I have used planner frequently to organize important events, setting up yearly goals, and tracking daily tasks to see whether I am reaching my desired outcomes or not. From my personal experience I have noticed that beginners find it difficult to set up a planner. Using a planner is the first step to setting intentions, organizing to-do lists, tracking and reviewing our progress.
I have a simple five step procedure on how you can set up your planner and get most out of your time.
But first let me tell you the unheard benefits of it, just in case you are a true beginner!
Worth Checking Out: /Productivity
Benefits of Using a planner
You will be more productive
By keeping track of your to-do list, you can make sure you’re tackling tasks in the most efficient manner possible. Plus, crossing off completed tasks can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going.
Using a planner can significantly reduce your stress
When you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. But using a planner can help alleviate some of that stress.
By breaking down your tasks and goals into smaller, more manageable steps, you can approach them with a clearer mind and less anxiety. Also, having a plan for the day can provide a sense of structure and routine that can also help reduce stress, you will not be overthinking about “what should I do now!”
You’ll have more time for creative work
When you have a lot of tasks to complete, it can be hard to find time for creative work. But by using a planner, you can make sure you’re allotting time for both your must-do tasks and your creative pursuits.
When not using a planner, most of our time is spent on unnecessary tasks, for instance, scrolling tiktok or reels, but with planner we remain aware. And being aware we can allocate this free time to creative work
Using a planner can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and ensure you’re making time for the things that bring you joy.
All records will be at one place (kind of journal)
Using a planner is a great way to keep all your records in one place. You can use it as a kind of journal, noting down important events, milestones, and achievements.
This can be a great way to reflect on your progress and see how far you’ve come.
Get things out of your head
One of the biggest benefits of using a planner is that it allows you to get things out of your head and onto paper.
When you have a lot of tasks and goals swirling around in your head, it can be hard to focus and stay on track. But by writing everything down in a planner, you can clear your mind and approach each task with a fresh perspective.
“Your brain is to have ideas, not store them”David Allen
One place for all goals and tasks (clarity)
Using a planner can provide clarity and focus when it comes to your goals and tasks. By having everything in one place, you can easily see what needs to be done and prioritize accordingly.
Plus, you can break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps, making them feel less overwhelming and more achievable. Which is one of the steps for better planning.
5 Correct steps to use a planner
Step 1: Use traditional method, plan on paper
While digital planners have become increasingly popular, there are still benefits to using a traditional paper planner.
According to a study published in Psychological Science, people who physically write down their goals and plans are more likely to achieve them.
Writing on paper engages more areas of the brain and can lead to better retention and comprehension. Additionally, using a paper planner can reduce screen time and distractions, allowing for better focus and productivity.
Also, when you write on paper, it is easier to visualize your goals, and you can refer to them easily.
Crossing things off your list with a pen gives a different level of satisfaction!
But also it’s better to use what suits you the best.
Step 2: Set yearly and quarterly goals
A planner is just a useless paper without specifying your long term goals. In this step I’d encourage you to be specific about your yearly goals, write them down on your planners yearly goals.
Next decide your quarterly goals, six, four or three months. This will help you to keep track of progress and stay on track for achieving larger objectives.
Step 3: Now narrow your yearly & quarterly goals
While it is essential to set long-term goals, breaking them down into smaller, more manageable goals can help make them more achievable. When you focus on smaller goals, you are more likely to achieve them.
Now, you need to split these long term goals into;
- Monthly Goals,
- Weekly Goals &
- Daily Tasks.
You might have noticed that we are going with sequence, firstly deciding yearly, then quarterly, monthly, then weekly and at last daily. Follow this in your planner.
Do not give a lot of time to planning, KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Step 4: Highlight important meets or events asap
Meetings are unavoidable, and if you are constantly surrounded with work you might forget about few/most of them, you’ll be reminded at the last moment which will impact your other scheduled tasks.
So it’s better to highlight meetings or important events as you get to know about them.
This can help reduce stress and anxiety, as you can be confident that you are on top of your schedule.
Step 5: Finally leverage extra features that a planner offers
Many planners come with additional features such as goal setting templates, habit trackers, and daily inspirational quotes. You should utilize these features, they’ll help you be motivated and focused on achieving your goals.
These extra features also add a fun and personalized touch to your planner, making it more enjoyable to use.
Common mistakes while using planner
You don’t remain consistent with planner
Not remaining consistent with your planner is a major mistake. Consistency is key to making the most of your planner.
If you only use it sporadically, you will not be able to reap the benefits of planning and may even forget important tasks or events.
USE/ VIEW PLANNER EVERYDAY
You don’t record EVERYTHING (record even small things)
Even small tasks and events should be recorded in your planner. This will help you avoid forgetting anything important and also give you a better idea of how much you can realistically accomplish in a day.
Most of us avoid several tiny tasks which in reality consume more time.
You don’t make it look appealing
Not making your planner look appealing can also be a mistake.
A planner that looks dull or unappealing can make you less motivated to use it, leading to less productivity.
Make your planner look visually pleasing by using colorful pens or stickers, or choosing a planner with a design you like. Again, don’t give a lot of time to all this.