Note: In the below post, I sound like I’m trying to sell you a planner. I’m not. I don’t have a planner to sell you at all. You can find weekly planners at any office supply store or at Target. I just wanted to share some ideas I’ve had about how much I love my planner.
Thesis: A weekly planner is wonderful and has made my life much better than when I used to try to use a to-do list for everything!
A weekly planner can help you out in several ways, both psychologically and organizationally. For each day, you will have a short list of tasks, so, for starters, this will be much less overwhelming. Instead of being faced with a huge list of 10 – 50 items, potentially including such daunting tasks as “Write a book,” “Plan vacation,” or “Clean my car,” instead you have only a short, practical list of relatively easy, certainly simple, tasks. Your work for the day will be clearly defined, so it will be manageable.
A weekly planner is also superior to a master to-do list because it is actually a schedule for your life. Unlike a to-do list, which is really a “things I should do and haven’t done yet” list, your weekly planner serves the purpose of a calendar. Whenever you remember something you need to do, you take a moment to determine when it should best be done, and then you simply jot it down on the appropriate day. When you reach said day, you look at your short list of things to accomplish, and happily complete each of them.
Because you are planning ahead with your weekly planner, you are able to spread out your work and see what will be done when. Because of this, it is much easier for you to make time for those “important, not urgent” tasks. That means you’ll finally be able to fit in getting your will written up, or family pictures taken. It also means you’ll be able to MAKE the time to write the first chapter of your book, plan your vacation’s destination, and attend a class at the local college.
No longer will you have to decide whether you should go get an oil change (urgent, not important) or brainstorm ideas for a new business you want to start. Now you will clearly see that you have your oil change scheduled for Friday, and today, Wednesday, you have plenty of time to do the very important brainstorming activity.
One more, bonus benefit of the weekly planner, compared to the to-do list, is the satisfaction factor. With your to-do list, you never could quite complete it, could you? Maybe you’d get most of the way through it on some days, or maybe it gets longer every day. But it’s probably rare, at best, that you get to the bottom of it. What if, instead, you got to complete your ENTIRE list every single day? Wouldn’t that feel great?! With a weekly planner, you truly can! Each day, you have a short list of 4 – 10 items, and each of them you’ve carefully defined so that they are actually achievable in that day. Start a habit of completing every, single item before you go to bed each night. I think you’ll find that over time, you are able to accomplish increasing numbers of tasks each day. It’s a great feeling, going to bed and knowing that you are all caught up!