Why I Finally Bought a Planner, and How it Can Help You, Too
I have never worked with a planner. In middle school they'd always hand out little agendas and to me, those were convenient spots were I could write down my homework. Unfortunately, two weeks into the school year I'd be scribbling my homework on little scraps of paper that would get lodged into the bottom of my backpack.
When it comes to organization, I'd what you'd call a hot mess. I've gotten better, but I still have nasty habits like not having planning out the storage in my house or not putting things back where they belong.
And for the longest time I was just as bad about my time.
The problem is that time mis-management takes away from my other valuable time, it creates stress and anxiety in my life, and ultimately costs me real money. Take, for instance, me not managing my time correctly on a Sunday evening. Sunday's are meal prep. (and church) days for me, and if I don't get those things done, I don't plan ahead on what I'll eat, which will increase my likelihood of ordering food and leave me with rotting food (all purchased with the most excellent of intentions) by the end of the week.
I've been there; in fact, I feel like that was my first year of teaching in a nutshell (that requires a separate entry).
So why did I buy a planner now, after so many years of failing?
Moreover, why did I decide to purchase the Leonie Dawson business, life, and daily planner set? For someone who was relying on memory and tiny scraps of paper, that sure is a big step.
It's because despite my bad habits, I do know one thing: all planner work and they have the potential to help you make the most out of your time so you can then enrich your personal life and your business.
The problem is that, for a planner to work, I actually would have to check it--daily.
Planners are living documents that need updating on a daily basis as our priorities and visions change. They are not simply tools to house appointments, but they are, essentially, life journals.
I came to this realization after consistently journaling (brief 6-sentence paragraphs, mind you) about the various personal development books I'd been reading. Each day I have the habit of reading personal development for 10 minutes and then jotting down my "big takeaway" in a little faux-leather journal my sister-in-law gave me on Christmas.
That little habit changed my life. That little habit made the lightbulb go off in my head: if reflecting on my personal development can change my actions on a daily basis, wouldn't I achieve the same goal by using a daily planner to help me track my goals?
And that's exactly what I've been doing. I've been using my life and business planner as a way to reflect and a way to begin and end my day: with looking back at what little victories I won, my setbacks, and how I can begin afresh the next day.
What is powerful about this is that this little process also allows me to keep track of whether or not I'm working towards my 12-Week goals. It helps me ask the question, "are you currently doing something that will actually move you forward, or are you just 'keeping busy?'"
The thing of it is, that in order for me to be successful at having a planner, I also needed to change my perspective of what a planner is for. For me to stick with it, it has to be meaningful to me, and perhaps that was the piece that was missing all along. Let's face it: excellent time-management means nothing if you don't have a compelling reason for doing it.
Stay tuned, for my next entry will be my review of the Leonie Dawson planner and how I'm using it to it's fullest capacity.