Planning. Routine. Schedules. Lists.
Some of the most delicious words in the human vocabulary if you ask me!
I absolutely adore organizing my life into blocks of time and bulleted to-dos. It’s ridiculously satisfying and it honestly brings me great joy. One of my favourite parts of the week is sitting down on Sunday afternoons with a cup of tea and my planner to visualize and maximize the week ahead.
I thrive on routine. Over the last few years, I’ve learned this about myself. I am happiest when I consistently get to sleep by 10pm, wake up at 6am, do yoga each morning and walk to work. I feel most productive with my plan mapped out in front of me so I always know what I need to be doing and when. I love scheduling everything from downtime to meals to housework.
Now, I realize that maybe not everyone is quite so meticulous (read: obsessive) with the whole scheduling thing as I am. I truly enjoy creating a detailed itinerary for myself every single week. But even for those who aren’t planners at heart, creating a schedule that works for you has benefits:
- It helps you make the most of your time. With a plan in place for what you need to get done and when you need to do it, you’ll be more mindful of how you spend your time and thus more productive. Writing things out helps cement them in your brain, and logging your intentions subconsciously encourages you to get more done.
- It helps you stay organized. Having your schedule laid out in front of you allows you to see your tasks and commitments at a glance. If you’re anything like me, you’ve constantly got a million thoughts running through your head – so much so that when someone asks you if you’re free on Thursday night, you honestly can’t remember. Enter: day planner filled with every detail of every appointment and task ever in your life.
- It helps you work toward your goals. Like I said earlier, writing down your plans and intentions helps embed them into your mind. By doing this, you keep the things you want to achieve and the actionable steps to getting there at the forefront of your subconscious. Without even trying, you’ll be more likely to cross things off your list, almost automatically getting you closer to accomplishing your goals.
- It helps you feel your best. An ideal daily or weekly plan includes not only your tasks, commitments and goals, but also the practices that keep you healthy and full of the energy you need to tackle them. By mapping out your eating, sleeping, exercise and self-care schedule, and sticking to it, you reinforce in your own brain that it’s important to take care of yourself as well.
If you’re looking to up your planning game and reap the benefits of a little more life organization, I have suggestions!
By far the best resource in my arsenal of scheduling tools is my Passion Planner. This thing is amazing – not only does it have an amazing setup for daily, weekly and monthly planning and to-do lists, it prompts you to log the good things that happen throughout your week, to reflect on what you have done well and what you want to improve each month, and to get intentional about the goals you want to achieve. Highly recommend.
While I truly love my Passion Planner, it’s a pretty substantial piece of equipment. I have the large version, and although it provides a full double-page letter-sized spread for my planning extravaganzas each week, it’s not exactly purse-portable. You can certainly opt for the smaller size (which is also great – I’m not going to lie, I have one of those, too…), or you can have a few intermediary materials at the ready.
What do I mean by this? Well, I find it helpful to carry a thin Moleskine notebook and pen with me all the time. This way I can jot down any random thoughts, ideas or reminders I have so I’m sure not to forget them, and I can keep a copy of my to-do lists with me at all times. I love these because they’re both lightweight and durable, which is key when they’re constantly being tossed into one bag or another!
I also use the Wunderlist app on my iPhone, which is helpful to quickly add a task to the queue or keep track of things like grocery lists and meal plans (and a running tab of all of the clothes I want to buy!). It’s easy to use and nothing feels better than checking off a bunch of those bullets!
These additional tools allow me to travel light when I’m on the go, but give me a place to dump my thoughts so I don’t miss anything. I routinely review any new notes in Wunderlist and my notebook and transfer anything important into my Passion Planner.
I know it may sound like a bit of a complex system, but being prepared makes a world of difference in my life. I feel so much less stressed and I’m much less worried about forgetting something or losing my train of thought. This setup probably won’t work for everyone, but with that said, giving some thought to how you want to organize your own schedule and which tools will help you do it can really make everything run more smoothly. And who doesn’t want to make life just a little bit easier?
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write these reviews or endorse any of the products above. All of the opinions expressed are my own.