The Efficiency Of Planning

If you know me or if you have read some of my I Love Nice People social media or blog posts, you know I am a planner nerd. I remember purchasing my very first Lily Pulitzer planner before starting my freshman year of high school and feeling like I was finally a “big girl”. I had always seen my mom with an agenda and loved the idea of writing out my weeks and months. At the time it was me wanting to be more like my beautiful mom, now it is what I must do to stay sane.

Every Christmas since then, my most sought after Christmas gift I receive is my planner for the upcoming year. It is a fresh start, and the only thing that truly gets me motivated come January.

I have bounced from agenda to agenda trying to find the perfect one. While I have not found the Holy Grail agenda that I cannot live without, I have pinned down particular characteristic’s that I must have.

This year I did something a little different, and maybe a little over the top; I actually picked out two different planners. You may wonder why I need two different planners? Aren’t planners supposed to create less chaos, not more? Well, yes, let me explain.

Working from home, my biggest challenge is separating time for work and for personal chores like laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. I find myself working on I Love Nice People one minute, getting distracted, and three hours later I am laying on the floor surrounded by sparkly clean floors. I don't know how I get so distracted, but it is definitely an issue I have been dealing with since taking over I Love Nice People full time.

The planners I tend to gravitate towards are ones that have very little detail. I like simple one page per day planners with blank lines for me to fill. I am a list queen, and this space allows me to create my list for the day. There is one problem with that. My list is a combination of work life and personal life. I tend to flock towards my personal life items on the list more and neglect my work life items.

In comes my two-planner philosophy.

This year I thought I would test out having a different planner for work and personal life. For my work planner, I went against all self-norms and was gifted (thanks mom!) a very detailed (I’m talking scheduling by the hour plus so much more) Living Well Planner.

Each night I put my two planners side by side. In my personal one, I make a list of all life and household things I must do the next day. In my work planner, I schedule by the hour what I am going to do for I Love Nice People. While I am still in the trial period, I am beginning to love my over the top planning lifestyle. Something I have always struggled with is creating a normal “work day” for I Love Nice People. Many nights I find myself working in bed past midnight because I have done a terrible time management job throughout the day. With the Living Well Planner, I am able to set a solid work schedule (9 am to 6 pm has been the sweet spot) each day. I have specific tasks to complete each hour and this really helps me stay responsible for work. Between 9 am and 6 pm, I only have my work planner open which eliminates distractions. In fact, I keep my other planner out of site so it stays out of mind. Before 9 am and after 6 pm, I only have my personal planner open in order to get that list done.

Listen, I even was able to crack open a book in bed last night that I have been trying to read. That’s huge for me! Having my separate planners have made it possible for me to fall asleep at a decent time, read a book, and has dramatically decreased my daily stress and anxiety.

Do you find planners help you or stress you out more? I think the key to planners is keeping in mind that if you do not complete a task or if you are slightly off time, don't stress about it. They are loose plans for the day so you can visualize what you really need to do. Prioritize the most important tasks at the beginning of the day. Anything that is not completed (I always have at least two things I don't get to) can just roll over to the next day's priorities.

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