If I asked you to open your calendar and pick a random work day, could you tell me what your priority was for that day? Would you know if you accomplished it? If you’re shaking your head, you’re not alone.
It's hard to keep up with everything going on in our lives at any given point of time, and can be even more challenging to stay focused on our priorities when we are bombarded by a million things at work and home, not to say all the distractions constantly "attacking" our ability to concentrate and stay focused.
That is why my planner has become my best friend. Take a look at the reasons why everyone–including you–should start using a planner.
Planners will help you . . .
Improve time management
Do you find that there is never enough time for everything? If so, it is probably because you are not scheduling your time effectively. This happens when you just run constantly, going from one thing to the next, without really thinking about everything as a whole. Using a planner allows you to schedule each event, appointment, errand, and task, so that you know what to expect and don’t run out of time.
Boost your productivity
This is important for your personal and professional life. While many people think of productivity as it relates to their job, you also want to be productive at home. Planners help you to stay on track with each individual task you need to complete, and encourages you to move on to the next one effectively and efficiently.
Did you know that multi-tasking can decrease productivity by 40%? Task-switching is really common amongst people who wants to get loads done in a short space of time…only to find that they have completed no tasks at all. Using a planner will help you dedicate a specific amount of time to one task at a time and work at it until it’s fully complete.
Build strong time management habits
By using a planner on a daily basis you’ll develop a routine of managing your tasks, tracking your goals and monitoring your progress…which if done consistently over time, will become a great habit to possess!
Help you increase your ability to stay focused
we talked about how in today's world our attention is under constant attack, and it's easy to lose focus on our priorities. Whatever your priorities may be, try writing them in a planner, alongside the dates you want achieve them by will give you the focus, determination and drive your need to make it happen. The are studies that confirm that writing your priorities down increases by 42% the changes of you actually accomplishing them.
Can provide excellent stress relief
Stress has many forms, but a common denominator is the feeling of being overwhelmed. You are often stressed due to a hectic schedule, having too many demands, or just putting too much on your plate? Using a daily planner will enable you to keep everything in one place, making all your activities much easier to view, monitor and manage effectively.
Get more out of each day!
When you’ve got so much to do, you can easily fall victim to being very busy but not actually achieving anything at all. When you use a daily planner you can specifically plan your day right down to the very last second. Each of your tasks can have set timescales and you can plan breaks through the day, so you know exactly how your time is being used – and on what.
Improve your memory
When you use a daily planner, you’ll improve your memory in 2 significant ways:
1. Writing things down usually helps you remember them
2. Forming a daily habit of using a daily planner makes for easier information recall
Increase your feeling of accomplishment
How many days, after having a really busy day, you go to bed feeling you didn't accomplished anything. I've been there, and I hate that feeling. One key benefit of using a daily planner is how satisfying it feels marking all your tasks as complete at the end of each day. Each time you complete an activity you will feel closer to achieving your goals. Ultimately people who plan are far more successful than people who don’t, regardless of how you define success.
How to take the most out of using a planner?
Ok, hopefully by now I convince you on how a planner can help you increase your productivity, your sense of fulfilment, your focus and memory. You might be thinking that is is all great but how and where to get started. Many people attempts to use a planner and end up giving up a few weeks after starting. Here are some tips that have helped me take the most out of using my planner.
Use one and only one planner. We all play many roles in our lives. I am a wife, mom, friend, HR professional, coach, member of my community, writer, podcaster, etc. One big mistake I've witness people making when using a planner is keeping separate planners for the different roles in their lives. They have a work planer, a family calendar / planner, a personal one, etc. In order to get all the benefits we talked about above, it's imperative that you use one and one one planner that encompasses all roles you play in your life.
Have your planner with you at all times. This can be sometimes challenging but in today's world it has become easier. Using a digital planner you can carry your planner with you in our phone, which I bet you carry with you every day, everywhere.
Use your planner to set priorities. personally every morning I identify what I refer to as "non-negotiables", these are the 3 things I want to accomplish that day, or in other words my priorities. My digital planner has a place to do this. This helps me to stay focused during the day and feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Use your planer as a place for inspiration. A planner is not just a place to check things off and see what time you need to be somewhere. It should be a place that houses inspiration as well. One of the things I always write in my own planner is a quote, mantra on empowering belief to guide me through my day.
Build self-reflection in your planner. I personally like to do this every week, month and quarter. Having all your information in one place makes it easier to reflect back and learn from your accomplishments but also from your challenges, struggles and setbacks. Your planner not only can be a tool to help you be more efficient, but also can be a great self-development tool to help you grow.
Over the years I've tried many different planners. There has been things is every of those planners that I absolutely loved and others that didn't worked for me, so I decided to create my own planner, incorporating all the elements and tools that have helped through the years be more efficient and effective.