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It’s that time of year again. The time of year when yearly planners start popping up everywhere. The pretty vibrant colors, the inspirational sayings, the geometric or monogrammed covers, all call your name. The “Planner to organize your entire life,” they all seem to scream.
Last year, I fell for it. The marketing was awesome, the colors were beautiful, and I loved every motivational quote, so I bought the $50 planner.
I was so excited to have a beautiful planner and actually be able to write down what my week looked like. To be able to manage everyone’s appointments in one place and to have FOCUS. To have an organized day, week, and life! (At least on paper.)
I used the planner for a couple months and the planner received many compliments and people asked where I got it. And then… Then it happened. I would get to an appointment and realize I didn’t have my planner. I would have to tell the assistant, I will write the date down in my phone and call them back to see if that time worked.
Frustrating to say the least.
By the end of month three with the planner, I had given up. I had left the planner in the large stack of papers on the desk, buried, and I was happy.
Obviously, the planner wasn’t working for me. I had to find the right system that works for me. While I was figuring out my issue, I came across this quote. My task at hand was figuring out the best method for me to organize my day.
One way to organize your thoughts is to tidy up, even if it’s in places where it makes no sense at all.
I decided to put all my appointments on my phone calendar. I knew that would sync with my laptop and I could see all the appointments there. To top that off, I found myself reaching for the post-it notes to plan my day rather than my very expensive and beautiful planner.
There is nothing I love more than a brand new pack of Post-It notes. (Besides my morning coffee) I love Post-It notes. My belief is they are the best thing since sliced bread. They are colorful, they stick to anything, and just the right size to make a daily list. Not to mention they are fairly inexpensive. I love them and they make me so happy!
This is how I use Post-It Notes to organize my life.
I use these Post-It notes, they are 4×6 and are lined. They have just enough room for me to make a list of things to accomplish for the day. I write everything on the list, even the day’s appointments are written on the Post-It note, including don’t forget to hug my kids, so I don’t forget about them. When I make the list I have a clear path for what has to happen that day.
I also use a Post-It Note to organize my week. I write down any big things I need to do. Like go to the post office or get a certain product at a store I don’t normally go to. These tasks will get filtered onto my daily task list. Since I write a new task list every day, that really allows me to focus on just for the day.
What happens if it doesn’t get done?
If it doesn’t get done on the day it is supposed to get done, then it moves to the following day’s list. It will get done the next day. I put it at the top of the list so that it has priority. Unless it is something I am REALLY procrastinating about, it usually does get done the next day.
My Secret Sauce
I have a secret about my daily to-do list. It’s rather simple, but it’s something that really helps me get it all done and keep the focus.
This is what I do: while I’m writing my list, I ask God what needs to get done, and I ask Him for his wisdom and guidance. I have noticed on days I do this my day flows much better. Also, I noticed that I am able to get my work done with time to spare.
By asking God to help order my day on my post-it, I am allowing Him to be with me during my daily tasks. It takes time to adjust, but it is amazing at how much gets done when I do it.
I wrote another post about how I use Post-It notes to help connect with my husband while he is traveling. When I told you I love Post-It Notes, I wasn’t kidding!!
Maybe you are struggling with your beautiful planner? Maybe the planner just isn’t right for you? Did you buy the pretty planner hoping for life change only to find yourself back in your old ways again? It has taken me a long time to come to the conclusion that I may never get away from making my daily list on Post-it Notes. And now I am sharing my way with you. I would love to hear your thoughts. What do you use to make your daily list? Do you pray over your list? What else could I add to my routine?
Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.