Scheduling is a vital skill to master if you want to be productive. There are only so many hours in the day, and we must plan ahead if we want to make the most of them.
But you face another problem: you have too much to do and are overcome with analysis paralysis.
Rather than working through the most important tasks, you end up completing nothing.
One way to conquer this issue is by using a color coded calendar.
To get more done, use these color coded calendar hacks that will help you conquer your day.
Why Should You Color Code Your Calendar?
Creating a schedule is not as simple as it may sound. Especially when you’re piling tasks on top of each other.
When you look at your calendar, you want to be able to see everything at a glance. And that can be hard to achieve if all your tasks are the same shade of grey or blue.
To be more productive, you need to know exactly what you are accomplishing throughout the day.
Choosing to color code your calendar gives you the ability to categorize and rank your tasks.
Rather than staring at a wall of to-dos, you can see what types of tasks occupy your schedule and how urgent they are.
Some people may develop their own system that works for them.
But if you haven’t created a color coded calendar in the past, you may need some help. The good news is that there is a trick to assigning each task its own color.
Let’s take a look at the psychology behind each color and how it can help you get more out of your day.
The Color Coded Calendar: Color Psychology for Better Management
When you take a look at a specific color, what do you feel? Colors are able to evoke certain emotions when we see them.
This is why the colors of logos or buildings are so important for major brands out there.
And we can apply the same tricks for our own needs.
Color Coding: Red
Red is a color that is associated with passion, anger, and power. It is bold and eye-catching. But it’s also used as a color to catch our attention.
This makes red a perfect color to use for any important tasks you must prioritize.
Red will draw your attention to the most important tasks so that they get done first.
If you naturally struggle to take care of the most pressing tasks first, use red to highlight them.
Color Coding: Blue
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have blue. While red is energetic and bold, blue is calm and relaxing.
You can use blue to help you counteract the more pressing tasks of the day.
When using blue in your calendar, try to assign it to breaks or tasks that you enjoy doing.
This can help you get into the mindset of knowing when you should be resting and recharging.
Color Coding: White
Very few people think about the color white when they think about color coding. But white does have its benefits in a color coded calendar.
The color white often represents simplicity, potential, and happiness.
One great way to use white is to use it for planning-based tasks. You can use white to highlight times when you’ll be setting goals or preparing for a meeting.
If you prefer to leave some space in your schedule, you can also use white to highlight areas where you may want to squeeze something in.
Although white may not be as direct as other colors, it can have its own home within your color coded calendar.
Color Coding: Grey
Grey, like white, may not be a common color in calendars. Grey is often described as being a bland color. But it can often be associated with the word: subtle.
When we use this meaning, grey can be great for tasks that may not be set in stone.
If you have several red tasks, a grey task may be able to be pushed forward.
Let’s imagine that someone has reached out to you for a potential meeting. While they know they want a meeting, they don’t know when they’ll be available. Instead, they give you an idea of when will be the best time for the two of you to connect.
You can use grey as a placeholder color to label this meeting. Then, when you have a guaranteed date and time, you can switch it over to another color if you prefer.
And you can also keep grey as your chosen color for tasks that may be important but not as pressing.
Overall, grey is a very versatile color that is great for any subtle items in your calendar.
If it is not as pressing or non-essential, it can be gray.
Color Coding: Purple
Purple is one arguably one of the most interesting colors on this list.
A combination of blue and red, purple is often called exotic, mysterious, sensual, or soothing. Because this color is so different from others, its interpretation is up to you.
That said, there are some recommendations on what purple can do in your calendar.
One way to use purple is to have it highlight creative tasks.
Because purple is mysterious and exotic, it only makes sense to use it for tasks with a similar nature.
This may also work when you consider that purple is both blue and red. Your creative tasks may be a priority but require you to feel relaxed and rested as well.
Purple can also highlight tasks that need you to have an even balance of focus and clarity.
Planning for future projects is a task that may be highlighted in purple.
If purple evokes a different emotion, don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own meaning.
After all, the above are only guidelines. It is better if you work with your own feelings, it can often yield better results.
Color Coding: Green
Green is another color that has multiple meanings. One way that you can use green is to apply it to health or fitness-based tasks.
Green can be an excellent color to use for gym sessions, meal breaks, or even doctor’s appointments. Like grey and other colors, this can help break up the wall of work you may have in your day.
Green is also a great color to assign to certain tasks. Why? Green is the color of money.
If you believe that money is a major motivator, use green to highlight tasks that will be paying you. Although it may not be as bold as red, it still can remind you of why you should get certain tasks done.
Whether it refers to health or wealth, green is perfect to keep your attention fixed on major areas of life.
Color Coding: Orange (or Yellow)
Although orange and yellow are two separate colors, they often have the same meaning. Both colors tend to evoke feelings of happiness, joy, and excitement.
So it only makes sense to use yellow or orange for items that excite you.
One way to use both of these colors is to separate them based on your overall happiness levels.
You could make daily tasks that bring you joy orange. Whether these tasks are hobbies, routines, or events, seeing these tasks can help you stay excited for the day ahead.
Meanwhile, you can use yellow for tasks that may happen less often.
If you plan on having lunch with a friend, you can color this event yellow instead of orange. This can make it easier to distinguish between certain events that bring you joy.
Either way, orange and yellow are both great colors to make certain items pop out of your schedule.
If you want to be reminded about the joys in life, use orange and yellow to do it.
Color Coding Tips for Developing a Productive Schedule
While color coding your calendar can improve your schedule, you need a strong foundation to build upon.
Without an effective schedule, color coding will do little to boost productivity.
So, how can you create a more effective schedule? Let’s take a look at some tips to help you get more out of your day.
1. Designate a Specific Time for Everything
When your schedule is too vague, it can allow for chaos to ensue.
The key to developing a schedule is to make sure that every important task has its place. This technique is known as time-blocking.
Let’s imagine that you are laying out work-based tasks for the week.
While you may have listed your main projects, you have left out meetings, emails, and other essential tasks. Even though these are important, they can distract us from important work when we forget to schedule them in. We must make sure that everything is scheduled if we wish to avoid distractions and be more productive.
When you forget to designate time for all tasks, it can cause problems.
One big time waster is choosing to check your email in the middle of the day (instead, designate time block to check email).
Because you didn’t dedicate a time slot for this task, you are now an hour behind on work. This then creates a domino effect that puts you behind on all tasks.
Make sure that every major task throughout your day has its own place in your calendar.
Otherwise, you run the risk of running into interruptions and delays.
2. Work With Your Energy Levels
Knowing how and when you work best makes it easier to achieve your goals.
If you schedule tasks for times when you feel low on energy, you are going to have trouble completing them.
Instead, figure out when you are most productive and schedule your big tasks then.
After you’ve set these tasks, you can then focus on less important tasks and fit them in where they work best.
Work with your body, not against it.
3. Place All Your Events on One Calendar
Many people want to have multiple calendars for different tasks.
But here’s the problem:
It’s easy to get overloaded and distracted when switching between schedules.
You may also end up accidentally setting several tasks for the same time slot for all of your set goals.
Instead, put all your tasks on one calendar.
This will give you a more realistic view of how much time you have and what you can achieve with it.
Otherwise, you can end up juggling too much and making little progress along the way.
4. Set Realistic Expectations for Your Schedule
All-day productivity would be an amazing thing to experience.
But here’s the problem:
Our bodies aren’t built to work 24/7.
When we pack our schedule with tasks and forget about breaks, we are likely to fall short of our goals.
Instead, figure out how much time it will take you to complete certain tasks. Then, schedule them in for that specific amount of time.
If you take on more than you can handle, you may end up putting yourself behind.
5. Figure Out What Really Matters in Your Day
Learning to prioritize your tasks is an essential skill that allows you to get the most important stuff done first.
If we tackle tasks that won’t help us move forward, we will end up getting behind.
No matter what goals you have set, figure out which tasks are most important to your success. Know your frogs.
Then, build your day around these main tasks and add less essential tasks where they will fit.
Color Coded Calendar Notes
A color coded calendar can make it easy to envision your day at a glance. To successfully color code your calendar, you should:
- Set a Strong Foundation: Before you begin color coding your calendar, you need to know how to develop a strong schedule. Figure out your priorities, set realistic expectations, and designate a time for everything. This will make sure that you get the most out of your calendar before you start color coding it.
- Figure Out What Different Colors Mean: Knowing how you interact with certain colors makes assigning colors to tasks easier. Use the list above to learn more about which colors evoke certain emotions and how you can use them to your advantage. If you feel like a color creates a different emotion for you, don’t be afraid to assign your own meaning to it. The key here is to make sure colors work specifically for your needs.
- Highlight Tasks Based on Your Chosen Colors: Once you have paired colors to different tasks, highlight these tasks in that color on your calendar. This can help your brain distinguish different tasks and understand what type of focus you need to get into to complete them. For example, red may help you prioritize tasks and prepare your brain for intense work while blue can tell your brain to relax. By separating your tasks as such, it can make getting through your day easier!
If you are overwhelmed by your schedule, a color coded calendar can be a great solution for you.
To get started, learn more about how color coding works and how you can use it to your advantage in the guide above.