How to Reclaim your Planner Mojo?
After we were all forced to stay inside our four walls and do "nothing",
I came across many fella planner friends who are finding they lost their planning motivation as they don't know with what to fill their planner with. With no social events, work meetings or days out to plan, suddenly planning a day of laundry, binge watch or sleep is not that appealing anymore.
The first thing you need to remember is that a planner is a tool. It's not the ends but the means for you to live and achieve your best life.
In order to use this tool in the best way possible to maximise your time, your goals and your life, you need to get clear of your "Why" and your "How".
The context of "Why" to use a planner will vary from person to person. There are various areas of your life to consider such as work life, personal life, family, children, health and wealth goals when choosing a planner system, that's why what works for someone else, doesn't necessarily will wok for you. Therefore, it's very important to be clear of what you want to keep track of.In the World's situation now, do you find yourself needing to work from home? Do you need to schedule conference calls, client meetings, do reports or answer emails?
Are you homeschooling your children? Perhaps you need to block their study times, exercise, breaks and playtime. Are you keeping a routine for yourself and/ or your family? Are your partner working from home as well and both of you need to help each other taking turns to look after the children whilst the other one is working?
Are you blocking time for walks, fresh air/ outdoor time, meditation and exercise in order to keep a healthy mental health? What about meal planning and scheduling necessary grocery shopping trips?
Perhaps you are feeling too overwhelmed or you feel you are procrastinating lately. That is because you don't have a routine in place, something to challenge you and to keep track of different things you can do to avoid the sameness of the quarantine days.Once you realise what you need to keep track of, ask yourself what are you trying to aspire for your life in the future. It can be as simple as to finish a DIY project you longed to do and you would like to be finished when life goes back to normal. Perhaps a course you would like to enrol or a book you would like to write or learn a new skill. It can simply be what you want to do when this is all over- go to the seaside, travel, visit loved ones or eat at your favourite restaurant. Be clear of your final goal and break it up into small tasks you can work on a daily/ weekly basis that will bring you closer to achieve your aspirations.
photo from Oh! Good Idea
"How"Now that you are clear of you "Why", let's work on your "How".
There are numerous planner systems out there and you may find that a system that used to work well for you until recently, it's not working anymore. And that's OK. As our life changes, our priorities and our schedules require a change of planner systems too. That's why is so important to know your "Why", your purpose in order to adapt a new planner system that will work for you.Think about what do you like or prefer in your planner pages. Do you prefer a minimalist style or a more colourful one? How do you like to time block your schedule: monthly, weekly or daily? Perhaps, recently a daily layout was more needed for you but now that your life slowed down, a weekly or monthly layout makes more sense. Or maybe now with your children at home and the need to home school, a weekly layout has not enough space to schedule everything that's going on on your day.
The way you visualise the time is also something to consider. Do you prefer a vertical or horizontal layout? Do you prefer Monday or Sunday starts for your weeks? Do you need your planner to track time or tasks- or both?
Besides the layout, is it important that your planner has sections and extra space? You might want to track your exercise routine, water intake or your budget, so different sections might be something to consider. If you need to jot down lists or reminders or maybe journal about your day or your emotions or you want to record a gratitude log or positive affirmations and quotes, maybe extra pages is what you need.
Once you are clear about a system that will work for you based in your life needs, your purpose and your preferences, it's easier to shop for a planner that meet those requirements. You can also adapt your existing planner to your needs ( bullet journals, traveller notebooks, ring bound and disc bound planners can all be easily customised).
I hope this article was helpful and that you find your planning mojo again.
Remember that your planner has to work for you and not the other way round and that there isn't a right or wrong way of planning. Find your "Why", find your peace and keep the momentum going.