Using your planner efficiently
Getting Started with a Monthly Overview
I want to dive a bit deeper into using your daily, weekly and monthly planners. You already have your calendar set up with all of your dates therefore your monthly review whether digital or paper should be easier. At the beginning of each month take a moment to make sure that you have everything dated on the calendar for that particular month. Always build in time to add in new items as they occur. By looking at your whole month at once, patterns may start to appear. Are there items you can group together for efficiency? Do you have too much going on to get it all done? Can you move some items around or even drop them completely? Initially ,practicing a monthly overview can be overwhelming but over time it will become a tool which will strongly help you keep everything rolling along.
Why writing it down is important
A Brain Dump is a powerful organizing tool. Basically sit down one day a week and using pencil and paper write down everything that comes to your mind: to-dos, grocery lists, appts. concerns, worries, projects, goals, wishes , etc. The action of hand writing stimulates your brain to interact differently and help solidify what you are writing. It becomes clear to me why using a paper and pencil becomes beneficial when planning your week. It provides a visual reminder of what is on your plate, you might see areas that you can improve upon, edit or remove completely. Basically you are decluttering your brain. I don’t know about you, but I need as much brain decluttering as possible.
Once you have solidified your week then put that information into your digital calendar if you would prefer ,there are plenty of digital platforms such as Asana, Evernote or One Note that you can use.
Once a week it is important to sit down and take a good look at the week. I suggest Sunday because you can plan the whole week. This will help you to make progress towards your desired outcomes and you will avoid things creeping up on you. Take a few minutes to brain dump your items for the week. Next, take those items and arrange them on a weekly planner page. I have created both a daily and weekly planner pages for you in the printables section of my website. Write it all out and plan out your week. It doesn’t need to be down to the last detail but be intentional with your plans.
Time block yourwork, group outings together, minimize your need to backtrack with errand. Make sure you include travel time in your scheduling . If you have a project you want to make progress on schedule that in too, same with any side gigs you may have. Step back and LOOK at the calendar for the week. Evaluate it; are you truly going to be able to do all of those things? Are there some items you can intentionally procrastinate on? Are you getting goals accomplished or just being busy? Take a hard look and be ruthless. “no” where you need to, delegate when possible, do what works best for you.
PRO TIP: Identify 3-5 things that MUST be accomplished to work towards your goals. For example my goals is to have all of my blog posts finished the first week of the prior month so writing posts went into my first work block of every day in the first week.
Daily Planner Review
Each evening look at your calendar to make sure you know what is happening the next day. Take any last minute action steps such as gathering papers, putting items in the car, adding a list to your purse, and writing out to-dos , etc. In the morning, take a few minutes to plan out your day and make sure you are including actions that will help accomplish those 3-5 important MUST BE DONE items. Most important make sure you schedule in your needs such as self-care, naps, pleasure reading , etc. Personally I DO NOT want to be constantly doing something, I need down-time to recharge and planning should include that time.
Being Productive NOT Busy
Planning makes life less stressful for everyone. Your family knows what is coming and what to expect. You can create an action plan if necessary, you can avoid stress and over scheduling and it helps you evaluate if you are headed in the desired direction.
The whole point of getting organized is to free yourself to pursue your true passions and interests.
Hop over to the Printables section of my website and download the FREE daily and weekly planner page to help you GET PLANNING.