One of my favorite things to do is plan. I don't mean ordinary planning. I mean planning with a heavy dose of style and creativity injected into it. In today's post, I want to share with you my life planner, how I use it, and make it beautiful and stylish. If you're into planning, then you've seen the loads of planners that are available online. If you've never really been into planning, then, you will begin to hear angels sing when I show you this. A few things first. There are many great reasons to plan. If you don't like the word plan, then how about organize. Planning is just organization on paper. For me, it's planning on beautiful, colorful paper!
Top 10 Benefits of Planning
It helps you stay organized. Once you get your organization wheels rolling you just have to keep it up. Keeping it up is easy. I promise! It prevents forgetfulness. As an active mom, wife, employee, and ministry leader, I have a lot to keep up with. Paper and pen exists for a reason and I believe in using it. No need to add the stress of trying to remember everything! Planning helps you forecast your priorities.If you have a deadline you have to meet, then planning helps you complete the steps needed to successfully meet your deadline. It shows your accomplishments. I love seeing a check mark next to something I had to complete. It keeps me going so I can continue to accomplish my other tasks or goals. Planning helps you evaluate how you spend your time. If you don't complete a task by a set time and you did not replace it with another high priority task, then you can get better insight into how you either maximized or lost productivity. It's one thing to procrastinate and don't have any tools in place to keep you accountable. But when you can see how you procrastinated throughout the day or week, then that should give you a jolt to get back on track. Planning helps you meet your goals. All goals should list out detailed action steps and those action steps should be planned out in daily or weekly.
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Zig Ziglar
Planning helps you stay focused. Thwarting off unnecessary distractions maximizes productivity. There are many types of distractions, but if you need to get the most out of your time, limit or minimize your distractions as much as possible. Planning helps you stay on time. Know where you need to be and get there! If you have an appointment with someone, the most respectful thing we can do is be on time! Planninghelps you see the big picture. As a visionary, I have to see the big picture first before I can see the tiny bite-size pieces. Working my planner is putting those bite-size pieces together that will help me get to where I want to be. Most importantly, as women, we wear a lot of hats and don't realize all that we do until someone tells us. Planning helps you see the value you bring to your life and others.
Do you think you need to plan now? I certainly hope so. Even if you don't own a business, you have personal business that you must manage. So how about managing it well. I promise you'll feel better about yourself.
So now that you have all the reasons I think planning is so important, I want to let you know it doesn't have to be daunting or an overwhelming task. Enjoy it! I spend a lot of time planning on Sunday night and I consider that time my "personal time". I get all my planner accessories together (you can see it further down in the post), a cup of tea, and start thinking about my week. I also look at my previous week to see what I need to carry over or continue doing week-to-week until I'm finished with that task.
I love planners and this year I am using a Plum Paper Planner. There are so many beautiful planners out there and for 2015, I thought I'd give Plum Paper a try. The cost of this customized planner is an inexpensive $35. The layout is well organized and it suits my personal need for planning my activities and tasks. It has colorful tabs, a monthly and weekly calendar, and two notes pages for each month.
I use different color pens to help me identify individual tasks. I also use stickers to accessorize my planner. My stickers include inspirational quotes, stylish graphics, emoticons, down to laundry and cooking stickers. If you create something beautiful for yourself, you will appreciate it more. I love using my planner and I love styling it to suit my personal style and needs.
I hope I've inspired you to take your planning to another level. Enjoy living life on purpose, planning on purpose, and living out your purpose!