Time management is quite a challenge even for the most skilled, organized and experienced people, no matter how motivated they are. Our level of productivity, especially at work, vary from day to day and tools we have access to that are supposed to improve our work rate and results can often turn out against us. Think of the time you spend checking updates on the internet or getting distracted by guilty pleasures such as online shopping.
Elements of a Weekly Planner
Effective time management requires proper planning and scheduling, especially if you’re a business owner or someone who lives a busy life. Trying to squeeze in enough time for yourself and have a work-life balance can seem really tough when there’s so much to do and there always seems to be so little time. Setting out a clear plan by using a weekly planner if a daily one would add so much to an already packed daily schedule can be very helpful with these elements:
- Thinking space: Most of our hours are spent at work, and this can be very draining. A planner that allows you to clear your mind from all the noise of the day is great to keep you inspired and focused on your short and long-term career and personal goals. This means you can also be free of distraction and would have more room for inspiration and creativity. Any idea that springs to mind can be written down, which you can always go back to later if it’s not yet tangible enough.
- Schedule: A great planner allows you to tackle things the old school way-by writing them down. Having a weekly schedule written down, or things you need to accomplish at a certain date and time helps you remember your commitments and keeps you better prepared for the coming week. However, if you still don’t trust the idea of looking at a physical schedule, then you may be looking at it the wrong way.
- Due Dates: Whether you like it or not, due dates are a big part of your adult life and it’s gonna stay that way. You would have due dates for bills, tasks and probably everything else that needs to be settled. Having a space dedicated for them on your planner will make it easier for you to remember your financial, personal and work responsibilities so that you would be able to pay for, work and finish them on time.
- Bucket List: Goals. We all have them. But some of us can get easily distracted by so many things: reading, shopping, Netflix and the internet and our goals, both short and long-term ones get sidelined. Having a bucket list on your planner helps you stay on track and it’s also a pretty good reminder of why you started in the first place every time you feel frustrated and discouraged. There are also very few things in this world that can top the feeling of getting to cross out an item from your bucket list.
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Weekly Planner Example
Steps To Design A Weekly Planner
Call them traditional or old-fashioned, but paper or physical planners are still effective tools to help you stay focused and on track. However, they’re only as effective as the person using them consistently, because no planner will help you stay organized unless you learn to use them properly. It is therefore very important to be able to establish a routine and follow these steps in keeping a planner:
- Tackle things by day: Your planner would have divisions for you to write down anything relevant for a particular day. Look at these daily divisions as spaces to place or write anything that would help you get through the day better. You can plan meals, meetings with colleagues and friends, exercise and even stuff that are as seemingly mundane as dates, dinners or small errands.
- Develop a routine: You won’t believe how many people have stacks of old, barely-used notebooks and journals stashed away in a cabinet somewhere in their house. That’s what will happen to your planner if you don’t keep to a routine. Choose a regular time of the day that you can use to fill out the blank sections and keep doing that until it becomes a habit or routine, much like setting your alarm clock for waking up in the morning.
- Don’t try to include everything: Don’t feel pressured in filling out the sections. Take it one day, and one week at a time, then stick to it. Just as it is important to develop a routine, it’s also better to have some spaces blank. People get dragged into the pitfall of leaving their planners half-used when they feel the need of filling in every little detail of their activities when a planner should actually also allow you breathing space since it’s reflective of the kind of life you live.
Tips in Designing a Weekly Planner
You’ll have to choose your own style whether you prefer to write down every idea as a sort of brainstorming documentation or if you like to stick to keeping your schedules intact by writing only what’s relevant to your weekly activities.
Here are some tips to help you out further:
- Use a single planner for everything: It’s easier to keep your notes about commitments and lists in one place rather than going through multiple calendars, journals, and planners. To keep it organized, try color-coding work and personal tasks which would also make it easier for you to separate them.
- Take the time to check your planner regularly: Leave your paper planner in a place where you can easily spot and be ready for sitting down to write on like a table or desk at home. Avoid keeping it hidden on a shelf or inside drawers where it can easily be forgotten. Bring it along when you’re leaving the house if it won’t make your bag bulky.
- Have fun with it: It’s easy to feel intimidated when you see the blank pages of your planner and think of what you need to fill in, but you should take this as a fun challenge. You are in charge and you can do exactly what it is you want. At the end of the day, the most fulfilling thing in the world is accomplishing anything that makes you happy.
Types of Weekly Planners
While most people would go for any planner available, it would be better to choose one that would fit your lifestyle best. Here are the most common types of planners you can use:
- Traditional or Life Weekly Planner: This is probably everyone’s go-to planner and for good reason. You can never go wrong using it in organizing your time and trying to keep your life in order. It’s perfect for your typical daily life or work since it can cover generally any aspect or part of your life.
- Financial Weekly Planner: Financial planners are ideally specific to your bills, financial responsibilities, budgeting and writing down financial goals. Some of them would come with sections like the ones you find in a traditional planner but would still have specific areas for financial planning, logs or a space for tracking your bills.
- Fitness Weekly Planner: If you’re looking to have a healthier, fitter lifestyle, this is the best weekly planner for you since it can help you track your progress on working out, diet and exercise as well as the meals you’ve got planned for the week.
Weekly Planner Sizes
Planners generally come in these sizes:
A4 size and letter size: 8.5 x 11″ and 8.27 x 11″
A5 and Half Letter size: 5.83 x 8.27″ and 5.5 x 8.5″
Weekly Planner FAQs
What is the purpose of a planner?
One of the primary reasons people keep planners is to motivate themselves into living a simple life by avoiding the hassles that come with a “no-plan” and disorganized weekly or daily life, especially when it comes to schedules. Another important purpose of a planner is having a more systematic and personalized time-management.
How do you maintain a planner?
It’s not easy to keep a planner with the intention of writing on it when you’re just starting to realize the benefits of being organized. Develop a routine and stick to it. Make time out of your busy schedule to write down your weekly tasks, deadlines, and other commitments. It won’t be easy but once you get used to it, maintaining your planner will be something short of second-nature to you.
Whether you’ve decided to have a fitter version of yourself or perfecting a dish come 2019, it’s important to make time in planning for it. They say the best-laid plans tend to go wrong or forgotten but it doesn’t have to apply to you, especially if you can plan effectively, which would probably make all the difference.