“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” -Dwight D Eisenhower
Planning is a powerful way to take back time and master the important instead of the urgent. Ideas and actions are forever floating around in my head: “I need to do X,” “Oh yeah, don’t forget that,” “the next step is…” Whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish, whether it be a specific project or a definite objective, it is important to capture all your thoughts and action steps in an orderly way.
I find that writing things down gets them out of my head and forces me to be orderly. I will use technology for lots of things but I can’t quite get the same effectiveness as I do with the act of writing it down.
There are a few specific things that I do to keep myself on track and on time for life:
- It operates as a time planner, a task manager, and a goal setter. I write down all the tasks as they come up on one side and either move them to specific days or check them off the list once complete.
- I schedule tasks into the time blocks of day that I intend to complete them.
- I actually write down things that I have done retrospectively for reference–it allows me to see progress from week to week and functions as my “memory” for the days.
- I try to meal plan and use a Grocery List, at least from day to day, if not weekly. Some people like to schedule out for a greater time (like 2 weeks or a month) but I usually shop weekly for groceries. Weekly works for me.
- I work in a customizable system that allows me to add formats for tracking as I please. I found the disc-bound system, available at Staples, Levenger or even online at Amazon(e.g Staples Arc Customizable Leather Notebook System), to be my favorite. It is a little bit for the upfront cost, but regular use makes it a good investment–( everything I design for my use, I post here to be printed off and used in that type of planner. A 3 ring binder or other “movable” planner works as well.)
I spend time actually thinking
- About what I need to do and about what I want to do.
- About who I want to be, and determine what attitude I need to have to be that person
- About what is important, what is not important and what is required of me
I talk to God about what He wants
Even spending 10 minutes of my morning in prayer determines how successful my day will be. If I try to do it alone, it is always that much more difficult. Every monotonous task seems more burdensome, every complaint more irritating and every interruption more frustrating. By taking a moment to align my will with God’s, I am certain to have a much more peaceful day.
Spend time planning ahead and stop falling behind. Discover the power of planning.
How could a better plan make every day better?