How using a daily planner can make all the difference in reaching your goals
In today’s fast-paced world, keeping up with our busy lives can often feel like an overwhelming task. There is never enough hours in the day after all!
Juggling work, social commitments, and our own well-being can sometimes seem like an uphill battle. To combat this chaos, many people buy daily planners to help them stay organized and on track.
But oftentimes, these planners just take up space in our hard drive or bookshelf and we’re back to our old ways.
So the big question remains: Does using a daily planner actually work?
I mean, first of all, you do have to put in the work to incorporate this new habit and it isn’t going to be easy at first. You’re most likely going to miss a day or two of tracking and that’s okay. If you can stick to it, a daily planner can make a huge difference in reaching your goals.
So let’s explore the benefits of a planner and how it can transform your life. But in order for it to do that, you have to use it so I included some tips on how to make it a part of your routine as well.
The Power of a Daily Planner
A daily planner can be extremely effective in keeping you on track and focused on reaching your goals. I personally like having a digital planner so that I can pull it up on my iPhone on the go but others love having a paper version to let their creativity flourish.
It’s really up to you.
I don’t think it matters as long as you stay consistent with it. Silk and Sonder is a great physical planner if you want to be able to put pen to paper!
But here are some of the benefits of using a daily planner:
You’ll be more Organized and Focused
This one may be the most obvious benefit since a daily planner helps you get your priorities out on paper (or on the computer in the digital version).
Otherwise, if it’s just in your head, it’s easy to forget things or feel a little scattered brain. I know a thought can leave my mind just as fast as it pops into my head so having a planner has helped me stay organized on what I need to focus on.
It helps you allocate time for important tasks, set goals, and prioritize activities. This structured approach allows you to maintain focus on what truly matters, reducing distractions and improving productivity.
It is important to note that this doesn’t mean that you should try to jam as many things as possible in your day. I know you have a neverending to-do list of things you want to get done but baby steps are truly the key to actually completing tasks.
Otherwise, you’re looking at a long list and feeling overwhelmed and I don’t want that for you. That just leads to procrastination or welcoming any distractions that come your way.
After all, preparation is key to success so if you plan what activities you’re going to accomplish for that day, week, or month then you can focus on what is important right now. I suggest focusing on no more than three things each day to avoid being overwhelmed.
The idea of essentialism is one that I think we should all adopt. I just read The Essentialist: The Disciplined Pursuit of Doing Less by Greg McKeown’s and it’s all about being a minimalist of how we spend our time. Here’s an article for Leaders.com about how to start becoming an essentialist but if you’re interested, definitely check out this book!
Which leads to better time management skills
If you have a plan of action then you know what you need to focus on. There are a lot of different time management techniques out there but they won’t work if you don’t have a plan of action.
This is why daily planners are excellent tools for managing your time effectively. They allow you to allocate specific time slots for each task, ensuring that you make the most of each day.
Once a task is scheduled into your daily routine then this can help prevent procrastination and ensure that you complete your tasks efficiently.
You’ll be more productive
To be more productive, you have to break down those big goals of yours. Otherwise, it will seem unachievable and that’s when you have those feelings of not knowing where to start.
We’ve all been there. I know I’ve felt that many times on my blogging journey and building Living Koselig into a brand that helps other introverts pursue their passions. It can be very overwhelming to decide what you should focus your attention on.. shiny object syndrome anyone?
But if you don’t focus on one smaller goal at a time, you’ll never reach that bigger goal.
Using a daily planner encourages this by breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. What can you do today that will get you a little closer to your goal? What is the first step? Then what is the next step and so on and so forth?
Once you figure that out, schedule it into your daily planner, and all of a sudden you have an action plan.
This approach prevents you from feeling overwhelmed and makes it easier to track your progress.
And the satisfaction of ticking off completed tasks can be incredibly motivating.
This is going to lead to finishing tasks faster because you’re doing things with purpose and intention.
Who doesn’t want that? We don’t have time to waste after all.
It can reduce stress
When you have a well-organized daily plan, you’ll feel less stressed because you have a clear roadmap for your day.
It also reduces the mental burden of trying to remember everything and gives you peace of mind that you won’t forget important appointments or deadlines.
It’s all there, waiting to remind you which will lead to more calmness. You don’t have to worry about forgetting something because you have a plan of action to reach your goals and you have your important events or obligations written down in one centralized place.
The easiest way to reduce overwhelm is to get all those thoughts onto paper. Otherwise, you’ll end up jumping from one task to another when it pops into your head.
Then be like ‘What was I doing?’
So create your roadmap so you can have more calmness in your life.
Better Balance in your routine
Daily planners are not just for work-related tasks; they also help you allocate time for personal pursuits, self-care, and relaxation. It’s the full picture.
Incorporating some relaxation is super crucial if you want your routine to be sustainable. Tracking your days is going to bring awareness into where your time is going. Then you can learn what balance looks like to you.
For me, I enjoy watching reality TV so I incorporate that into my me time. But that may not bring you joy and that’s okay. Balance is going to look different for everyone but it is essential to schedule some time where you can just be.
You don’t want your schedule to feel restrictive otherwise you aren’t going to follow it. Simplicity is really the way to go so you can get into the flow and really get things done.
And when you’re in the flow, you’ll realize that you can actually end up doing way more than you thought you could. It’ll feel way less overwhelming especially if you’re intentionally adding rest into your day.
So make sure you’re taking the time to spend time with yourself (especially if you’re an introvert) and your loved ones as well.
This balance between work and personal life is crucial for your overall well-being and happiness.
Build Awareness of where you’re time is going
If you start tracking where your time is going, you’ll become more aware of how you spend your time.
Do you know the feeling when it’s 5 o’clock and you have no idea where your day went? And you feel like you got nothing done?
That is when I highly encourage you to track your days. This isn’t a forever thing, just until you can figure out where your time is going and how you can craft more productive days.
While it’s important to include some relaxation into your schedule if you’re watching 4 hours of Netflix or checking emails and bouncing from one fire to the next, that may be why things aren’t getting done to get you closer to reaching your goals.
It can also be really helpful to see patterns. Maybe you’ll learn that you’re more energized at the beginning of the week so maybe you can add some more complicated tasks at the beginning of the week OR you can reflect and decide if that means you’re heading towards burnout.
It can definitely be a sign of burnout if you need to spend your weekend relaxing on the couch. If you know this then you can do something about it so that is why it is super helpful to track your days to see what is going on.
Or you’re trying to do too many things in one day which is causing you to feel overwhelmed and may lead to procrastination.
It is kinda one of those things where you don’t know what you don’t know so tracking your days can bring awareness to that. For example, if you realize that watching 4 hours of TV is killing your willingness to get things done, maybe wait to watch TV until you finish your top priority for the day.
If this all sounds great but you don’t currently have a daily planner that you love, I encourage you to check out mine. This is the one I personally use and it has made a huge impact on my daily routine and my ability to reach my goals.
Tips on how to implement a planner into your routine
First and foremost, you have to give yourself some grace. After all, it is a new habit that you’re trying to incorporate so you’re going to forget to track days or you’re going to get busy and forget to write it down. So just like a schedule, take baby steps and do the best you can do.
I would also suggest putting your planner somewhere that is easily accessible. For me, having my planner on my iPhone can be extremely helpful. If I’m on the go and I’m trying to track my days, I’ll sometimes write what I did in my Notes app. Then at the end of the day, I’ll transfer it over to my planner when I’m doing my reflection time.
Simplicity is key. Writing in your planner shouldn’t take you long, at least at first. It is going to make it way easier to incorporate if it only takes you 5 minutes vs. an hour-long ritual. So in the beginning keep it short and sweet.
And just like your schedule, find what works for you when it comes to using your daily planner. What is actually bringing you results? If a portion of the planner isn’t helping then don’t use it. You don’t have to fill out the whole thing if you don’t want to. It’s a tool that is supposed to help you achieve your goals.
So yes, I genuinely believe a daily planner can help you reach your goals.
Daily planners are incredibly effective tools for improving productivity, bringing awareness to your day-to-day, and achieving a better work-life balance.
Not to be dramatic but it can transform the way you live your life, helping you make the most of each day.
Unitl next time,
More Posts on Goals & Productivity
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- Embracing Slow Living: How to Embrace Rest and Still Accomplish Your Goals