Friday, March 14, 2014

Building a Planner (That Works) - The Master Plan


If you've been following along with our series, you have probably thought through a number of different things up to this point...

What size planner would work for me?  Do I write too large for a smaller planner?  Do I want to carry it in a smaller purse or would a tote bag work?  

What kind of a planner do I need?  A household helper?  A devotional diary? 
A homeschool lesson plan book?

Which pages would help me most as I put together my planner?  What lists do I make on a regular basis that might be easier if I had a printed form?  

... and you click Add to Cart, and you get your planner and pages home, and then you say "Now What???"

How do you make it all work?

Over the past 20 years of using a planner I have noticed something about myself.

Life is full of details.
There are details to be attended to from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep, and, often, certain details have to be attended to before others in order for your day to run smoothly.  

Details overwhelm me.
I can spend an hour thinking about all the details and trying to decide which of them are more important, or more pressing.  By the time I decide what to do first, I'm often too tired to begin.

A detailed list of details helps me.
It may take me awhile to figure the list out, but thinking through the steps I need to take each day and writing them down to refer back to later really helps me.

For example, let's say that I purchased the Beautiful Life Management system.  My Master Plan might look something like this...

Morning
Rise & Shine, Shower, Dressed, Bed Made
Breakfast, Dogs Fed
Husband off to Work
** Planner - First Things First **
Water Break
** Planner - Daily Suggestions**
Email / Computer Time
Lunch Ready?

After Lunch
Clean up Kitchen, Transfer Laundry
** Planner - Check Evening Menu (anything I can do ahead?)**
** Planner - Quick List **
Water Break
**Planner - Update Keeping in Mind page & transfer things to tomorrow's Quick List**
Free Time
4:30 ~ Transitioning Blitz
Supper Ready?

After Supper
Clean up Kitchen, Run Dishwasher
Last Load of Laundry Folded and Put Away?
Lay out Clothes for Tomorrow
** Planner - Check Calendar for tomorrow, update for tomorrow if I didn't earlier **
Gather for tomorrow's events
** Planner - Daily Blessing / Journal **
** Planner - Track today's expenses **
Free Time
Dogs, Brush Teeth, Evening Prayers

Good Night!

--ooOoo--

By putting in special times to check my Planner, I teach myself to use it.  To rely on it.  It becomes a habit and a friend and I feel on top of things.  Did you notice the Afternoon time to update your planner for the next day?  Sometimes we forget that any tool that we use needs maintenance.  Plan sometime during your most "awake" time of the day to look ahead at least a day or two in your planner, so you aren't caught by surprise by an upcoming event.  Then, once a week or so, take a few minutes longer to do a quick "blitz" of your planner.  You might want to remove old pages, transfer birthdays to the next Keeper, break down some long term tasks into bite sized chunks, or even swap out pages for a different style.  

Certainly your Master Plan will be different than mine.  You may have a day of Homeschooling ahead of you, or a day at work, or it may include ball games or music practice. Your personal Master Plan can be as detailed or broad as you prefer... It will be as unique as you are!! : )

Just a note -- Master Plans are not permanent.  As the seasons change, as your needs change, as the pages in your planner change, your Master Plan will need to flex and change as well.  I find that when I know my plan well enough to STOP looking at it, I need to redo it, because when I stop looking at it, I stop doing what it says, and I do SO much better when I use my planner to its fullest potential!

How about you?  Do you have a Master Plan for your planner?  I'd encourage you to make one today!

Blessings!

Tricia

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