It’s easy to tell ourselves that we’ve got our hectic lives organised. We have electronic diaries to help us coordinate our meetings and smartphones to remind us of important events. Even social media tells us our friend’s birthdays so we don’t need to remember them. However, even with the smartest technology available to help when juggling work meetings, social events, birthdays and household errands this too can begin to have a negative effect on our minds.
Planning with pen and paper may sound old fashioned but it is one of the most effective ways to transform a hectic, unorganised life into a productive and successful one.A daily productivity planner can change your life.
‘The sooner you start planning your life, the sooner you will live the life you dream of.’
If you are like me and are guilty of using several different notebooks and pieces of paper for your lists, then get worked up trying to remember which list is for what, stop immediately! We need to think simple when it comes to effective and productive planning. It is more productive to use a daily productivity planner for everything. A plain notebook to start with will work well or you can find specially designed planner or journal to guide you along the way.
The first step to being more productive at planning is to create a routine. Set aside ten or fifteen minutes each day write down your plans. Some find the best time to do this is in the morning so they’re motivated for the day ahead. Others will find it more useful to plan in the evening to reflect on the day and set goals for the day ahead ready for a fresh start.
As it is important to have daily plans, it is just as paramount to have weekly, monthly yearly and even long term plans. With long-term goals, planning backward can help you stay focused on those goals daily. By planning for the week, month and year ahead, it’s also less likely that things will catch you unawares, leaving more of your energy to not only enjoy life but also to deal with the unexpected with as little stress as possible.
‘Planning is bringing the future into the present, so that you can do something about it now.’
One fantastic way of planning is using what’s known as a bullet journal, a system of organising all your lists, plans and thoughts into one place which was developed by a very talented and creative guy called Ryder Carroll. You can tailor the journal in a way that specifically works for you, there are not strict rules or instructions about how to bullet journal, just guidelines.
‘The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.’
Kara discusses on her blog Boho Berry about how she began bullet journaling and used it to transform her life from being busy, unorganised and messy to being productive, inspired and beautiful.
‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Whichever way you decide to plan and no matter what system you decide to use, it’s important to remember that productivity planning isn’t just about getting organised. The benefits go beyond remembering your brother-in-law’s birthday or getting all your chores done. Through planning and organisation and by using an effective method, you will take daily steps to achieve your goals. Goals that at first might have seemed impossible.
Productivity planning will keep you motivated and is a fantastic tool to use when reflecting on your progress. It will keep your mind focused and clear, reduce your stress levels and ultimately help you lead a more productive and fulfilled life.
Grab yourself a journal, keep it simple – and have fun!