Using a Planner to Be More Efficient

Using a Planner to Be More Efficient

As many people are working from home these days, you may find that your work, school, and home life are all becoming intertwined. You may try to accomplish a little work from each area of your life but feel like nothing is actually getting done. Often, at the end of the day, you realize that you didn’t do the things you intended. Perhaps those feelings of failure even prevent you from sleeping at night.

Planners are a great tool for increasing your productivity. Developing a planner habit can be the key to preventing unnecessary stress, and it can also keep you from missing important deadlines and milestones.

To get started, browse through a couple planners online and find one that suits your needs. I find that weekly planners are the best for breaking down day-to-day tasks. If you don’t see one with a format that works for you, don’t be scared to make your own with an old notebook and some markers. You can unleash your artistic side while also designing something that is practical.

Write Down Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Event Dates

A lot of us are having an increasingly hard time with keeping the days straight lately. To prevent your days from running together and forgetting an important date, take a few minutes to input your friends and families’ birthdates, anniversaries, and event dates like graduations and holidays. Don’t know them off the top of your head? Take this time to connect with that family member who keeps up with all those dates.

Create a (Reasonable) Daily To-Do List

Crossing off an item from a to-do list is one of life’s many pleasures, especially if it’s something you’ve been needing to do for a while. Create a morning habit of listing out a few things you need to get done each day. Keep it reasonable and take time to go through your planner at the end of the day to cross off what got done.

What about things that didn’t get done? Use an arrow to move them to the next day, and add it to tomorrow’s list.

Break Up Projects

Don’t expect to immediately dive into a big project like a building a shed. Instead of writing “build shed” as a task, break the project up into smaller chunks, like “sketch out a shed design” or “purchase paint.”

It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of things to do these days. Reflect on your planner from time to time, and decide if the things that are using up your time are worth doing. For example, do you need to see two movies a week with your friends, or could you just see one? Do you need to do both a Zumba and Pilates class?

By writing out how you’re spending each day, you will begin to cull your tasks until you’re left with the most essential ones. You’ll feel both more productive and less overwhelmed.

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