Time management. It’s one skill we can always improve upon. At work, I’m constantly switching gears between different projects, meaning I have to stay organized with my deadlines and delegate my time efficiently. At home, I’m less than two months away (EEK!) from my wedding, meaning I have vendor payments coming up, a large bridal party to organize, and a million little things to get in order. All of this while staying sane. Thus, I need a planner in my life.
Yes, people, I’m talking a PHYSICAL planner you have to write in. There’s scientific truth in what your teachers used to say about how if you write something down, you’ll remember it. So whether you have the schedule of a maniac like me, or you just need to make sure your work gets done on time, here are some tips to ensure your planner will help you stay on top of life.
Create your own planning routine. I don’t want to force you to go through what works for me, because that might not work for you. Instead, evaluate your schedule and try planning out monthly, weekly, or daily depending on what’s functional for you. Pick a time each day, week, or month to arrange your plans, build it into your routine, and stick to it.
Get it all out. Meetings, birthdays, parties, dinners, deadlines, appointments, vacations – if it’s something guaranteed to happen or something you want to happen, write it in your planner. That way you can schedule around it, plan accordingly, and avoid unnecessary stress of over-booking.
But don’t overdo it. Nothing will set you back faster than an overloaded planner or unfinished business hanging over your head. Make realistic timelines for yourself and your deadlines to maximize productivity. You don’t have to schedule your life minute by minute, or even day by day if that’s not your style, and you need to have some blank space for down time. A jam-packed schedule will leave you with very little flexibility for adjustments, causing more unnecessary stress.
Check off as you go. Do you feel satisfied when you’re able to check off a to-do list? Me too! I’m a list-maker/Post-it addict, for good reason. It looks good and feels great having your accomplishments, even the little ones, checked off in front of you. And on those days you just can’t make it all happen, don’t sweat it…you can always go back and see what’s left unchecked.
Don’t confuse it for your phone. Your planner doesn’t connect to your Bluetooth, and it won’t send you a push notification 15 minutes before your next meeting. That’s not a bad thing! Look at your planner like your personal, creative space – color-code different activities, get some fun stickers, doodle, whatever will help keep your schedule fresh and organized.
The best part is, no matter what kind of planner you are, there’s a planner out there for you (find my favs here). For more creative planning ideas, you can always search Pinterest to see what’s working for others!