How To Start A Planner (And Actually Use It)

 

Have more peace and get more done. If you want to be more productive without extra stress, now’s the time to learn how to set up an agenda for success.

 

 

 

For entrepreneurs and other ambitious superstars with lofty goals, mental clutter stacks up quickly. Without a system to get it all down, you’re likely spending every day feeling like you’re drowning in tasks, running late to appointments, and not looking forward to another week of putting out fires.

 

This kind of chaos can wreak havoc on your confidence which leads to a downward spiral in motivation, lowering your confidence more in a vicious cycle of under performance, self-judgement, and procrastination.

 

With a planning agenda, you’ll know what to do and when to do it. Imagine that relief.

 

 

In addition to streamlining your life and business, you’ll also gain these benefits:

  • Peace of mind from knowing that nothing’s slipping through the cracks

  • Maximization of your productivity and getting more done in less time

  • Daily gratification from completing tasks that gamify your success

  • Clarifying what’s important and filling your life with what’s most meaningful to you

 

While planners can come off as rigid or confining, when used skillfully, they allow you to close out the day feeling good about your accomplishments. For those of us who push ourselves hard, this allows us freedom from anxiety and overwork.

 

Here are 3 easy steps to start getting your life and business organized with a planner:

 

 

 

1. PICK YOUR PLANNER

 

Choose an agenda or planner and get started. Try not to overcomplicate the selection. Go with what feels right. The real magic is in making it more and more effective through experimenting with what works best for you.

 

Other considerations include:

  • Daily or Weekly? Go with a daily agenda if your schedule is mostly time-based and a weekly if it’s task or project-based.

  • Size? If you plan to take it with you everywhere, be sure it’ll fit into your bag.

  • Extras? Space to write gratitude lists, wins, and what you learned for the day can help to keep you feeling good about your planner and using it every day.

 

Pro Tip: Add planning time to your morning and evening rituals. Whatever agenda you choose, if you want to change your life or business, you’ll have to use it consistently.

 

 

 

 

2. ADD IMPORTANT DATES

 

Start with what’s most important and add in all of your existing dates, appointments, and events.

 

Remember to add:

  • Birthdays

  • Appointments

  • Anniversaries

  • Events

  • Family schedules including kids’ school schedules, spouse’s important dates, and vacations

  • Other scheduled obligations

 

Pro-Tip: When scheduling, be sure to leave room for drive time, chatting, and Murphy’s Law. This extra padding will keep you feeling more relaxed rather than rushing from one appointment to another.

 

 

 

3. USE YOUR PLANNER SKILLFULLY

 

The better you use your agenda, the better your life and business will operate. While it’ll take time to hone your system to perfection, these guidelines will get you 80% of the way there:

 

  • Schedule Everything - If it’s not on the schedule, it’s not getting done.

  • Keep A Master To-Do List - To avoid overloading your schedule, add tasks from your to-do list to your agenda on a weekly or monthly basis.

  • Prioritize - Schedule only the tasks that are necessary to your success. Learn to say no to those things that don’t help you feel more fulfilled.

  • Add Fun - Don’t forget the fun stuff. Be sure to balance out the obligations of life with adventure.

  • Experiment - Highlight instead of checking off items, add sticky notes, leave funny comments for yourself. At the end of the day, use what works for you.

 

Pro-Tip: For recurring items, use sticky note page flags. You can move them around and they help color-code time blocks.

 

 

Success is a process of stacking one win on top of another. Starting an agenda is a win that brings you success, peace, and focus. Why not start stacking that win now?

 

 

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