Use Google Calendar to remind yourself to get a life

Jessica's hack inspired me in two ways. First, "planned spontaneity" is often all we can do to harken back to those carefree days of, well, maybe not our youth, but our pre-parenthood. Second, I'm so impressed that she recognizes that she deserves these moments of peace, beauty, and fun. It's easy to forget sometimes. Pathetic admission: I find myself hard-pressed to remember what I like to do in my spare time.

Earlier this month, it occurred to me that I could use Google Calendar to remind and assign myself to do those little things that I loved to do in my pre-parenthood life. Things like "read a poem today," or "go browse a bookstore this week," or "get a babysitter for next week and go to a movie," etc. I gave myself one assignment a week for the whole year. So far, I'm finding that if I get an event reminder in my work e-mail box, I'll treat it like any other task I need to accomplish and actually do the thing.

I've made the calendar "Jessica Poundstone's Year Of Lovely Things To Do" public so other folks can look at it for ideas. They can follow this link to my blog for context, or go straight to the calendar.

Related: Six things about which you may not realize you need reminders


  1. Jordan says

    The goal setting website 43 Things ( also does a great job at helping you remember to make time for your personal goals. It sends periodic reminders and lets you post an update to your goal simultaneously on both your blog and 43Things.

  2. TGReid says

    This is definitely what “The Get A Life Campaign” is all about – realizing that you deserve to get your life back and getting it.

    I TOO love Google calendar, and I agree – we busy parents have to realize that gone are the days when free time just “happens.” If we continue to cling to the “once I am done with abc and xyz, then I will kick back and relax,” it will never happen. There is ALWAYS something that can be done and free time must be created and scheduled along with everyone else.

    There’s nothing wrong with that, just a sign of growing up.

    Oh and when you take that time, try not to think about the tons of things you have waiting for you to do. It defeats the purpose.