5 reasons your planner is failing you is for many wanna be planners. Let me help you become the planner you should be.
You bought the cutest life planner ever. Stickers, washi tape, and a set of really cool pens to go with your new cute planner. Sound familiar? You could barely contain yourself thinking how organized you will be with your time. Friends would be so impressed with how much stuff you get done in a day. Effortlessly!
Now months later, the cute life planner and it’s accessories, lay unopened in a drawer somewhere. Unused and untouched.
You had good intentions, right? I know you did. I have been there.
So what went wrong?
5 Reasons Your Planner Is Failing You
Using a planner takes discipline. It needs to become a habit. Second nature, like that first cup of coffee in the morning. The solution is to set a day and time on a weekly basis to plan the next 7 days. Whether you decide to plan your week every Sunday at 9:00 pm or Monday morning at 5:00 am. Be consistent. This must be done regularly to become a habit or the planner will remain in the drawer unused.
Select a quiet, distraction free area. Be it your office, bedroom or the kitchen table. Set a time that is also distraction free. You don’t want to start a planning session during the busiest time of day. When is the quietest time for you? Early morning, mid afternoon, late evening? This will be your planning time and place every week.
Let family members be aware that this is your time. Do not disturb. Allot yourself enough time to plan your week. Set a timer on your phone for XX amount of time. Let the family know how much time you need. When the timer on your phone goes off, stop. If you aren’t finished, then you aren’t finished. You will give yourself more time next week.
This is a learning process. You need to make adjustments as you go before planning your week becomes an easy routine.
The Blank Pages Are Overwhelming
Just staring at a blank page can be enough to shut the planner up entirely. What do you fill all those empty boxes with?
First off you need an outline. Just like being in school and having to write a report. Sketch a brief outline of what you want to accomplish with your planner.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Special events such as birthdays, anniversaries and school events.
- Appointments like doctor, dentist, hair and nail
- Date night
- Meal planning
- Pay day
- Bill due dates
- Daily fitness goals
- Track water intake
- Budgeting money
Now take those ideas and plug them into those little boxes. So, you do not need to fill in every box. It is fine to have white space. You can always use stickers to fill in the empty spaces.
Do not use full sentences, use abbreviations. This is your planner and you are the only one who needs to understand it. If a one word description makes sense to you, do it. For the longest time I thought I had to use full sentences to get my meaning across. There just isn’t room for full sentences. Use what makes sense to you.
You Are Using The Wrong Planner For You
First of all, the format of a planner is very important. There are so many options available.
- Monthly planners
- Weekly planners with vertical spaces
- Weekly planners with horizontal spaces
- Hourly planners for those needing to be more specific
- Bullet journal
- Printable planners
Therefore, your planner can be simple or full of details. Are you comfortable with just a notebook? Do you need hourly accountability? Try a few different formats. You could even draw one out to see what works.
Or search Pinterest for some free printables. Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration. Follow my pinterest board for planner ideas.
I use the Happy Planner because it allows me to customize it. I like to add pages. The Happy Planner uses the arc system which allows you to add or take out pages without a ring binder. Check it out here.
You can read more on my review of the Happy Planner in this post.
Seems Like A Planner Is Another Boring Chore
Perhaps this could be true. Yet, it all depends on the above idea of making time to plan. By allowing yourself the ability to sit down and actually fill in this planner, you will find planning in itself becomes enjoyable. Knowing the amount of stress this will alleviate simply by knowing what and when stuff will get done.
Remember those cute stickers and cool pens? This is when the fun comes together with the planner. Use those stickers to accent certain events or important due dates. Have fun with decorating. Pick a color scheme or theme. Options to fill those boxes are abundant.
Stamping with ink is really big also. Joanns and Michaels both carry lots of planner stamps. Hobby Lobby does, too.
Those cool pens can color code what deem to be essential. Such as one color can be for bills, another for daily activities and another for goals. You see where I am going with this. Make your planner pretty. It doesn’t have to be elaborate.
As a result, your planner needs to work for you.
You Forgot You Even Own A Planner
This could very well be the heart of the problem of not planning. Bring your planner out of the drawer. Open it up.
Leave your planner open. Do not put it away.
Out of sight, out of mind. That has been a problem for me. I need to see my planner. Daily. Then everything with my planner falls int place. Especially when using all the above ideas.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
In conclusion, if you don’t plan your time, someone or something else will.
There are so many things that are asking for your time. You need to narrow your focus. Planning your day will instantly do that. Allowing you to say no to those actions that are not planned for. Not to say you shouldn’t build some flexibility into your day. But be reassured that structure will allow you to say no when you absolutely have not one extra minute. You will be less stressed and able to do more.
So, get out that planner.