Color Code Your Calendar, Already

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Creating a manageable schedule isn’t easy, but you know what’s even more difficult? Sticking to it.

Here are the problems with the typical calendar: When you glance at it, you probably just see a wall of to-dos. You aren’t gaining an understanding of the type of tasks that occupy your schedule or how urgent they are. You also aren’t seeing ways to leverage your energy levels to maximize your productivity. And you have no idea whether the way you’re spending your time is in line with your goals.

A way to conquer all of this? Start color-coding your calendar.

Simply assign each type of task you do with its own color. When you create your schedule using time-blocking techniques, you can place certain colors on certain days and in certain time slots, based on urgency and your body’s natural rhythms. Here’s an example of what a color-coded calendar can look like:

To determine which color should accompany each type of task, we can use color psychology — different hues cause us to act and feel in different ways. Try this system:

Red: Your most urgent tasks

Red is associated with passion, anger, and power. It also catches people’s attention. Use it to note urgency.

Blue: Breaks or easy, enjoyable tasks

While red is energetic and bold, blue is calm and relaxing. Use this color for breaks or simple tasks that help you to rest and recharge.

White: Planning-based tasks

White often represents simplicity, potential, and happiness. Use it to highlight planning sessions.

Gray: Tentative tasks

Gray is subtle and a great color to use for events that may not be set in stone. Once you’ve confirmed the event, you can change its color.

Purple: Creative tasks

Purple is often viewed as exotic, mysterious, sensual, or soothing. Use it to highlight creative tasks, such as brainstorming sessions.

Green: Health- or wealth-related tasks

Green can either be used for health-related tasks (gym sessions, meal breaks, or doctor’s appointments) or wealth-related tasks (building your client base, researching pricing, or finding new streams of income).

Orange or yellow: Tasks that excite you

Both orange and yellow tend to evoke feelings of happiness, joy, and excitement. Use them to highlight hobbies, special events, or anything else that gets you excited.

Some tips for creating an effective color-coded calendar

  • No matter your goals, figure out which tasks are most important to your success. Schedule those tasks first.
  • Work with your energy levels. Knowing how and when you work best makes it easier to achieve your goals.
  • Place all your tasks on one calendar. Many people have a work calendar and a personal calendar. This can be confusing. Putting everything in one place gives you a clearer view of how much time you have and what you can achieve within that time.

Most importantly, experiment. Try putting different colors in different time slots. The most effective calendar is the one that works for you.

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