If you’re anything like me, a busy, crazy female entrepreneur who sometimes forgets that she has a husband and a family that either her schedule revolves around or their schedules revolve around her. Then this blog post is for you – I am sharing how Google Calendar saved my marriage.
I have to start by saying that up until about a year ago, we had a lot of family activities, personal activities and professional meetings getting double booked. Whether it was sports schedules, business schedules, personal schedules or anything that anybody in the family had to do, there were times when it felt like we had to go in four different directions when thinking we only had to go in one direction. This was because we did not have a system. We didn’t have a way to prioritize the needs and wants of our family’s time. We didn’t have a structure (that worked) to follow.
Why pre-make schedules didn’t work
I tried calendars on the fridge, I tried chalkboards, and I tried whiteboards, but to be honest, as a business owner and as a busy female entrepreneur that runs three businesses with her husband, as well as having four active boys with their own schedules, none of those fun pre-made schedule systems worked for us. I even thought, is there a way I can invent a scheduler or calendar on the biggest wall in my house, with Post-it Notes? Everybody could have their own coloured Post-it Notes, and they could put their items on a Post-it, on this monstrosity of a calendar.
Now that being said, I’d still love to do that one day, but that’s not happening right now… I don’t think R.H. would like a Post-It Note rainbow in the house.
What I will tell you is that I started using the Google Calendar for my own schedule because I could see it on all my devices, whether I was on a computer, on my cell phone or even somewhere I didn’t have one of my own devices, but I could log into somebody else’s. I could always log into my calendar and see my schedule/calendar and know that it was up to date. This keeps me sane. It helped me stay on track with every task, meeting and appointment.
Using colour coding
Another of my ‘ah-ha’ favourite items of the Google Calendar is that I can make my time blocks different colours. So, if one of my sons has a sporting engagement, that event gets a different colour than other events. This is kind of like my dream wall schedule with Post-it Notes that I mentioned previously. I give each person in our family a different colour on my calendar. This way, at a glance, I know who has an appointment or an event without digging into the details. I learned this is the best way to keep the schedules clean. This helps us to work around my husband’s and my schedules, so there is no confusion.
Sara’s calendar colours and multiple calendars
However, I quickly learned there was still confusion and stress within our marriage and my schedule because of the scheduling. Though I had a plan that was just it… I had the plan. I had the schedule; no one else did. My husband would be like, “What’s on top for today? What’s going on today? How do we this? How do we that?” And I would say, “You know what? I can’t keep opening my calendar multiple times a day just to show you what is going on. And that’s when it hit me.
I realized that I could give R.H. access to my calendar and that way, he could see everything that I saw. He could add his own items into the calendar. There came a point where we would check the calendar in the morning and be able to see what was on tap for the day. We had a game plan before the day even started. We knew who has volleyball, which one has soccer, I have an appointment, R.H. has that appointment. Or “holy cow, our whole day is free. What are we going to do with it?”
How Google Calendar Saved my marriage
The Google Calendar saved my marriage because before sharing the calendar with R.H., I was the only one who was in control of the schedule. I was the only one who could see the schedule. It added a lot of frustration to my life because I felt like the gatekeeper to everybody’s time. I felt like if I messed up or I screwed up because I didn’t catch something on the calendar that the family was going to explode. It also led to frustration with my husband.
I wasn’t communicating on what was going on today or even in the days to come. As well, if he had to schedule something, like an oil change on one of the vehicles, he would have me call the car dealership to schedule the oil change because I was the only one who knew about the schedule. And that was frustrating for me because I don’t know how to talk to a dealership. I don’t know what I’m supposed to ask for. So, not only did that add a lot of stress for me, we were both doing double duty on something so simple.
Giving R.H. access to my Google Calendar saved our marriage. There’s no frustration anymore. There’s no double booking, and there’s no “Sara, call the car dealership to get this done.” It was one of the most amazing changes that I have ever made with an app. It has saved my family and my marriage a lot of frustration, anxiety and stress.
Here are my tips to improve your schedule at home with your loved ones.
Get Google Calendar or iCal (Apple option).You must create a calendar that you can share. I am going to talk about the Google Calendar in my tips because it’s the one I know and use.
Use multiple calendars.I have multiple calendars on Google Calendar. I have one for each of my businesses, I have a family one, and there’s one for R.H.’s time. Now, you don’t ‘need’ multiple calendars because you can colour-code blocks based on what your needs are. Though the multiple calendars come in handy as I can give the family access to the calendars, they need to see and not bore them with the ones they don’t.
Give access to others.Give those in your household (and in your business) that needs to see the calendar access. This is important because it will help them understand when you are available and when you’re not available.
Train your humans how to use the app.It is essential to teach your people how to use the calendar properly and help them make inputting data a habit.
Use the calendar for more than your schedule.I actually input some of my daily routines in the calendar. For example, if I’m having Sara time for self-development from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM I put that in the calendar, so my family knows they’re not to interrupt me unless it’s an emergency.
The best thing I ever did was give my husband access to my Google Calendar. Now we know what each person is doing, when we are doing it and where we are going to be. This also helps with our teenage son, who drives our vehicles as the three of us are sharing two vehicles. He knows when I need the vehicle or when R.H. needs the vehicle.
Honestly, this has been the best experience ever, and I cannot wait to get my younger kids on Google Calendar as well, so they can understand how the family dynamics work with having entrepreneurial parents and busy teenage boys.
It is really important to me for you to grasp the concept that this calendar system can change your life if you make it a habit by entering all the data, entering the information, turning on notifications, and teaching everybody else to do the same. If you do that, the Google Calendar or iCal will transform the way you run your ship, the way you show up every day, and the way you live your life.