Last month I shared how to get out of a creative funk. This month I wanted to share how I plan my days because it was requested that I share what I do. What I do obviously won’t work for everyone, but it’s something that works really well for me. I’m the type of person that if it’s not written down, it doesn’t get done. I can go to the store for a dozen eggs but if it’s not on my shopping list, I’ll get everything (that I don’t need) and forget the eggs. I’m a mess that way. So much so that when my mom asks me to do something she tells me (every time), “write yourself a note.” At least I know I’m this way, right? So here’s how I plan my days, because with three businesses (this, this and this), two kids, a hubby and house to take care of I’m feeling spread pretty thin these days. I know you all can relate. Life’s hard. Life’s busy. Life’s expensive. This method helps me to be a little less crazy. A little.
Before the nuttiness of summertime, I was doing great making Monthly, Weekly and Daily goals with the help of Lara Casey’s Power Sheets. I plan to go back to using them as soon as I make the time to set some goals again. (you can see previous goals here when I was diligent about them). Basically you set a few monthly goals – I did mine by categories: business, spiritual, physical, relational, finances. When you go through the power sheets she walks you through what your big goals are and then how to split them into smaller goals in order to help you better accomplish them. It’s a really great system…you don’t have to use power sheets to complete your goals but this sure helped me break them down. After monthly goals you set weekly ones (something you do once a week) and then also daily goals (shown below). As you can see already from my checkboxes in the picture, there were days when my goals didn’t get done. And I’m okay with that. Progress, not perfection as Lara says!
Once I knew my goals, I could start putting them into my planner. In 2013 I used an Erin Condren Planner and this year I’m using Emily Ley’s. I haven’t decided what I’ll use in 2015 – I like to try new ones so I might try the Day Designer. Or I might make my own planning sheets. Jury’s still out on that one. I’ve gone back and forth with a paper planner vs. just my phone. I do keep my schedule in my phone, but I still transfer it to my planner weekly. There’s just something about me and paper.
On the monthly view of the calendar in my planner I plan my blog posts. Yes, I color code the calendar so that I can see which posts are for Amy Cornwell, LLC and which are for Natural Living Real Life. Plus I love colorful pens. And really any office supplies. I digress. So the month is all planned out with my posts, then I check off when they’re complete. That way I know what to start thinking about when I have time on my calendar for blogging. I also put extras on that calendar like photo shoots and freebie fridays. Just to keep my eyes on what’s going out to the world on the blog and enews.
Once I have my blog planned for the month, I can start planning my days. Normally I like to plan my days on Sunday – I put all of my appointments in then plan out production days for the jewelry business. It takes priority over anything else, I want people to get their orders in a timely manner. After I plan production days, I plan what days I need to focus on getting my blog posts done and other tasks. I simply fill in the week. If something doesn’t get done on a certain day, it gets bumped to the next (see above where orders have a little arrow…apparently I didn’t get them all done with everything else so they were finished the next day). As I look at my tasks for the day, I refer back to the monthly calendar to make sure no blog posts get forgotten.
For me, there’s something so gratifying about checking things off the list. Some days I only have one thing to do, other days I have 10 little things to do. But they all go “on the list” so that I can make sure nothing is missed and I can also look back and make sure that I actually did something I was supposed to do. Now it’s your turn – how to do plan your days? Do you plan them at all ahead of time or just take one day at a time? Weigh in below and we’ll learn from each other!