Here’s something you never thought I’d say. Your planner won’t help you get more done.
There. I said it.
I’ve made it clear for years that I love planners and time-management tricks, so I probably sound crazy right now. However, those things don’t keep me from feeling overwhelmed.
I want to do too many things.
As a mom and business owner, I have to squeeze a lot of “stuff” into one day.
- I take care of the kids
- Keep up with after-school activities
- Volunteer at the school
- Manage my businesses
- Cook meals
- Pay bills
- Clean the house
There’s so much more, too. If you are a mom, you know what I mean! I was always searching for a way to get more done.
That’s where I went wrong.
Planners can’t add more things to your day. I have plenty of things to accomplish each day as it is.
So, what’s the point?
My planner is a great tool for so many other things. I use it in so many ways.
I use it to help keep me on track.
It can help me prioritize my day.
I stay calm by getting everything out of my head and onto paper.
It helps me accept the limitations of a 24 hour day.
But, it can only do those things if I’m able to make necessary decisions and prioritize.
Don’t Tie Your Self Worth Up in To-Dos
So often, we find ourselves tying our self-worth up in a to-do list. We write out lists that are 20 lines long and actually expect to accomplish all of that in one day.
A brain dump is not meant to create a to-do list for one day. It is simply a tool to help you fight the feeling of overwhelm when it arises. Accept your limitations. Understand what you can truly accomplish in one day (without running yourself ragged). Split up your tasks to cover an entire week instead of one day.
I used to be proud of how busy I was. It was a badge of honor! Every minute of my day was accounted for.
Related: Stop the Glorification of Busy
But, I was exhausted.
There was no time for fun or relaxation. I even made sure my weekends were packed. I had a lot to do, but I had no life! We couldn’t dip away for a spontaneous weekend at the beach. We couldn’t even accept a last minute invite to a backyard BBQ.
Your planner won’t help you get more done.
If you’re using your planner as a place to write epic to-do lists and fill every blank space with something to do, it will eventually fail. Trying to squeeze in too many tasks is just a recipe for disaster.
Your planner is a tool to help you organize your commitments and jot down reminders. Planners are not magic, and won’t help you get more done. Especially if your schedule is already packed.
If you can prioritize and balance your tasks each day, your planner can be a great tool for staying organized. I like to choose my top 3 priorities each day and only focus on those until they’re complete. If I have extra time, I refer to a running to-do list that I keep for the entire week.
Have you found yourself writing smaller to-do lists? How do you deal with prioritizing tasks each day? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Until next week,