Planning boosts innovation, creativity, productivity, and management skills. These are some strong words that everyone wants in their lifestyle. It also minimizes uncertainties. It's like bibbidi bobbidi boo and you get everything you have ever dreamed of. Sounds too good to be true? Definitely! Life is not a bed of roses. You can't just start planning and Voilla! Everything gets its place and meaning. Nope! Not happening and not even possible. You will still have to search for the meaning and purpose of things in life now and then. There will be lots of hardship to stop you from getting your desires fulfilled.
Planning is just a simple skill, a hobby in some ways. But, since every hobby has its benefits (only applicable to healthy ones). this one happened to have lots of them. And like any other hobby, it takes time to master. But it's rather simple than most. It does make life easy, controlled and manageable in I long run. But you must learn a lot in the process as you do with any other hobby.
But if you are ambitious and passionate like me who wants a lot from life and is willing to work for it. Then, my friend this sword is your perfect weapon. Don't get your hopes high writing down tasks helps a lot but even then you are the one who has to get it all done. There is no substitute for hardwood and determination is the key. But planning requires a simple pen and paper. So yeah anyone can try and challenge themselves. But not everyone can master the skill. I have been planning since I was in 11th standard and I haven't mastered it yet. But I have seen how it helps so I can't leave it either. So here I will share how I plan and you can try yourself.
1. Yearly Planner
I like to call it a year at a glance. Jus makes it sound simple and doable.
It includes my yearly theme which is a very fancy way of calling a new year resolution. But yearly theme makes it less of a burden and more of mindfulness which in return makes it more achievable and consistent throughout the year. I write it on a piece of paper and pin it to my vision board for the whole year of course. Last year my theme was "Get moving". And the whole purpose was to add more movement to my routine. That was not a complete success but helped a lot. This year it is " every second is important" to reduce the amount of time I waste and being more mindful about where my time goes.
I draw a calendar on my planner and leave space for monthly themes and mark it with the major events all over the year. It could be as simple as highlighting g major dates with a simple highlighter. Or it could be a detailed overview of all of your major events, birthdays, anniversaries, etc
Lastly, I spare a page for my major goals. I aim for 10 goals each year. I always plan to finish 1 goal each month and leave two months for chilling out (and of course in case any goals take more time or if something unfortunate happens and hinders my planning). But a beginner can always aim for 3-7 goals per year. Always remember everything you do must do it to make your life better and more simple not the other way around.
2. Monthly Planner
I like to call it Mission:(month). E.g. Mission: May.
Yeah, another calendar, and there will be more. But this one is more specific. It includes everything that requires a date. A weekend outing that you have been planning, a test, a date, a friend's day out, a study plan, an important presentation, a day of self-love, etc. it all goes here. Don't forget to add those major events, birthdays, due dates, and anniversaries. I also plan a day every year where I make a list of gifts that I will give everyone for that year. Just makes life less hassle.
I plan 4 major goals every month. One goal for each weak. I tend to break down my yearly goals and include them here weekly. E.g. if my yearly goal is to improve dancing. I will aim for 4 choreographies which implied 1 choreography each weak. And it's just one goal. Another goal could be to prepare a presentation and I will designate a week for it. The whole point is your goal could be something that will continue all month long or something that could get done within a week but something that you are always hustling for.
I like to be aware of myself. So I also have some habit trackers and sleep logs in my monthly calendar. And a page for gratitude where I write one thing that I am grateful for. It just changes everything. I mean imagine at the end of the day if you have accomplished what you have been planning to you will be physically tired and if you have not accomplished anything you will be mentally tired. I prefer being physically tired as it feels too good and satisfactory to lie down after a long day. But either way, you will be tired, and writing what you are grateful for just turns the table around and fills you with gratitude and how lucky you are to be alive and healthy, and well-fed. It is not necessary to work on every single hobby and skill every single day. I prefer just to be the way you are and observe your being.
3. Weekly Planner
I like to call it week under control. And you must know by now what it might have.
3 Tasks. 2 days to finish each. And 1 day for weekly planning and just self-love. These major goals must be your main focus of the week. And you must try your best to get them done within the week.
Here I mention the Courses that I have to work on and Modules that I have to cover and make notes of. And everything that is related to academics that I have to tackle the upcoming week.
Any task that comes along in the week gets here. Simple things like groceries, a hair spa day, laundry, etc. So this is the simplest part that bothers you the least.
4. Daily Planner
This includes simple tasks like "must do", "should do" and "if time". The headings themselves give a psychological idea of the priority of the task. And make sure there are no more than 3 tasks in each. You can add a whole list in "if time". But 3 tasks as a general rule is a great start. It just makes the whole day that much achievable.
I also mention my monthly theme and yearly theme because this is something that I look at throughout the day. And what's the whole point of writing a resolution if you forget it the next day.
A rule of thumb should be to get it all done the day before. The feeling of waking up and being clueless is a major reason for sleeping in till noon. Decide your task list the day before. It hardly takes 5-10 minutes. And have a basic idea of the time, when you will get each task done. You can also time block it all in google calendar or any calendar. It is always better to prepare for tomorrow the day before. You can do simple tasks like doing the dishes, cleaning and wiping your workspace, getting all things ready to get to work tomorrow, etc. The whole idea is to make it easier to get out of bed for yourself.
Lastly, I would like to talk about a very important part of our productivity. Never ever force yourself to do things. Always start with simple changes. Make it fun and easy for yourself to get it all done. It is not necessary to plan every single day. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy. Always remember the spontaneousness of life is what makes it beautiful. Even I still do that, I tend to take days off of my goal called self-betterment.
And that would be all today. I really loved sharing it all. Hopefully, you have learned something or at least got inspired to make a simple change in your life.
Thank you so much for reading till the end.
Stay happy. Stay healthy. Stay productive.
Simran Bloom Rovers