If you are looking to organize your time, routines are your solution. A routine is an activity that you practice every day to make your days more predictable and run smoothly. You already have a routine for what you do when you first wake up like brushing your teeth. Why not try to get into a planning routine that will increase your productivity and help you to get more things done every day?
A planning routine like any other routine has many benefits. It makes the tasks of checking into your planner easier. Once you make planning a routine it becomes natural. It relieves you of stress and anxiety from knowing what to expect next. You’ll no longer toss and turn at night thinking about all the things you have to do. Writing and planning out your days the night before will prepare you for what’s to come. With a planning routine, you will be able to focus and concentrate. Most importantly, it will help you get more done in less time.
To use my planners efficiently every day, I had to find a system that would help me increase my productivity. I had all these planners but I wasn’t using them all to their full potential. A planner is a tool to help you get organized, it won’t make you more organized.
You need to learn how to use your planner so you can start getting more things done. This planning routine has helped me to become much more productive in my everyday life. I am starting to cross more and more things done off of my to-do list!
Below I will show you what I plan for and when I plan to ensure that I am getting things done every day.
Download the planning routines checklist & printables to get into the habit of planning more productively!
Beginning Of The Month
At the beginning of each month, I review my last month’s plans. I look through the monthly calendar and also the weekly and daily spreads. I check to see if I’ve reached my goals. I track all my month end results and plan new goals for the following month. If there is anything I missed, I transfer it over to the next month.
I then plan my to-do’s, events, appointments, birthdays, vacations, holidays during the month.
After planning out my month, I don’t stop there. Every Sunday I take a look at my monthly calendar to see what I have planned for the upcoming week. If there is anything planned or things I need to do, I write it down in my weekly spread. If things are happening on a specific day I make sure to place a sticker or write it down on that specific day. If anything new pops up I also make sure to add it to my to-do list.
If it doesn’t have a specific due date I usually write it out to the side or on a separate to-do list. I have an ongoing master to-do list that I take with me everywhere in my Untimely Planner. The to-do lists are categorized by subject so I don’t have a million things to do on one list. It helps me to balance my work and life as well. If I have extra time in my week to incorporate a few of these into my weekly schedule.
Night Before/End of Day
Every night before I go to bed I review my day and start journaling. I use a lined traveler’s notebook as my diary. I write down all my accomplishments and everything I am grateful for. I like to watercolor in it and doodle as well. Zinnia creates a traveler’s notebook watercolor palette which is perfect for this. You can find it here in her shop! I use that and this pentel watercolor brush! It makes my journaling so much more fun looking! This is a great way for me to wind down and start getting ready for bed. I then start to plan for the next day.
Before starting my planning routine, I used to worry and stress about what I didn’t get done. To clear my head I plan my to do’s for the next day.
This is where I get into all the little details. I write down every little thing and plan my daily schedule. I try to plan my schedule down to every hour of the day. I time-block specific times during my day to work on my blog, social media, and shop. I also plan for times to relax with the kids and my husband. If I didn’t designate specific times during my day I would overdo it and have no balance between work and life. I will definitely go more in-depth about time blocking in another post.
When I first wake up I always check my planner to see what’s happening today. I then start following my schedule and start with the biggest task. I do the hardest thing first like Brian Tracy suggested in his book, “Eat That Frog”. (If you haven’t read it yet, you have to get it now! I love reading books about being productive it’s a great motivator for me!) The morning is usually when I am most alert, and also when the kids are still asleep. It’s the best time for me to do the most daunting task.
Review your day and see what time of day where you are most focused. Use that time to work on your biggest project. Don’t forget to download my checklists below to help you start your routines! Once I get that done the other things on my to-do list becomes a breeze and my day is already off to a great start.
I follow my daily scheduled routine that I have in my planner. You can get so much done once you’re aware of your time. Learn how to track your time here. I like using my timed scheduled planner to make sure I balance my life in all areas. See how I do that here. I also like to set a reminder on my phone to remind me when it’s time to switch tasks. Currently, I am using an app called OWAVES. It allows me to edit my daily routine and sends me reminders throughout the day. It even has an apple watch app so even if I don’t have my phone with me I’ll still get the reminders!
It’s great when you have a routine it makes things so much easier. Not only for yourself, but for your family as well. I have 3 kids at home with me, without a routine, we would not be able to survive!
At the end of the day, I plan for the next day and the cycle repeats itself.
& That’s my planning routine!
If you’d like a worksheet to help you get into a planning routine like mine then click the picture below to download your planning routine checklist worksheet and A5 daily and monthly routine checklists!
Make an effort to plan to plan. Make it a part of your daily routine. You’ll notice the difference right away once you start this planning routine. Your whole day will become smoother and you will feel better and happier about your days because of your increased productivity.