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Get out those highlighters!!! IT’S PLANNER TIME!! Too much? Sorry, I just really love scheduling. So, what’s on the agenda for today? An easy guide to optimize “old school” planning. No apps, no phone calendars, no scheduling alerts: we’re taking it back to the days of pen and paper.
But why live like cavemen writing by candlelight?
First of all, the above statement needs to be fact checked. Yes, I wrote it, but don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Cavemen didn’t have candles. They had lanterns. Just kidding 🙂
Personally, I prefer to use an agenda in which I can physically write down my commitments. I’ve found it keeps me more actively involved in my planning. As someone who loves to “go, go, go”, leaving my hardcopy agenda at home helps me to avoid overscheduling. Admittedly, I do take a photo of my planner’s monthly calendars incase I absolutely need to schedule an important meeting on the fly. But in general, I leave my planner at home and only add to it once I’m sitting with it at my desk in the evening.
Letting people know that I have to check my schedule but will get back to them ASAP has astronomically benefited my time management. In doing this, I am able to sit with my agenda each evening to make sure I have the proper time available before I add new commitments (a creative project, a social engagement, etc.) to my calendar. But more on that later…
Try The Month-to-Month Tactic
The agenda I use has a large calendar for every month and additional pages breaking down each week. Though I do use the weekly pages for important details and reminders, most of my planning focuses on the monthly calendars.
Like many, I use my planner to keep track of day-to-day meetings, project deadlines, bill/rent payments, and social engagements—pretty straightforward. I also heavily rely on my planner to prioritize. The reason I love the monthly calendars is because the calendars give me quick overviews of my schedule.
Why is this important? Themes.
Identify Your Weekly Themes
When looking at the upcoming month, is there a week when you’ll be particularly overloaded with work deadlines? If so, that might effect your energy level the next week. Since you can now spot the trend in advance, try to lighten your workload the following week. It’s not always possible but, hey, a girl can dream!
Are you eating out with friends at a fancy restaurant the same week your rent, electricity, and credit card bills are due? Now that the visual of the calendar has easily flagged it, you’ll be reminded to revisit your monthly budget in order to ensure you’re still financially on track.
See An Overview of You
I know… such a cheesy header but I couldn’t resist the rhyme.
So you have an ideal planner routine. You’ve transitioned to pen and paper (personal preference), stopped overscheduling yourself, and gotten your weekly time management under control (also check out these buyable tools over here) . Now, how do you keep it up?
Every night, I spend five to ten minutes reviewing my planner. This is where I look for those weekly themes, access the number of commitments I’ve made, and decide on future plans (creative ventures, weekend trips, coffee meetings, and more).
Those five to ten minutes each night allow me to take control of my work-life balance, plan for longer term projects, and keep myself financially in check. Once a week, after going through my planner, I take additional time to open mail and schedule bill payments. Think of it as a weekly administrative session: become your own personal assistant so that obligations and deadlines don’t fall through the cracks.
Some people enjoy yoga, some like to meditate… and me? I love to plan.
Boss girl tip? Try choosing a quote every week that fits your weekly theme whether it be productivity, career goals, self-care, or financial well-being. A simple quote can help to set a positive tone for the week so that you can tackle your schedule with full boss-girl commitment!!
P.S. If you’re looking for energizing quotes, Like A Boss Girl’s Facebook is always on point!