A wise man once told me (ah-hmm…sometimes the husband quotes at the perfect time :p), “Poor planning equals poor performance.” There have been a few stand out times in my life when I got totally overwhelmed and lost all sense of direction. It was usually times when I had way too many irons in the fire. I took on more and more, lost myself, and completely shut down. At those moments in my life, I was clearly reminded how important it is to plan your life. When I kept adding more things to my plate and got so busy and hectic that I stopped planning. Planning brings clarity and purpose to our daily lives. It helps eliminate chaos and stress when life gets super busy.
The best way to start planning your life is with a planner. Choose a planner that works with your lifestyle, whether it be a homemade planner, a purchased planner, or a virtual planner. Having a place to get your plans out in front of you rather than your head makes them organized, easier to schedule, and carry out. The more detailed you are in planning, the smoother your tasks will flow. As always, we do have to remember that life is not perfectly smooth. There are usually several unforeseen hiccups in every day. Wrap your mind around the fact that you may have to rearrange plans during your day, and that is OK. This is another reason why having an actual planner is a good idea. You can see how to rearrange and reschedule, without leaving important tasks out.
I find it helpful to have yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily plans. Start with the broader yearly plans and then work your way down to the detailed daily plans. Planning in this fashion helps you to know what commitments lie ahead. Yearly plans are vast. Think of them as save the date type reminders. Monthly and weekly plans help you start zeroing in on timelines and logistics. Daily planning is where the most detailed planning and scheduling really come into play. It is where we get specific and set our agenda. Daily planning is very important. It helps shape who you are. Our day to day is when we live our lives.
To help set direction in your daily planning, first determine your purpose and goals. Then prioritize your tasks according to your obligations and in line with your purpose/goals. Once you have your priorities in order you can then schedule out your day. Planning and scheduling our your day will reduce stress, have you prepared, and make you productive.
Planning is something that is a necessity in my life. I accomplish nothing without an agenda—I actually fall apart. I lose my purpose, direction, and drive. I enjoy the stability and motivation I have when I am planned and scheduled. If you could use some direction in planning yourself, I have a great resource that walks you through my simple process. Here is a link to the guidebook that will have you well on your way to planning and scheduling out your life. You owe yourself the peace of mind and enjoyment that planning can bring about in your life.