I’ve said countless times before that I’m not really good at planning with a planner. And I’m sure I’ll say it many times more… I mean, once I actually get the motivation to plan something out, there’s the problem of following through…. *ugh*. I know it’s a discipline issue, which is why I’m making myself do better!
But another side to keeping a planner is accepting that sometimes you just cannot follow a certain plan, because of life and there’s nothing you can do about that. However, my laziness and honest-to-goodness-I-can’t-help-it run together a lot of the time…. (#pathetic, I know) Alright, enough confession, here’s what I’m doing to plan more efficiently!
I used to get cheap planners because why spend extra money when you can just get the basics?? That’s all you need, right? Well true but, I actually got a $10 planner for once– yes, that’s expensive folks, even though I wasn’t spending my own money on it– and not only is it aesthetic but it actually has some helpful features, plus if you get a nice student planner it’s almost like a book of cheat sheets…
Okay, getting to the manual labor part– if you ‘plan ahead’, like too far ahead you run into a whole lot of life interruptions and they throw you off course (which I’ve learned the hard way) especially when you’re lazy, right? Like, once you get knocked off why bother the hassle of getting back on? Just take five and have an unplanned pizza party! Yes, I do take my own advice– that’s why we’re here….
SO, I try to only plan about a two or three weeks ahead. If I have ‘solid events’, meaning, things I have to do on a specific date every day/week/month (like school: off days, field trips, etc.) then I’ll go ahead and plan that as far up as I can.
Which brings me to color code! It’s a pain in the rear to try to write down an event every day/week/month, especially when you sit down for a ‘planning session’… I think a lot of people think of color coding when they use a bullet journal, but it’s just as useful with a planner. I use the back of the front cover of my planner (wow, that was a mouthful…) to create my color key on. When I’m actually using the color code, I just put a dot or square in the top left corner of the date box. You can choose whatever corner you like, of course, and that’s how I keep it neat– that’s another must-do-better topic, but I’ll save that for later!
Next, pen looks good but use pencil on the events that are likely to change and if you can help it, don’t take on too many things. Make sure you give yourself space to rest! It’s critical. I actually don’t struggle too much with that– I should probably pick up more things to do but hey, baby steps!
Really, the biggest thing, like I said before is just follow through. (Ouch). If you plan it, do it. Don’t put it off, because it comes naturally and it’s easy to chuck the whole thing aside if you keep intentionally missing things. Also, set a time to write new things in your planner. Doing all at once makes you feel like you don’t have to pick your planner back up because everything is already filled in, but honestly filling in is only half of your battle. Took me a while to accept that. Your planner should be more than another aesthetic piece in your room!
And honestly, I think the most foolproof way to plan is to write things down as you learn about them. If you don’t have your planner always on hand (because who does? O.o) use your phone’s notes app, or do it the old fashion way and grab a pen, and paper, or napkin if you’re not near paper.
Now it’s your turn to talk! Are you good at keeping and following your planner? What’s something you struggle with following through on? We all have those things… let me know in the comments!