As the saying goes, "The first step to owning the year is to have a plan". It's the middle of November and in no time we will be ushering in the new year. It is definitely time to activate our planning mode and get planning for the coming year!
While planning may be time-consuming and intricate, it poises us for the long haul. Ever since planning became customary for me, not only have my productivity increased a hundredfold, I have also found myself to be more prudent, organised and confident. Planning helps us visualise and scrutinise our lives a month, a week, or even a day at a time. By laying out realistic expectations for the week, prioritising and developing a suitable plan of action, we are able to work with a clear direction and accomplish much more with confidence and tenacious ardor. If you think about it, that is pretty life-changing.
Here are 5 things about planning:
Get in a Routine
Set a suitable time in your day for planning. A quiet time alone would be best as you want to be completely focused so you won't leave things out. For me, its either Sunday nights or Monday mornings before I start knocking myself out with work.
If you're new to planning, choose a trigger that will help you remind you to do this until it becomes a habit. For example, if you plan on the breakfast table, the breakfast table is your trigger. It is the thing that reminds you to pull out your planner and get planning. Find a creative way to create a bond between breakfast and planning.
Prioritise the big important things and de-prioritise the unnecessary. Slot in the details as you go along. Remember to highlight the things you are likely to forget.
Leave Space for Spontaneity
Because life is unpredictable, it is important to leave space for the unexpected. Packing up your schedule and over planning can be exhausting and demotivating. It suffocates the flexibility to explore all the beautiful surprises life has to offer and to live life to the fullest.
When I first started working with a plan, I catch myself vegetating as I try to remember what I have to do before I remember that I actually have it all written down. Put it some where visible and make it a point to intentionally refer to it. On days when I run errands in high gear, I refer to my to-do list and plan my route before heading out.
Use a Suitable Planner
It is important to know what planning style and tool works best for you. It may be a book form planner that you carry with you in your handbag or a loose sheet that you slot in your pocket and run out the door, or a weekly or monthly layout. Choose a planning technique that best suits you, that is fuss-free and motivating.
I use both the weekly and monthly layouts as they both have their own unique functions. I use the monthly layout to fill in big general things, and the weekly layouts to keep track of the little details.
I hope you found this post helpful. Have a beautiful weekend! :)