Do you ever wonder why it’s SO HARD to commit to a planner or planning system and even harder to make it all actually happen?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I think the planning gurus got it wrong!
You know all that great advice about how you should set s.m.a.r.t. goals and begin within the end in mind? How you should map out the next 5 years and then break everything down from there?
Well, if that’s where you start, it doesn’t actually work! :: gasp ::
Don’t get me wrong, I think s.m.a.r.t.. goals are great and you absolutely should begin with the end in mind, but I just don’t think that’s where we should START. There’s a time and place for all of that.
So, if you’re feeling a bit scattered (or even completely chaotic) or if you’re having a really tough time sticking with your planning system, here’s what I recommend:
Start by making a plan for the next day each evening (or at least as early as possible in the morning). Don’t worry too much about the long range five year plan or anything like that. Just start with a daily plan and build up that habit. You need to be in control of your days enough to have a clear mind to tackle the big picture stuff.
When you are making your daily plan, here are some things you should do to make sure the plan actually WORKS:
- Don’t create a minute by minute schedule. Those rarely last until noon. Instead create a loose structure.
- Leave plenty of margin in your day. DO NOT write a to do list that will take up every minute you have. Everything rarely goes exactly as planned and things often take longer than expected. Worst case, you get everything done and have extra time to relax or get ahead on something!
- Remember, your daily to do list is NOT your wish list. It’s not a list of everything you wish you could get done. It’s a list of what you truly need to do and can do.
- Prioritize. This is critical.
How I Prioritize
I like to put all my tasks into 3 buckets.
Number one are things that absolutely have to be done today (like a scheduled appointment) or things that will have a negative consequence if I don’t do them today (like paying a bill that’s due soon).
Number two are things that I most want/need to accomplish, but if I ended up doing them tomorrow, nothing bad would happen.
Number three are things that I’d really love to get done today, but I wouldn’t feel bad if they didn’t happen.
But here’s the thing. I DON’T put anything with priority 3 on my daily to do list!! I put it somewhere else and if I get to those things I consider it a bonus.
If you’re on board with getting into to the habit of daily planning, I’ve got something special for you. I’ll be sharing 7 Days of Free Daily Docket Printables starting next Wednesday! There will be something for everyone. If you’re like me, you use a variety of different daily dockets depending on your mood and situation. If you want to get an email with the new printable each day, sign up here:
I’m doing this to celebrate the grand reopening of the Sweet Life Planner Club! Doors open at 8pm eastern on Monday (May 22)!! We’ve made some major changes to the club to make it even better, and I just can’t wait for you all to see it and to welcome all the new members!!