the day. This group did 23% better at their job than other workers, who spent these 15 minutes merely working. This shows that looking back at what you have already accomplished boosts your productivity. Possible interpretations for this phenomenon are that this sort of “have-done-well” list validates and increases self-efficacy, sense of competence and motivates us to do even more.

Also, scheduling tasks with a to-do list integrated with your calendar help you to put yourself into productivity, progress and work mindset and as a result, making it easier for you to block distractions.

Moreover, desegregating these two apps will help you create your daily routine.  Maybe you are one of the natural ones, but routine goes hand in hand with potency and effective time management. Why is it so necessary? First of all, it gives a sense of familiarity, structure, and order, which saves you time on planning your days ahead. When your life is planned, you know your routine, and it’s easier for you to build a habit, which is the best friend of productivity. It increases efficiency by taking away the need for motivation and willpower. Having a pattern is like running on autopilot, so it is essential to make good ones. Having a routine also conserves you a lot of time in the long run. Think of opening your inbox once a month – you’d probably need a whole day to answer all of the emails you’ve got. But spending fifteen minutes answering your email every day makes it much easier to digest, right? You can read more about the importance of daily routines here.

Alma Reed is an author and researcher dedicated to enhancing productivity. She is deeply interested in areas such as time management, increasing productivity, and fostering healthy routines. Through her writing, she aims to assist people in boosting their job performance and attaining an ideal balance between work and life.

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