So, you got your Bullet Journal (or any other planner) and now you’re ready to start scheduling and controlling your life! Yipee! Well, first of all – welcome to the community! Believe me it’ll be great and take you far. But whether you plan your day or try to organize your working schedule, it’s important to do it the right way.
Ok, maybe the right way is kind of too strong of a word. What I mean is, there are certain guidelines you gotta follow to make sure you plan better and in a more productive way. Check 10 of these here below to get you started on your planning journey.
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Set Your Planning Goals
Before you even get a journal, think about why. Why do you want to start planning, what are your goals? It’s important to have it all cleared out. You have to want it and be interested in it yourself. If you’re just joining on the trend, this definitely will not stick and might not be that effective.
You don’t have to spend hours decorating your planner or anything like that. But two things you do have to do – first, write down your goals. Once written down, they become a part of the plan and even on subconscious level you will be working on achieving them. Second – you have to always check with your monthly / yearly goals. In my journal I have yearly goals, quarter goals and monthly goals.
Formulate Your Tasks In An Easy Way
Make sure you write down your tasks as easy as possible. And most of all – write it in actionable steps. For example don’t write “study for exam”, say “read and make notes on chapter 2-3 from that and that book”. When you look at your to do list you have to know exactly what to do, not just a vague suggestion. That’s how procrastination starts people! Which brings me to…
Now that you have your goals set and the tasks written down, it’s important to remember to write down results of your efforts. Checking monthly or quarterly achievements will help you to see where you are on the way to your goal and keep you motivated to move further. You can check up on yourself as often as you want. I used to do it weekly, but due to lack of time I had to switch to a monthly basis. Without these checks your planning will have no result!
Planning has to be a part of your life. You missed a day or a week? Just do it. It doesn’t matter if you have to plan it in 5 minutes on a post-it, because it’s always better to have a hastily written plan than not at all. You have to develop a habit of systematic planning. The more time you procrastinate your planning, the less you’ll be planning in the future and well, the results will be minimal.
Prioritize Your Tasks
The day just has 24 hours in it, so we need to plan it the best possible way. Make sure you have your priorities straight! Yes we know there are many little things you HAVE to do: cooking, cleaning, groceries and such. But these you’ll do anyways. What’s important is to make sure you include daily something for you to get closer to your goal! That way the daily routine won’t suck out all your productivity and you’ll keep moving towards your goal, slowly, yes, but steady.
Learn To Forgive Yourself
Like I mentioned before, it’s important to keep planning and try not to miss a day. But plan is an instruction, and life happens. So sometimes thing will just not happen according to plan. Or you won’t have time to plan. It’s important to keep up with your planning habit and try to make it all happen, but the other important thing, is to forgive yourself when it doesn’t happen. You missed a day – ok it happens, just try to do better tomorrow!
Give Your Head A Break
Your planner is a place to write down not only your to do’s, but also thoughts and ideas. So don’t forget to do this as well. When you put your ideas on paper, you let your brain flow further and come up with something new. Moreover it’s really a good exercise to lower your stress levels. You can read more about it here.
Plan Rest Time
Yes, most of us start planning to be more productive. A lot of people (me included) take it as “plan as much as you can and do it all in one day!” This as I’ve learnt pretty fast leads you to a burnout. Your goals won’t be achieve and you’ll need to lay back for a while and recover. So make sure you don’t overdo your productivity planning. Plan some time to relax, recover, and get back the energy to fight another day.
Give A Try To Different Systems
There are many ways to plan your days, so don’t be afraid to try them out and find the perfect one for you! Some people prefer Bullet Journal, for others a pre-made Moleskine works the best. Or maybe you are a digital person and you can just be happy planning in Excel of maybe Trello. Try out and find what helps you to be more organized.
So here are my 10 tricks to plan like a boss! What have you learn from your planning experience? What are some tips you could share? Looking for your comments below!
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