Do you have a calendar? Either digital or by hand. More importantly: do you use it? By use it, I mean consistently and continuously update and check your notes and plans for the day/ week.
Keeping a calendar is crucial to getting your life in order. Just think about it. Have you forgotten about things or appointments, or almost forgotten and had to rush to get somewhere? Keeping a calendar can get rid of this stress in your life.
Writing things down help boosts your memory.
When it comes to your calendar you can use the good old fashioned agenda, or a digital calendar. Personally, I use both.
The advantage to having smart phones and entering your calendar digitally is that you can set your phone to remind you of whatever is on your calendar. Since our phones are almost always in our hands, so we always know what’s coming up so we don’t have to rush anywhere. Or when we get so into what we are working on, its a great reminder that we need to wrap up and start making our way to our next activity. Or pay our next bill.
Most importantly: my digital calendar and my paper calendar match. Always. I update one and I update the other.
My paper calendar also serves as my to do list. If I don’t write it down, it will never get done. If it needs to be done by a certain date – I set a reminder in my digital calendar to ensure that item gets checked off.
Take a look:
This is my calendar. I love this particular one that I have (purchased at The Container Store) because I was able to make it my own.
I like to have the month and the days broken up to make my daily/ weekly to do lists, and I wanted room to make lists – to buy, blog ideas, yoga sequences – and keep it all in one place. I have my calendar section, and then my dividers separated by its purpose. I can also easily keep my business cards safe and collect any notes that I might have throughout the day all in one place.
Now that we have decided what method you prefer (digital, handwritten, both), we have to find what works best for you. Now, it might seem odd to spend time thinking about organizing something simple like a planner, but if your planner/ calendar isn’t working for you, it’s easy to forget where you are supposed to be, or when you need to be there, and can added unnecessary stress to your life. We want to avoid that.
Here are some things to think about when picking out a physical planner:
- Do you like having the whole month in front of you at once with all your plans?
- Do you prefer it to be broken up by weeks so you have more room?
- Size: what works for you to carry around on a daily basis?
- Is there anything else you would like to have at your fingertips (i.e. note pages, address book, etc.)?
Onto our digital planner. Step one is easy because I recommend using Google calendar or the calendar on your phone.
- Do you want to color code each activity (i.e. work, exercise, bills due, appointments, etc.)? You could also color code by family member.
Since it is your planner it is up to you, but I highly recommend putting EVERYTHING on your calendar. Set up recurring reminders/ activities for when certain bills are due or monthly amounts will be auto debited out of your accounts.
Hold yourself accountable for everything that needs to be done and where you need to be. If the method you start using isn’t working for you, tweak it. Just because it is what you thought would work doesn’t mean that it will work. Try it and then continue to adjust to make it work for you!