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How to Get the Most Out of Your Planner and Have the Most Organized Year

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how to use a planner

If you’re anything like me, you have a busy life and an overwhelmed and forgetful mind. Between managing work, sports and/or hobbies, maybe you’re still in school as well, perhaps you have children and a family, and let’s not forget about your often overridden attempt at a social life, you probably find yourself misplacing lists and items and forgetting tasks often. As long as you haven’t forgotten to pick up the kids yet, I’d say you’re doing pretty well at managing your day-to-day routine so far. However, it’s time to admit, a little organizational help couldn’t hurt.

You’ve got pages of emails to get through, piles of notes and lists, a grocery list for later today somewhere on your desk, and there was definitely something else you were supposed to remember to do later today. Wait…what time was that conference call scheduled for? The only thing more important than an organized workspace is an organized mind; the best way to achieve an organized mind is to utilize a planner to organize it for you.

I hear and see questions all the time like, “How do you stay on task while working from home?” or “How do you keep yourself motivated?” and “How do you manage to get everything done without feeling stressed and overwhelmed?” To be honest, I do feel stressed and overwhelmed on occasion. But, my answer is always the same, I use a planner; and I actually check it multiple times a day.

So, here are a few tips, suggestions, and things to remember for utilizing your planner for everything it has to offer and living your most organized and well-planned year:

Setting Up Your Planner

Before the new year even begins, you will have the task of choosing and setting up your planner. Personally, I lean towards the planners with all the extra bells and whistles. For example, numerous “notes” sections, stickers, a yearly view (monthly and weekly views are a necessity for your planner, not an accessory), a section to add lists, to-do’s, or goals, bullet journal pages, and so on. If you don’t believe these supplementary items and pages are essential for you or you don’t think you’ll use them, go with a more simplistic or minimalist design.

After you’ve chosen your planner, the first thing you’ll want to to is flip through each month and add in birthdays, holidays, planned trips and vacations, and of course, your yearly goals. Write down your goals as a reminder. If they’re written down they’ll be more difficult to ignore.

“Productivity is never an accident. It’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

This “set-up process” is the perfect opportunity to add things into your accessory sections as well. Be creative and make these sections whatever you’d like. I use my notes section in the back of my planner for important usernames and passwords as well as notes like my frequent flyer and Hilton Honors number.

I have another section of twelve blank boxes which I use to write down my to-do list or goals for each month. I haven’t put anything on the bullet journal pages yet, however, I love this section because you’re free to be extremely creative and make this whatever you want. Track your budget, manage your routine, draw a map and mark places you’ve travelled to; your options are endless.

As You Go

As the days, weeks, and months go on this year, continue adding everything into your planner.

  • Goals and to-do’s for the month
  • Appointments and meetings
  • Reminders
  • Daily tasks and to-do’s (These can be household chores such as grocery shopping, cleaning, or kids’ athletic events and activities, work, or school related.)

WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN! This is the most important responsibility on your part and the sole purpose for your planner. No matter how minute a reminder or task seems, your planner can’t do its job if you don’t do yours. If you want to receive each benefit your organizer has to offer, utilize every aspect of it.

Side note: There’s nothing more motivating than checking off items on your to-do list or completing goals.

“If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal, you have a wish.” – Steve Maraboli

Tips, suggestions, and other ideas to help you get the most out of your planner:

  • Color-code. Travel and vacation can be one color, personal appointments another, kids’ activities another, and social events, parties, and dinners can have a designated color. Color-code in a way that is clear and easy for you to follow and comprehend.
  • Add stickers, different fonts, highlight, add pictures, or drawings to emphasize certain notes and plans.
  • Be very detailed. Like I mentioned before, write everything down and be extremely clear. You never know what you might remember and what might slip your mind. So, make sure you write a clear reminder of what you’re expecting from yourself.
  • Utilize every section of your planner in any way that you need and will work best for you.
  • Have regular (daily or weekly) planning sessions where you can write down your to-do lists, tasks, and/or goals for the day or week.
  • Use a single planner for everything! Don’t try to bounce between multiple planners for school, work, etc.
  • Have a routine for checking your planner and setting your planning sessions. I keep my planner next to me at my desk and refer back to it multiple times a day. I also plan my schedule for the following week every Friday.

There you have it, my secret to staying on task, productive, and motivated while successfully managing my busy schedule. You now have all the tools you need for your most productive, organized, and well-planned year. Conveniently and efficiently manage your tasks, goals, and schedule all in one place.

Do you use a planner? How has it helped you? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

After graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 2017, Taylor Landis began writing the blog content for Skutchi Designs, a national office cubicle manufacturer. Her topics vary from office design to organizational tips and tricks to architectural trends and the occasional how-to guides. Check out her recent posts at https://www.skutchi.com/blog/.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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