Planners are an incredible tool for not only organization but also productivity. However, I have heard from so many people recently that their planner doesn’t seem to help their productivity. Which is why I am excited to share my tips for how to use a planner to sky rocket productivity. Because I truly believe in the benefits of using a planner including for boosting productivity.
Before we jump fully into this post I want to share a couple of the other benefits of using a planner as well. To help you fully understand the importance of using a planner!
Benefits of using a planner:
- The first benefit is that it can help really keep you organized. This is probably the most obvious benefit but it is so important.
- Planners also help you stay focused and on track with your life.
- Using a planner can help you achieve more of your goals by keeping you on track with the smaller, actionable steps.
- The final benefit I want to mention is that using a planner regularly can help give you some mental clarity. Which is such a wonderful benefit of using a planner.
Now let’s get into this guide so you can learn how to use a planner to boost productivity!
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How To Use A Planner To Sky Rocket Productivity
Tips for using a planner to boost productivity:
Tip 1: You need the right planner.
Planners and planning is totally personal and dependent on what is going on in your life.
At different phases in my life I have used different planners and it took awhile to find the best one for my current phase in life.
Take the time to do some research on all of the different planners you are interested in and think about how you like to organize. I really like to break things in my life up into different categories which is why the vertical layout Erin Condren Life Planner works the best for me.
But if you prefer more of a list style planner then this Bright Day Checklist planner might be better for you!
So do some digging and find the right planner for you. If you are using a planner that doesn’t work for your life then you are going to be less likely to stick to it and it won’t help you be as organized as you could be.
Tip 2: Don’t be afraid to try different planning systems.
The final of the planner tips for beginners that I am talking about today is reminding you to not be afraid of different planning systems.
If you tried doing an hourly planner and it doesn’t seem to be working for you then try a new system. If a system isn’t working for you don’t feel obligated to stick to it.
Trial and error is going to happen at the beginning of becoming a planner and that is normal and okay! And chances are when you are planning in a few years your life may have changed and your planning system will change. Don’t be afraid of new planning systems and styles!
Tip 3: Add lists to your planner.
Putting to-do and to-buy lists in your planner is incredibly helpful but you need to actually keep up with the lists so they can help boost productivity.
Cross things off when they are done. Actively add to the lists. Check a couple times a day to see your progress on a to do list. To make your planner work for you, then you need to keep up with it.
And I promise once you get into the habits of using your planner it will become normal for you.
Some lists are also way more helpful than others. I wrote up 25 Helpful Lists for Planner Girls that are lists that are decently easy to stick to.
Tip 4: Plan for in between and down times
This tip is one you will want to slowly work on as you work on planning your days for improved productivity.
It’s easy to plan your day by including essential tasks and scheduled meetings and events.
But in order to really improve your daily productivity through planning you will need to eventually learn to also plan for your buffer times and down times.
If your day involves a lot of driving to and from places you will need to plan for those times to be realistic about what your day looks like. (P.S if you want a more productive commute time then read this).
You will also need to learn to plan for down times. No one can or should be constantly productive for 16+ hours a day. Down time is essential so you can avoid burning out!
Tip 5: Set daily goals in your planner
Goals are an incredibly helpful way to keep you focused, efficient, and motivated which all lead to you being more productive.
A big key to this helpful step is to not to forget about smaller goals. If you neglect to think about smaller goals then they are less likely to actually be accomplished which can diminish your daily productivity.
An example of daily goals include:
– Workout 30 minutes
– Sweep the downstairs floors
– Prep tomorrow’s lunch
Writing down what you want to accomplish helps you not forget anything and keeps you on track because you can plan your day and estimate how long you need to accomplish things. I also love the feeling of crossing things off your daily goals list!
Full guide on writing daily goals: How to Make an “Every Day Goals” List
Tip 6: Pick a day of the week to set up your planner
Setting a specific day and ideally time each week to do your planner can end up making or breaking your planner success.
If you are just doing your planner setup for the week whenever you have time you may find yourself not actually making time to set it up. So make it a routine!
For me it works the best to set it up on Sunday afternoon which helps me be able to jump into Monday morning full speed ahead. However, a lot of people prefer to set theirs up Monday morning or even Friday evening before the weekend starts.
Your day will also vary based off your job and/or school schedule. If you have a more unique life schedule then consider getting a planner without set dates on the top so you can fill them in. For example, when I worked in hotel operations I had a year where my “week” started on Tuesdays so I set my planner up Tuesday mornings.
Tip 7: Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your planner when needed
This is something I talk about a lot when it comes to routines and productivity. Because things change and your life is constantly evolving which means re-evaluation is essential.
For a new daily planning system like this I recommend re-evaluating after 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and then any time you have a major life change.
Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your system and process even if it used to work for you. Life changes happen and that means you need to make sure your planning routines and systems still work for you!
Let’s get social!
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