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Over the last 2 months, I’ve seen countless tweets and memes joking about planners being the worst purchase of the year. I totally get it – things are crazy right now. Most of our plans have been cancelled and we aren’t making new ones anytime soon. But, that doesn’t mean life doesn’t go on.
Here’s why you should keep using your planner.
In a general sense, I think people perceive planners as a place to keep track of their calendar. Busy schedule? Get a planner. Schedule empty? Stop using said planner.
You guys, this is so wrong!!
Important dates and appointments are only a very, very small portion of what goes on inside of my planner. I’ve actually realized that during these times of uncertainty I’ve been using mine (see my 2020 planner here) more than ever. Here’s what I’ve been using it for:
Checking the status of calendar items that haven’t been clarified.
Before you cross off those appointments you penciled in at the beginning of the year, make sure you check their status. Many places are closed or reducing their hours, so if you have any standing appointments, call and find out if they still stand. The last thing you want is to assume your appointments have been postponed when the office is actually open.
Staying motivated with goal lists.
Literally the only thing that’s kept me going from day-to-day is writing goal lists. I’ve always kept myself going using yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily task lists, but right now I find myself needing them more than ever.
My daily lists include simple items like “empty the dishwasher” or “finish home school tasks”. Even though these are things I would have done anyways, being at home for so long can really diminish any sense of accomplishment. Seeing my list with simple tasks checked off at the end of the day really helps me stay motivated.
Meal planning and budgeting.
A lot of us are being extra cautious with money right now, and for me that means keeping track of everything. My planner is the perfect place to do this. I like to write a list of things I plan to purchase for the week. It sounds silly, but it really helps me re-evaluate every unnecessary purchase. I also like to write our dinners, keep track of bill payments, and mark our paydays.
Homeschool and work organization.
If you’re currently working from home while also homeschooling, your planner could easily become your best productivity tool. Having everything summarized in one place helps me keep the feeling of being overwhelmed at bay. At any point, I can look at my planner and see an overview of my entire day instead of just one part of it.
Making sure you’re not letting go of positive regular habits.
With things being so uncertain, services and items unavailable, and places of business being closed, it’s been so easy to throw away regular habits. Using your planner as a habit tracker can be a game changer as it allows you to visualize your progress (or lack of progress) and adjust accordingly. The world around you is changing, but your personal development doesn’t have to be hindered!
To re-evaluate your priorities.
Last year, I wrote this post about doing a mid-year goal check to make sure you’re on track. This is applicable more now than ever. It’s time to revise old goals and make new ones.
My goal list for this year included flying for the first time as well as seeing an ocean for the first time. With the current state of the world, I realize that those goals realistically won’t be achieved this year, so I’ve pushed them to next year.
You may have to delay or completely eliminate some of your goals, but you might also come to find that you have other goals that are easier to achieve during this time. I wanted to spend more time practicing yoga and now is my chance to do that. Silver lining!
For your mental health.
Last but certainly not least, continuing to use your planner (or even starting to use one) can be great for your mental health. As I mentioned in the other points, being able to see your entire life laid out in one space can help ease the feeling of anxiety, something many of us are feeling right now.