Working 7 days a week, juggling 2 jobs and trying to maintain a social life can be tricky, and that’s where planning and scheduling is key. Whether it’s writing down your weekend shifts, or what time your meeting the girls for dinner, if you’re busy, it’s essential to keep track of where you should be, and at what time, or what tasks you have to complete within a given timeframe. Specifically when it comes to blogging, scheduling is a big part of blogging life, setting deadlines for posts, deciding when they’ll go live, it’s not simply about writing the post, there’s a lot more that goes into it than meets the eye.
As a previous student I’d spend hours looking for the perfect planner, eventually purchase it, use it excessively for the first couple of weeks and then it’d be forgotten about and at the bottom of my bag forever more. Would it make any difference if I got to personalise my own planner? Let’s find out. I was given the opportunity by Personal Planner to create my very own planner and eagerly clicked onto their website to get started. Hosting a bright and colourful website, I clicked on the ‘start here’ button and my personalising journey began. I chose the square planner and got designing my front and back cover, the inlay design, the modules, back pages, such that I could add in sudoku, maps, even a colouring book, I completed the owner info page and even got to pick the colour of my elastic closure, everything really was very personal. It’s not just a case of designing the front cover, you have a say in how every part of the planner looks. The planner comes with a ruler, plastic sleeve and stickers so you’re not short of any accessories that’s for sure. I’ve never had as much fun as I did creating this planner so couldn’t wait for it arrive and get my use out of it.
When it arrived I was so happy with how it turned out and got filling out each day with things I knew I would or should be doing. Now since I’ve been getting into the habit of using my planner I thought I’d post some tips on how to use a planner effectively, I’m no expert as of yet but I’m certainly learning thanks to Personal Planner so here goes…
1. Get into a routine – I think this was my very problem with previous planners and notebooks, I never got into a routine so they’d long be forgotten after a few weeks. Once you get into the habit of using this, you’ll likely stick at it. Find a routine that suits you, if you’d rather do it weekly then do it weekly, if you’re more of a daily planner then stick to this. You’re the planner and the planner is your designated sidekick so work together in a way that brings the best possible outcomes.
2. Don’t overthink about having to fill in every page – There will be days you’ll have to so much more to do than the previous day or the following day, don’t get into a panic. As well as this, don’t think that you HAVE to fill in every line for every day because you don’t, doing so might actually leave you worrying that you have so much to do and so little time and just the look of all those filled up lines might send you into overdrive and you might end up getting nothing done. I’m guilty for seeing empty lines and feeling the need to fill them in but if it’s not necessary to do so, then don’t do it.
3. Be strategic – Only include what is relevant, like a doctor’s appointment, or your work shifts if they’re continuously changing, you don’t need to fill it up with what time you’re having your dinner at just for the sake of it (this is genuinely something I’d probably do). If you’re strategic in your planning, you’ll likely get more done, start off with the most important tasks and deadlines and work your way down to least important.
4. Check your planner often – Look at what has to be done, tick off what has been done, that way you can track how productive you’re being. The best way of sticking to this is by keeping it somewhere visible, like on your desk or in your handbag, that way when you see it you can dig it out and check your plans for the day ahead. During busy periods it’s easy to forget you’ve to be somewhere or to do something, so if you check your planner often then these things won’t skim over your head.
5. Set yourself goals – Start off every Sunday night by setting goals for the week ahead and that way on Monday morning you can face them head on and work your way through them. Some days we don’t feel so enthusiastic or feel like a goal is so far away, but if you write these goals down then this is a reminder of where you want to be or what you want to get done, and you’ll be ticking these off sooner rather than later.
6. Be positive – Recognise your achievements, look back at what you’ve done and managed to tick off within a timeframe, whether that’s an assignment, a blog post, it doesn’t matter how little it may seem, recognising your achievements is the first step to success. Whenever something goes to plan, acknowledge this, and if it doesn’t remain positive and realise it can be done.
7. Decorate it – Make it personal, that’s what Personal Planner is all about, it’s making it your very own planner, and having the right planner for you is the first step to successful planning. Whether you like to draw doodles or cover your pages in stickers, make it bright and colourful, let it show your true self.
8. Add inspirational quotes to keep yourself motivated – I’m a sucker for quotes, so rather than just noting down that you need to do this, and need to do that, why not motivate yourself by adding in some quotes every now and again. Just think, your planner may be one of the first things you pick up and read on a Monday morning, so if it was a positive, motivational quote that you end up reading, this may allow you to start off your day on a bright note.
If you’re interested in getting a planner in order to attempt to be more productive, or to assist you in your day to day life then I highly suggest purchasing one from Personal Planner, not only are their planners amazing but you get to design it all by YOURSELF, there’s no input from anyone but you, and the more personal it is the more attached you may become to it. With the right planner, you can conquer the world. At only £20.90 including shipping and VAT for my planner, I know where I’ll be purchasing one from every year. Check them out on social media, links are below.