At the end of every year, I’m always in search of the perfect planner. I’ve bought many and returned many. I love the idea of a pretty covered bound planner and at the end of this past year, I was leaning towards Danielle LaPorte’s weekly planner. I even had it in my cart with a credit card out, but couldn’t click the purchase button. You see, I have a love of scratching out my finished to-dos. There’s just something about physically marking off a task and the thought of marking up the pretty pages of a new planner drives me a little crazy.
Instead, I created a weekly planning sheet that works the best for me. The reason I use a weekly sheet is that certain days allow me only a couple hours of work time, so I don’t need a full daily sheet, plus I use an electronic calendar to keep track of my hourly schedule. If you’re still looking for a planner or planning sheet to use, download the one I created to see if it could fit what you need. I’ve also created a daily one for you to enjoy.
Do you use a daily or weekly planner? Post in the comments below which planner you use, plus what you love about it, so I can check it out during my yearly planner choosing debate.
Here’s my weekly process for getting the most accomplished:
(1) Declutter and get organized
Over the weekend or sometimes Monday, I take about an hour to declutter my workspace and get organized for the week. Since my space is really small, this is a must. I get rid of any papers I no longer need, consolidate and file where needed, and add any to-dos I may have jotted down in my phone or on a post-it to my to do list.
(2) Plan the week and set daily priorities
Every week I fill out a new daily planner sheet with my current home and work to-dos, I set my Monday priorities and I fill in my calendar with blocks of times I'm going to work. I use the calendar on my phone so I can share it with my husband, plus set reminders to notify me.
(3) Focus and finish tasks
Once I set my priorities, I focus on them until they are completed. This keeps me on track and ensures I don’t fall behind. On tasks that take time, like writing a blog post or transcribing a Facebook Live, I set a timer so I don’t dawdle. I could have used waste time right there, but doesn’t dawdle sound so much better?
Laundry is another task I use a timer for. Do you have a laundry problem like us? I swear there are more people living here than the four of us! You don’t really want to know about my laundry problem, do you? Again…dawdling!
(4) Don't procrastinate
Procrastination has always been a hard one for me. I like to start with easy tasks because it helps me get going, but with the limited time blocks I have if I only stuck to the easy ones I would never get to the more difficult priorities until the last minute. This is why I set my daily priorities and I stick to them until they are completed no matter what. That timer comes in handy here, especially if it's a time-consuming task I’m not thrilled to do.
(5) Continue to stay organized
Once I’m organized, I find it's easier to stay that way.
More organizing tips
- Emails – I create separate folders and file incoming emails right away or delete them. This makes it easier to find emails when I have time, plus it keeps my inbox clean. Some of my folders are business receipts, separate ones for courses I’m working through, different people I’m working with, etc.).
- File folders and binders – I use these for my papers so I can easily find them (i.e. name list or call sheet, orders to enter, a binder for a course I'm working through, etc.).
- If I'm battling procrastination, I schedule everything! (i.e. when I’ll be making calls, checking email, going through a course, placing orders, whatever task it may be).