Automation to Reduce Stress. Setting Calendar Reminders for the Time You Need the Information.

One of the principles of a productivity system called Getting Things Done is that people need a system for being reminded of the information they need, at the moment they need to be reminded of it, without needing to hold the information in mind until that time. This reduces mental effort and drain.

When I went on vacation earlier this year, I put my work keys in a “safe place”. When I got back from vacation, I almost had to cancel an afternoon of work because I spent an hour and a half looking for my keys and was locked out of my office without them.

The next time I went overseas, I set myself a Google Calendar reminder so that, the day before I’m due back, the calendar program will tell me where my keys are.

I love GCal because

1. It’s free.
2. It allows a choice of email, txt msg, or smartphone reminders, or all of the above.
3. It allows me to set reminders for any time I want (e.g. an hour before the event, or a day before the event) and also to set multiple reminders (I typically have mine set for – the day before, an hour before, and 10 minutes before).
4. Like Google search, GCal is simple.

DIY Challenge

What could you set up a reminder for that would remind you of information you need, at the time you need to be reminded of it, but will allow you to forget the info until that time?

If you think of something relevant for you own life, I’d love you to tell me and other blog readers about it on the Facebook page.


– I don’t use the Getting Things Done system (its a bit outdated now) but I do use some of the principles. Another one I use is the 2 min rule.

– (I also got a spare set of keys cut straight away, which had been on my “to do” list forever and never got done).