Ok so this is something I understand everybody struggles with!! I did too at first… No this is not just as simple as “buy a planner”. Yes I own a planner. But for 1 sometimes I forget I have a planner, forget to write in the planner… There are a couple common mistakes people make with their planners as well…
#1 Size Matters!!
My number one mistake was buying a planner that was the same size as all my books. I am a full time college student as well as a full time mommy. As sad as it sounds I was FAR too lazy to actually pull my planner out of my backpack. I experienced much more success after purchasing a small wallet sized planner that fits in my purse.
#2 Keep yourself organized!
This may be a given, but keeping things inside the planner organized is important. I use colors. Personal items are in pink(because lets face it pink is awesome). Items for my son are Green(because green is almost as awesome as pink but less girly). And things having to do with school are blue. and then everything else goes in orange.
#3 Don’t Limit Yourself!
Don’t limit yourself to just the planner! a large advantage to it is having it at hand when someone asks if you are busy a certain time. However I am a very visual person! I have a big calendar I keep on my wall as well so that I have big in my face reminders. Every Sunday before I start my meal planning I go through my planner and put all my events up on the board.
#4 Give yourself enough time.
This is where I think everybody fails in their time management. make sure you give yourself enough time to complete tasks, enough time to travel between tasks, and a little extra time JUST IN CASE!!! Its the just in case that always throws people off, how many times have you given yourself just enough time to get somewhere, you look down and your poor vehicle needs gas? Putting you 10 minutes behind schedule. So annoying. If this happens and you haven’t allowed yourself the just in case time then make sure you are in contact with the person or event so that you can let them know when you will be there. Its just common courtesy. I personally give myself at least a 15 minute buffer. If you always plan to be 15 minuets early then even if you have to stop for gas last minute you will still be on time.
#5 Create Habits
It’s more than just knowing what needs to be done in a day. But also knowing say, when your car is going to run out of gas, or knowing how many days you can go without putting gas in your car and knowing yo schedule in a time to give it gas. I can go 5 days without putting gas in my car. So I make time on Tuesdays and Fridays to stop for gas. Even if my car isn’t empty I still stop on these two days. It’s helps prevent those moments mentioned in #4 when you get in the car and realize you need gas. You only have to do something 7 times in order for it to be a habit. The first 7 times/days/weeks can be the hardest. Mistakes can be made as long as you make an effort to get back on track you can get in done.
This is especially important in learning to use your planner. Also I have decided to support a new project called “Project Evo”. It is a planner that is designed for your brain type. Brilliant idea because not everyone views the world the same way. Practice makes better!! The more effort you put in to learning how to manage your time the better you will get at it. If you just throw your hands in the air and say you are not good at it then that is all you will ever be. But even if you are bad at it, it only takes practice to figure out the best system that works for you. In the world of instant gratification it’s hard to accept that learning things takes time. Don’t give up on yourself. Only you can change you.