The Power of Planning
I think most of us can agree that there are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who live life as it comes and rolls with whatever happens and those that live by a schedule, to do lists, and meticulously planning out their entire life before it happens. Well.. I'm the second! And yes there's lots of people who are in between somewhere or go back and forth depending on the situation but not me! I'm pretty much always a planner, organizer, list maker, worrier, and like things to be orderly and sensible! (You can guess how much Dustin LOVES being married to me!) That being said, I thought it was about time I wrote a blog post about the power of planning and how it makes my life so much easier and less chaotic!
Why Should You Make A Schedule?
The first step in successful planning is knowing what you're doing with your time! I know it's super hard for some to live by a "constraining" schedule and feel like they can't keep to it but anyone can! It's more about making one that fits with you and your lifestyle not based on what others are doing or how they think you should do it! If your schedule starts at 10am instead of 7am (ahem you're looking at her..) that's fine! If you want to schedule in an hour of "lazy time" to just relax, great (more like waste an hour on fb watching stupid but hilarious gifs and cat videos) Especially working individulas and/or parents- having a schedule helps you gain some control back into your life and make time for the things that really matter to you and do less of the things that don't. I make a weekly and daily schedule that's a flexible one and changes depending on outside variables! I schedule in time for myself, time for my business, time for my kids, time for house work, and time with my husband. Through making a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule; you will definitely feel less stressed out, less likely to forget about something, less likely to be late to something, and more likely to feel like you have more free time in the end!
Are To-Do Lists A Waste Of Time?
Again different people are going to have their own opinions on this, but in my personal experiences and what I've read in almost every self-improvement, reaching goals, being successful types of books.. to-do lists should be a key part of your life! They don't have to be a hundred items long or very specific, the point is to prepare yourself on how you plan on spending your time and what things you want to focus on for the day. Even if they seem like basic tasks, write them down! You don't have to cross off every item for this to be a successful tool either (thank goodness-ain't nobody got time for that!) Think of it as a way for you to organize all of your thoughts and goals into a small bulleted list of more manageable tasks. You will find that through making a thought out list of tasks for the day, it will help you become way more productive and feel more satisfied at the end of the day! I mean who doesn't love forcibly drawing that line over a task you just did and doing a little happy dance? Oh I love it!! (And maybe rewarding yourself with a piece of chocolate for picking up your clothes.. hey you earned it!)
Am I Doing It Right?
There's no right or wrong way to planning and organizing your life as long as it's making sense to you and is bringing you contentment and focus! I like the way I do things but I also realize there's a lot I could learn and improve on! For example, I'm really good at writing things down but then they often get messy or lost or unorganized in the shuffle... (like literally just a bunch of random pieces of paper all over my house) so I know I need to figure out a more "secure" way of collecting my thoughts and ideas like through an online platform or an app! (Send me your suggestions paleeeease!) If you want to keep it simple with a notepad and pen then you go girl! If you want to invest in an ultra do it all planner and make it super cute and way detailed then you go glen coco! The important thing is to just start somewhere and stick with it!
The biggest tip I have for planning is not limiting yourself to such small scale thinking. Don't just plan for the rest of the day or tomorrow, plan for the whole week, your whole month and yes even your entire year (yikes I know!) I know it sounds crazy but it's actually amazing how much more you get done when you don't put it off and have a plan and make yourself real expectations for reaching your goals! Want to finally get that pantry cleaned out? Write in for next week! Want to take a family camping trip? Throw that in for 4 months from now! Even a loose plan is still a plan and you're much more likely to follow through with it if you've already given yourself the idea that it IS happening! No, I don't go too specific because I mean who can actually plan out their whole life?! (I wish.. when I get THAT part figured out, I'll let ya know) I DO still have specific goals, tasks, and things I need to go to or people I need to see every month throughout the entire year. This also prevents me from falling back into old habits, getting stuck, and not making the big changes in my life that I want and need to make!
Finally, you have to look at the big picture! Do things with intention, use your time as if it's a precious resource that isn't recyclable because that's what it is! Have an intent and action plan for everything you do so you don't end up crawling into bed at night feeling like you "did absolutely nothing" that day and feeling unmotivated and excited to get up the next morning. Having a plan and a schedule and a to-do list will help you get more excited to start the day and have a clearer idea and expectation of what kind of day you're going to have (which is hopefully a super productive and happy one!)
Remember, a goal without a plan is just a day-dream! And success without work doesn't exist!