- Set priorities!
Forget about perfection and stay on the ground when it comes to planing your daily life. You have to admit to yourself that life is unpredictable and so are you. First of all, decide on a few things that are very important in your life (like career, raising children, studying…) and spend most time planning that part. You cannot do it all and often things don’t work the way you planed, which is why you should always keep your priorities on your mind. Focus on the important and urgent things and don’t overload your plan. There is maybe only one important thing in your life right now that is worth focusing on until it is settled or there are 2-3 things that are constantly being equally important and you have to plan how to balance them without omitting anything. You won’t accomplish 10 different things every day, trust me. So, you better not only plan the A-list things first, but also accomplish them first. You can play with the rest afterwards.
2. Balance between business and pleasure
It would be a good idea to separate you business planner from your personal planner. If it is too much work for you, then try to separate different to-do lists in different chapters of your planner. it is not only practical, but also more effective. While you are working you won’t be constantly reminded of the things you need to do later and you will not carry your work home with you. If you think you don’t need to plan your private life, I think you are wrong. What about your doctor’s appointments, shopping lists, weekends, birthday parties and workouts? I think there is a lot going on in our lives and with little planning you’ll see it is a lot more fun.
3. Bring life to your planner!
If our lives cannot always be perfect, at least our planners can. Let your planner reflect your dreams and feelings, let it look as beautiful as you’d want your life to look like. Let it change you, let it make you happier, let it make you a better person. Use your favorite colors, cheerful stickers and decorations, smilies, little hearts and sparkles. Use your own style, because it is your life you are planning. Only yours. Use the possibilities you can to make your daily to-dos as attractive as possible. Use your planner to help you create the vision of the life you want. Plan your life the way you want to, at least the part you can influence on. Create steps you’ll stick to. When you accomplish something, mark it in you planner as “done” and award yourself for that. This is the purpose of your planner: to make you aware of your accomplishments, not to turn you into a robot.
4. Don’t plan much in advance
Have you ever planned a whole week (or even a month) and then your mother called and said she’s coming to visit you for a few days? I once planned an entire 10-week lifestyle program and after 2 days I got appendicitis and I had to go to surgery after which doctor prescribed me a resting period of 6 weeks! Yeah, life sucks sometimes, but it is also beautiful in its unpredictability. I suggest you plan day by day or maximum 1 week in advance. You will see that you accomplish more when you plan short-term.
5. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work the way you planned
Don’t throw away everything because you messed up once. Postponing for the other day is also okay sometimes. Let’s say you planned cleaning today, but you had a bad day at work or you had a fight with a friend. I get that you are not into mopping floors afterwards, so do something else, maybe something you planned for tomorrow or something that is not in your planner. It will happen sometimes and you have to accept it and let go. Important is that you accomplish things by the end of the week.
6. Less is more
If I’d put a 2 hour ironing on my to-do list for tomorrow, it would be a miracle if I accomplish it. But if I put a 30 min ironing 3-4 times a week (with watching my favorite tv-show at the same time), my chances will be much higher. If you can identify with that story, I suggest you organize smaller time units for your activities too, but don’t forget to keep the frequency high. It can be nicely applied on your workout plan. It doesn’t make sense if you work out like a maniac for 2 hours and then rest for the next 5 days. Do 20- or 30 min workouts every day and you see the real miracle happen. Remember: the point is that the job is done.
7. Adjust your plans to your personality
Are you are morning type or do you like to stay up late at night? When does your energy level reach the highest point? What are the patterns of behavior that you would like to change? Are you a type of person who quickly gets bored? Those types of question you should ask yourself before you plan anything. For most things, it is irrelevant when you do them, important is that you do them right. Don’t make it harder than it is. It is your life and you can organize it the way you want to. It is important to add things to your daily routine that make you happy because they will serve as a motivation for the other “harder” things you have to do to get to your “rewards”. It doesn’t make sense to do only exhausting things without taking rest, just as the relaxing is not so sweet without the hard work. There’s have to be a balance. That’s the beauty of life. Enjoy it and decorate it your way!