If you're looking for ways to be more productive and achieve your goals, using a planner is a great place to start. The benefits of using a planner are many. For one, planners help us to stay organized and on track with our schedules. They can also help to keep us accountable for our goals, both personal and professional. Additionally, planners can be a great tool for reflection and goal setting.
You go about planning every day but are you really planning in an effective manner?
If you’re looking for ways to make the most of your planner, here are some tips for using a daily planner effectively, and being sure you use it to
reduce stress, not create it:
Use Your Planner as Your Main To-Do List
Get rid of the other methods of creating to-do lists if you are going to use a planner. You
Don’t want to have multiple lists all over the place, creating chaos and disorganization
in your mind. Have one way to use a planner for your tasks, and keep them there only.
Most planners that you purchase, as well as ones you can print and customize, offer
everything you need for your schedule. This includes areas for schedules (with the
dates and times), to-do lists, notes, goals, and other information that might be pertinent
to your planning.
Incorporate Journaling or Notes Pages
If you are customizing a planner, it is a great idea to have full notes pages or journaling
pages. This allows you to journal right in your daily planner so that you can benefit from
both of these methods to reduce your stress naturally and organically, without too much
Categorize Items Based on Priority
It can also help tremendously to set priorities for the tasks in your planner. This ensures
you know right away what you should work on first and what can wait a little while, as
well as helping to reduce stress if some of the low-priority tasks are not completed. You
already have it in your mind that they aren’t too important or urgent, so there is no need
to worry about it if they are put on a different day.
Have a Strategic Routine for Using the Planner
Like many other things in your life, it can help to turn something into a routine.
Otherwise, you are much less likely to be consistent with it. It does take some practice
to start a routine, but the more often you do it, the easier this will become. You may want to add a habit tracker to your planner and include the habit of using your planner!
If you are determined to make planning a part of your day, pick a location and time that
you think you will be more willing to do it and make that part of your routine. It can be in
the morning before getting ready for work, while you are enjoying your first cup of coffee
or tea, or even in the evening when preparing for the next day.
There are a few more things to keep in mind when using a planner:
Make sure to write down everything you need to do, including small tasks that you might not normally remember.
Prioritize your tasks and make sure to focus on the most important ones first.
Break down bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
Use different colors or symbols to indicate different types of tasks (e.g. work, personal, etc.).
Use your planner to consolidate all of your important information even if that means just including a log documenting where you have the information stored (think of how someone else may need to use the information if you were not available)
Finally, use your work hours to complete scheduled tasks and not just plan for them!