One of the most common pieces of time management advice we hear is to schedule everything.
Got a meeting? Schedule it.
Need time for focused work? Schedule it.
Want to take a break? Schedule it.
The idea is simple: If you don’t control what goes in your calendar, someone else will. As Hooked author, Nir Eyal, told us:
“If you don’t plan your day, someone else will. It might be your boss, or your spouse, or a football game or Facebook. Something is going to take up that time if you don’t.”
But there’s a downside to packing your calendar full of to-dos.
Our schedules often reflect the ideal version of how we want our days to go. But it doesn’t matter how many “Deep Work” sessions or regular breaks you schedule if that’s not how you actually spend your time.
So how can you reconcile how you want to spend your time (your calendar) with how you actually spend it?
With the new RescueTime for Google Calendar integration, we’ve created a simple and easy way to export a summary of your RescueTime stats to your calendar so you can understand your true productivity, see when you’re over-committed to meetings and calls, and track your daily, weekly, and monthly progress towards your RescueTime goals.
See your RescueTime Daily Summaries right next to your daily tasks
Your calendar shows you how you want to spend your day. While RescueTime tells you what you actually did. And if you’re anything like me, these two data points are usually pretty different.
With our new Google Calendar integration, we wanted to help you understand the difference between your intentions and your actions.
Once you install the integration, you’ll be able to scan the top of your Google Calendar and see your total device time and total time booked in meetings for each day.
This is a great high-level overview of how you’re actually spending your time. But if you want to go deeper (without leaving your calendar) you can. Here’s how:
Track your progress with daily goal summaries
There’s nothing more beneficial to your motivation (and your mood) like seeing progress on your goals.
While RescueTime Goals and Alerts are great for tracking how you’re spending your time, they can sometimes get lost if you’re not regularly checking your dashboard.
That’s why we added a summary of your daily goals to this integration.
Click on any day in your calendar and you’ll instantly see a report on your goal progress for that day (without needing to go into the RescueTime app).
Instantly get a read on your total meeting time each day
Everyone has those days that just feel like meeting-after-meeting-after-meeting… But often the only reason these hectic, meeting-filled days happen is because we don’t realize what we signed up for until it’s too late!
By including your total meeting time (any event with more than 1 person attending) in your Google Calendar heading, our new integration helps you identify the days where you overbooked yourself in the past so you can adjust your future schedule accordingly.
Jump to any daily RescueTime report directly from your calendar
We knew it would be impossible to build RescueTime inside Google Calendar. But we wanted to make it easy to see your full RescueTime report for any day from your Calendar.
Had an especially good/bad day and want to know why? Head into your daily summary in Google Calendar and click on the link at the bottom.
It will take you to your full RescueTime report where you can dive in further and see what took up your time.
So just what can you do with this info? Your RescueTime daily dashboard gives you all sorts of data you can use to optimize your day.
Check out these posts to learn more about how to optimize your attention, energy, and daily schedule:
- Here’s how much time you’re actually spending in email (and how to cut it in half!)
- How to find your “productivity curve” and work with your natural ebbs and flows of energy
- How to be more productive with time tracking software (like RescueTime!)
- How to do an annual review with RescueTime
Keep up productivity streaks across weeks and months
One comment that kept coming up as users became familiar with this new integration was the ability to easily see productivity streaks.
Simply put, we have a tendency to avoid losses over acquiring equivalent gains. (You know all about this if you’ve ever used apps like Duolingo or HeadSpace or track your steps on a FitBit!)
By bringing your total device time into Google Calendar, there are all sorts of ways you can create streaks, such as:
- Productivity streaks. Check your productivity pulse for each day and try to keep it on or above your average.
- Hit a certain amount of hours worked (or under a certain amount if you work too much!)
- Stay under a certain amount of “meeting time” each day
- Consistently hit zero work hours on weekends
The streak you build will depend on what your individual goals are. But as one user told us after trying out the integration for a few days:
“When I watch my whole Google Calendar, I’m able to see immediately the chain of successes of the previous month. I immediately see what day was a success and I can infer that easily to the other items on my agenda.”
How to set up the RescueTime for Google Calendar integration
The RescueTime for Google Calendar integration is available for all users.
Simply head to the integration page and add it to your account to get started.
Note: In order to give your total meeting time, this integration asks for permission to See, edit, share, and permanently delete all the calendars you can access using Google Calendar.
We know this is a lot to ask. But unfortunately, Google has bundled all their permissions together, meaning we’re forced to ask for them all.
However, we hope it goes without saying that RescueTime will never add, edit or delete anything from your existing calendars!
We hope you enjoy this new way to see your productivity, goals, and progress straight from your calendar. If you have any feedback on the integration please let us know in the comments below!