I use a 12 month day planner
A planner is the perfect system for keeping track of everything from your daily water in-take to weekly appointments. I know some people prefer electronic calendars, but I love being able to have my schedule in my hands and on paper. I use an electronic system for my blog/work calendar, but for everything else I use my Lauren James Timeless 12 Month Planner. It’s my ‘everything planner’, so I use it to plan out my year, month, and week. The planner has a 2-page month spread at the beginning of each month and a spacious 2-page week spread with plenty of room to write down everything you need for each day. Plus, I love the gold tulip print! Read through to the end of this post to see all my favorite features.
Keep your planner with you at all times
The planner isn’t very big (about 7″ x 9″), so I keep in my purse with me at all times. If I get a phone call, email, or run into a friend, I can easily pull it out and see what fits into my schedule right then. When I’m out running errands and I think of something I need to get done – it’s easy to just jot things down and add them to the list.
Make a daily task list organized from ‘most important’ to ‘least important’
I do this every night before I go to bed. Start each day with a pre-planned list of things to get done. I write down everything I want to get done for the day and cross things off as I go. Organize the list from most important to least important. Whatever you don’t get done that day just carries over to the next day.
Set Self Timers
If I start something, it’s hard for me to relax until I finish it. Setting timers helps me stay on track and not get carried away answering emails or obsessing over one task for too long. The alarm reminds me that I have other things to get done and forces me to be smart with my time.
Prioritize your goals and hold yourself accountable
Don’t get so obsessed with checking things off your daily to do list that you forget to prioritize your goals. I love how this planner has a section in each month where you can write down 3 goals for different areas of your life. I feel like that’s the perfect amount – setting any more than 3 can be overwhelming and unrealistic. This page at the beginning of the month is perfect because it holds you accountable.
Take 10 minute breaks
Don’t over-work yourself! I’m so bad at this. But it’s true – if you just keep pushing through the work day with no breaks you’ll lose creativity, motivation, and the day will crawl by. Make time to get up and walk around, re-organize your desk, step outside for lunch, find a change of scenery, etc.
Reward yourself throughout the day
You need to reward yourself throughout the work day or you’ll end up dreading work. Give yourself occasional breaks and find ways to make work “fun”. I’ve trained myself to love doing morning emails by making it my ‘coffee time’. I also love listening to my favorite playlists when I’m writing. I set up lunch meetings to mix one of my favorite parts of the day (food) with networking and have become best friends with a lot of my ‘co-workers’.
Other features I love & a peak inside my planner..
-The planner lasts a full year regardless of when you start using it. The months are filled, but the dates are left blank, so it can be used for a full year no matter what.
-Available in 2 other prints.
-‘Password keeper’ section
-Personal wish list
-Special dates to remember
-Daily water intake, workout tracker, and meal plan section for each week
-A full page for notes at the beginning of each month
-A folder in the back of the planner
-Stickers for: days off, appointments, sales, date night, birthdays, etc.
What things do you feel helps you the most when it comes to getting stuff done and being productive? xo Olivia