Updated: Apr 15, 2019
When I was 13 or so, my father sent me off to Franklin Covey training. I was easily distracted and very disorganized. When I arrived at class, I can remember being surrounded by a crowd of men. Business types in suits. There was a woman teaching the class. She seemed slightly bemused by the sight of a 13-year-old girl in her class. It was certainly not the norm. What she probably didn't realize that day is how much what she taught me stuck. I loved the concepts of setting goals, planning and being organized.
Fast forward to adulthood. We live busy lives full of technology, work, kids and social commitments. For many of us, this means putting everything on our phones and using it as an extension of our brain. I've tried this method. It does work, but for me, it felt somewhat impersonal. I like the process of handwriting my calendar out. Listing the things I have to get done and prioritizing my tasks.
Today, I do not use a Franklin Covey planner, instead I use a combination of tools that work for me. I will admit to having tried many systems - Erin Condren, Emily Ley, Kikki.K, and the Law of Attraction planners are all examples. Honestly, I love different things about all of them.
What I would say is this - use the tool that works best for your life. If you can't find the perfect solution? Use the tool that my friend, Jess, from 2 Smart Girls recommended to me - a bullet journal. I use a combination of tools. I have the Emily Ley desk calendar from Target - love it for the big picture. I use the Erin Condren Petite Planner folio system for my day to day. I have several different books in my folio - my Goal Setting Journal, 2 of the three month petite planners, and my bullet journal. I love it because I can keep all my different tools in one folio that fits in my purse and is roughly the size of a thick book.
So, how do I simplify my own plan? I use the petite planners to keep a list of daily to-dos, keep track of my goals as a Proverbs 31 woman and to track my health and nutrition goals. I also keep my daily calendar there. For my business and larger, longer term goals, I use the Goal Setting Journal. I have my vision board, mission and more recorded in that journal. I think you can have 7-8 larger goals in there with their more specific particulars. I keep 3-4 goals tracked in mine.
I read a book by Donna Partow, Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be, and she talked about creating a "Tackle List." I liked the idea of this because you can list EVERYTHING you need to do there and then document the amount of time for each task. When you have 15 minutes free you can do one 15 minute task or three 5 minute tasks. It really helped me to leverage my time and my to do list. Mine is in my bullet journal.
I calendar out my month in advance. As soon as I know I will have to do something next month, I write it on the to do list for that day in my Petite Planner. Then, when the day arrives, I simply get the tasks I've listed done for that day.
Personally, I really enjoy reading. I have become voracious when it comes to books like Soulful Simplicity; Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be; A Standard of Grace; Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable; and, many more. What I am finding in these books are ways to step back, appreciate and simplify life.
I've taken to going to library with my children and checking out audio books I can listen to in the car during my daily commute. I am able to listen and learn as I drive. I drink my coffee and enjoy the time to grow myself, while simplifying my life because I am able to "read" on the go. This is priceless time that I would otherwise spend frustrated at the traffic. Instead, it becomes me time and an opportunity to grow. I would suggest trying this technique out - you can learn some new things to make yourself more efficient and also carve out some time for the things you want to learn.
My task this week? To create my own plan for ongoing blog posts. I will be calendaring out the next 3 months worth of posts and determining what I want to talk about. I look forward to hearing from you about your suggestions.