How To Plan Your Day
How To Plan Your Day For Success
This is all about how to plan your day!
And this is one of my favorite things to talk about.
Planning. My idea of a good time.
Planning and preparation are two of my favorite “p” words. (pizza is pretty high on the list too)
Wow. I seem to be inching closer and closer to the point where my kids will never think I am cool. I have definitely hit the age where organizing is fun, planning is exciting and getting a new appliance gets me jumping for joy.
Anyway, I have an important question for you.
How do you spend your days? (making meal after meal… staring at laundry baskets that are never empty for more than 4 seconds… playing a game with your kid but playing it the “wrong” way… Oh wait, that’s a snapshot of my days)
Do you ever feel like one day is melting right into the next? (I definitely do)
Have you ever sat down at the end of the day and felt like you have done nothing? (You are a rock star no matter what… the number of things you do has no impact on that)
Life is not meant to be a checklist but…
There are things that need to get done. Responsibilities are a very real thing.
But we don’t have to get everything done to enjoy life. And that is how I feel at times. I truly have to convince myself that I can sit and do nothing and the world will surely not end.
Here is something that might sound strange. I truly believe that planning can give your life more freedom and flexibility.
It’s a way to take things out of our heads and put them on paper. This can drastically cut down on feelings of overwhelm!
I want to say one more thing before we go any further.
This is not an all-or-nothing thing. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Take what serves you and leave the rest.
Maybe you are ready to start planning your little heart out. Or maybe you are more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants person and you just want to dip your pinky toe in the planning pool.
The real takeaway is to find what works for you. Find ideas that truly help you and add to your life.
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Here Are 9 Ideas All About How To Plan Your Day
1) Make a Plan
Planning is basically the star player when we talk about how to plan your day.
What do you need to get done? What do you want to get done? Is there a project you would like to start on? Maybe you have extra time to get ahead on something.
Maybe there is something from the day before that did not get finished. Or something that you have been putting off for far too long.
Oh, I almost forgot a crucial thing you need to do.
Write it all out. Writing your plan out is a must.
Having something you can look at makes all the difference.
This could be a small notebook that you keep with you throughout the day. (I’m a sucker for a beautiful planner just like the next person but a fancy planner is not a necessity)
I highly suggest writing on plain old paper first and then once you are planning consistently, grab yourself a planner that speaks to you.
I am also a huge fan of a wall calendar when it comes to planning with a family. Keeping track of dates and appointments doesn’t need to be difficult. In my house, we use this one!
Want to hear something funny?
I actually walk from room to room in my house when I am planning. (this is partially due to the fact that we may have run out of toilet paper on a few occasions… but not anymore)
A plan is like a breath of fresh air. It can feel like a huge release. Like one of those really relaxing deep breaths.
2) No Fillers
Everyone is always talking about time. More specifically, how there is not enough of it.
I think we do have enough time. We are just not always using it in a way that benefits us.
If you are a little skeptical, hear me out.
Do not try to just fill your day up with loads of “stuff”. No need to fill every single second with something.
We can all sometimes feel that jam-packed days have a direct correlation to how successful we are. How full our lives are.
This is a false idea.
And this is another one of those things that I have to remind myself of often. It’s so easy to get stuck in the mindset that we always need to be moving and doing something.
You can spend your time on something that is not productive but it still holds value and importance.
Evaluate what is taking up space in your life. What are you giving time to?
Filling our lives should not be the goal.
Sometimes we can get caught up in chasing that feeling of every single thing being done. No matter the size. Teeny tiny or super important.
But you know what? Chasing that feeling will leave us drained and exhausted. And we will always find more to add to our list.
More breeds more. The more you do then the more you will continue to do.
And this can lead to a serious lack of joy and unfulfillment.
3) Set Yourself Up For Success
I say this time and time again. You need to set yourself up for success. When it comes to planning your day, this refers to keeping it real.
Let’s say you want to declutter your home. From the get-go, you need to be real about the amount of time this might take.
To do this right (which of course you want to do it right), you need to give yourself time.
Be realistic. Set realistic expectations.
You are awesome. But you will still not be capable of getting 1,232 things done in a day. Do you know why? Because even the most awesome and mega-productive person in the world is still human.
When you are writing things down, really take a second to think about what can you get done. And get done well.
Putting too much on your plate can set us up to fail. And then we feel bad about failing.
But the truth is we did not fail, we just set ourselves up in a way that made success out of reach.
I always love to back on my plan and see where I excelled and see where I struggled the most.
This is a perfect time to dive deeper into if what you are expecting of yourself is realistic. All the planning in the world won’t help you if what you are expecting of yourself is not doable.
I love to focus on a few key things daily. You could start with just putting one thing in the mandatory to get done column.
Of course, there is a mile-long list of things in my head that I could do. And that list is always there. I have come to accept that part of being an adult (and being a parent) is knowing that there will always be things to do.
But like I mentioned earlier, life is not a checklist. And we are not in a race to see how thin we can stretch ourselves daily.
For me, having one or two things in the high importance category works well.
Sometimes evaluating looks like accepting a few dirty dishes on the counter because you deep cleaned the bathrooms.
Prioritizing is crucial. Thriving in life does not look like pushing yourself to a point where things just don’t feel good.
5) Free time
Yes, you need to schedule downtime.
If you do not plan a break you may burn out at some point. Actually, the chances of burnout will be super high.
Do you ever struggle with feeling guilty over doing nothing?
There are many times I literally have to remind myself that rest and downtime are not things I have to earn. None of us have to earn it.
Rest is a necessity.
This may seem silly to schedule downtime. But if I don’t, then I instantly feel like I should be doing something the second I sit down.
Whenever I see “free time” written down, it feels like I am giving myself permission to just be.
And the hope (and ultimate goal) with this is that scheduling it enough will lead to us not having to schedule it. One day we will just do it without an ounce of guilt attached.
6) Time Blocking
This is really great if you tend to do a little of one thing and then you switch to another thing.. oh, and then you remember that one thing you wanted to work on.
Focusing on one thing at a time is something I struggle with. And I’m going to guess I am not alone in this.
Prioritizing can really come in handy here. Everything is not on the same importance level.
Read all the details about time blocking and how it can help you here.
7) How am I Feeling?
Do you ever check in with yourself throughout the day?
I tend to do this when I feel like I am running in circles (or running on fumes).
Those days when I know what I am supposed to be doing but I check the time and realize I have been sitting in the same spot for 2 hours staring at my laptop and there are two sentences typed.
You are not going to be “on it” all the time. Unless you are secretly a robot.
Check-in with yourself regularly. Truly reflect on how you are feeling. And then adjust accordingly.
This sounds simple but it takes so much practice. It is one thing to recognize and acknowledge your feelings but it is another thing to take action based on those feelings.
Change is not easy (or quick). Give yourself constant grace.
8) Wiggle Room
Perfection is unattainable.
Flexibility is your friend.
No need to bring the hammer down on yourself when things don’t go exactly as planned.
Plans rarely go off without a hitch.
I know. I know. This is so much easier said than done. But instead of being harsh with yourself, think of what you would say to a friend.
9) Does This Get Me Closer to My Goal?
There are things like laundry and dishes that need to get done. We all are fans of fresh underwear and clean spoons to eat our cereal with.
But there are things we want to get done that have a deeper meaning and importance to us.
This could be something to do with our health. Maybe we want to learn a new language. Maybe we want to start a side hustle or write a book.
Our desire to do something is not always enough to keep us on track to actually do it.
This is when it can come in handy to have a reason to be doing a particular thing.
Goals are a huge aspect of this. Does this get me closer to my goal is a great jumping-off question.
Check out a more in-depth look at goal setting here!
There is no magic pen to get your life in order. If you really think about it, most ways to improve our lives are pretty simple concepts.
They may even seem so obvious when you read them. I know that’s how I feel. It is like a light bulb goes off every single time I dive into an article about how to improve an aspect of my life.
The real work comes when you have to apply these simple concepts. When you have to put them to use.
Simple and tidy solutions can give us a quick hit of positive vibes or motivation but that will soon fade.
All the ideas in the world won’t help much if they aren’t followed by some actions.
Have any tips on how to plan your day? Definitely share!
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