I feel less stress. I am better able to focus on the most important tasks. I feel more accomplished. I am less distracted by other shiny things (like Facebook, non-important emails, or surfing the internet).
So, what kind of planner do I have? Well, I have tried a few different planners and they didn't really have the elements I wanted. So, I created my own with the elements that are important to me.
Let me first say that I keep my calendar on my computer using Google calendar. I keep my master to do lists in a program called Trello. However, even with these electronic tools, I find that I personally do better when I synthesize the information and put it all down on paper so I know what my day looks like.
For the planner page I created, here are the sections that I have:
- Hourly Schedule - I like to have a schedule divided in half-hour segments so that I can see WHEN I need to do certain tasks during the day. Usually I do this first. I write in what must be done from my electronic calendar so I can lock in those time slots (such as an appointment I have, when I need to pick up the kids, etc.) I also sometimes use this to set TIMERS on my phone so that I don't lose track of time and miss an appointment.
- Push Goals - These are three small tasks (usually 5-15 minutes) that move the needle forward on the most important priorities in my life. If you want to learn more about this concept, I got it from the book Push by Chalene Johnson.
- Tasks - Then I create a list of tasks I need to accomplish for the day. I look at my electronic to do list in Trello and also the papers piled on my desk and write a list of tasks I need to complete for that day.
- Gratitude and Affirmation - I like to keep my mindset in a positive space so I have a spot to write down three things I'm grateful for, an affirmation for the day, and a list of what would make that day great. I learned these principles from The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day.
- Lifestyle and Health - And lastly, I have a section that focuses on my health and well-being. I write down my planned exercise, my meal plan, and how much sleep I got.
So, there you have it! That's how I plan my day and what I consider each morning to map out my plans. Now that I'm writing this blog post I'm realizing how important it is for me to make this a priority almost everyday.
It leads to more productivity, more happiness, and a better organized day!