Planners are great tools to help you stay organized.
From school schedules to pedicures, you’re able to make room for the things you care about most.
Let’s make this quick
I try to make my planning routine as simple as possible.
Recently, I’ve discovered the power of planning on a monthly basis.
I don’t want, nor have the time, to sit down every single day and write down a plan for the next.
I’d much rather already have a plan in place and adjust as I go.
And by creating a guide to follow on a larger scale, I don’t feel overwhelmed by all the things I’ve committed my time to.
A 3 STEP PROCESS
In order for you to get the most out of using calendars, you have to be consistent with it.
Meaning, you have to carve out time to actually plan out your to-dos.
Here’s what that cycle looks like.
The cycle starts off with a new event, that event gets added to the calendar, and ultimately signals something to be executed.
The ultimate goal here is to spend more time in the execution stage than the other two.
In this case, digital calendars will be the best option.
Planning done simply
1. Create a list.
Jot down important events for the month ahead. For example:
2. Create calendars.
For each of the main categories, like the list above, turn them into their own little calendar.
You can color code these too!
3. Plug them in.
Start in month view and create an event for each item.
Both Google Calendar and iCal allows you to create repeating events, so you don’t have to make 5 entries for the same thing.
4. Add subtasks for deadlines/multi-step tasks.
Switch between monthly and weekly views while doing this.
For big tasks, you want to start with your end goal (the day you want to complete the task) and work your way backwards (which are the steps you need to take to complete the task).
Those steps will become additional entries that you can place in the days/weeks beforehand.
With your other commitments in view, you’ll be able to see when and where you’ll be able to work on these.
Zoom in to see the examples below:
5. Time block.
Notice how I created sections for each task listed above?
This allows you to focus on one specific thing during one specific time frame.
Be sure to add some cushion for breaks or any unexpected disruptions.
And when you need to make those adjustments, the blocks can be moved around so easily!
And just like that you’re ready to execute!
Your planner probably won’t stay the same until the end of the month.
Just check in with yourself at the end of each week and see how things went, what you were able to accomplish, what changes you need to make for the week ahead, etc.
Then, make adjustments as you go.
If you use a planner, let me know if you prefer physical, digital, or both (like me) in the comments.