It's February and for me...its feels like start of a brand New Year! :) I spent January wrapping up last year and catching back up on personal and work life. Taking it one step at a time, reminding myself to be kind and patience with myself when life seems overwhelming. January feels like an extension of the holiday season in our house as we have three family members' birthday all in January!
As a busy mom of two young children, wife, and a business owner, planning and organization is crucial to keep our nest moving forward. I must admit that some days are better other. We strive for progress, not perfection at our nest.
This year, one of my goals is to improve my planning skills by consistently planning and writing in my paper planner. Last year, I started but somehow stopped end of April and restarted in November! I think part of the reason was that the planner barely had enough space to fit in everything I needed to plan properly. This year, I got a paper planner with time blocking and notes space for each day as well as monthly overview pages.
Now you may ask is paper planner still relevant in the time of digital calendars and apps?
For me, a former career Techie, it is and here are my top 4 reasons why:
1) Takes the stress away
Rather than keeping mental notes, tracking lose papers of to do lists, or typing in the itty bitty smart phone screen on the smart phone calendar, the paper seems to simplify and reduce the stress for me. Having a page or two with monthly overview and a daily page to write out and plan out my day helps me take the weight off my mind.
2) Helps me be more intentional and mindful with my time
At the beginning of each month, I sit down with my planner and write in personal and work appointments, meetings, kids' lessons and game times, self workout time, and other events. I write down tasks that I need to complete that month or week. I block off time in my daily pages for must to do items.
For my current work life, it makes sense for me to combine personal and work plan into one paper planner. However, I strongly encourage you to figure out what work best for you. It may be you use paper planner for personal planning while digital calendar in your work email for your work as you have most of your meeting invites in there. This may be a great strategy to create a healthy separation between personal and work life. The key is stay consistent and don't feel guilty if you miss a week or two, you can always get back on it.
As the month progresses, I add in items as needed. At the beginning of each week, I review the planner and add as needed so I have an overview of what what week looks like. Time blocking and writing process has helped me be more intentional l with my time as I try to balance my work and personal life. When you start using a physical planner, you have a better view daily life and schedule and become more aware and mindful of how you spend your day. This guides you to ensure you personal and work goals are being supported by your schedule and make adjustment as needed.
3) Checking items off a list is highly rewarding
I know its not just me who loves to check items off their list, right? Maybe its the project manager in me from my previous career that relishes it! It's rewarding and fulling when you can cross tasks and appointments off schedule. Have you ever had days when you were busy all day but you can't recall what you did? Planning your day in planner and using it as your daily guide will help you stay on track and feel accomplished at the end of the day, week, and month. You deserve credit for what you did!
4) Paints a clearer pictures of the past, present, and future
Paper planner helps me look through past, present, and future more easily than an electronic calendar. Don't get me wrong, I use electronic calendar also but paper calendar is my go to.
I can easily review or look back on previous days, months, weeks and see what and what I did. It helps me to present and mindful of the current day. It navigates me through the future.
I must confess that part of the reason I am writing this blog is keep myself more accountable through out the year. I hope to share my progress through out the year and I hope you share your progress as well. I hope we can lean on each other, encourage, and motivate.
This year, if you want to be
1) less stressed,
2) more intentional with your time,
3) feel more satisfied at the end of your day, and
4) have a clearer picture of your past, present, and future,
I highly encourage you to get a paper planner that suits your goals and life style. It's never too late to start.
You may have heard of the quote, failing to plan is planning to fail. Let's plan to succeed with support and inspiration from each other.