Day 1 of the 12 Days of Planning: Choose a planning tool
It's the most wonderful time of the year but for me it's not just about Christmas. The school year is over, many of us have begun to wind down at work, responsibilities are relaxed and a shiny new year is just around the corner.
It's hard to look ahead to the new year with Christmas intervening but, like all things, a little planning ahead of time is a good idea. So I've created a little countdown of the next 12 days to the first of January that will help you get through Christmas and be ready for an organised 2017. You'll thank yourself later!
And the first task on this, Day 1 of the 12 Days of Planning, is to plan your planner! Basically, decide what kind of tool will be your organisational backbone: paper or digital. Whichever you choose, have a think about it now so you can have it in front of you to start the new year on the right foot.
Obviously, I am a paper girl, through and through. Call it what you will: weekly planner, diary, agenda, here are some of the reasons why I love them:
1. A HEALTHIER WAY TO START THE DAY
I love the morning ritual of checking in with my planner. It's like a little morning coffee date at the start of each day and healthier than squinting at a screen!
2. THE SIMPLE PLEASURE OF TICKING
One of the great pleasures in life is ticking off a task that's been done. I have been known to write a task in my planner that I've already completed, just so I can tick it off.
3. WRITING IS BETTER FOR YOUR MEMORY
When I write things down, I feel I remember them much better. Turns out, I'm not the only one who feels this way. There are plenty of scientific studies like this one that show we remember things better by writing them down than by typing them. And we need all the help we can get in this department!
4. MY PLANNER PROMPTS ME
When I sit down on a Sunday afternoon to plan my upcoming week, my planner reminds me to think about things like meals and phone calls because the blank spaces are there on the pages in front of me.
5. A LOG OF MY ACTIVITIES
I have a quick and simple way of ticking off tasks (more on that in an upcoming post), but in short, if I need to, I can look back and see the date on which I achieved which task, as indicated by that happy little tick in the circle. This has really helped me out on the many occasions I've not been able to remember if I've done something or not!
6. ALWAYS AVAILABLE
My planner sits there, in my face, all day long. I prop my planner up on one of these $1.99 tablet stands from IKEA and it's always right there in front of me as I work or run past while doing the housework. This way the rest of the family can refer to it, too, if they need to.
7. MY LIFE AT A GLANCE
My planner allows me to see my entire week at a glance: which days are busy and which days are not quite so busy. This helps me keep my schedules realistic. At the flip of a page, I can see my whole month (in the monthly view) or any other month or week of the year.
8. IT KEEPS ME FOCUSED
This one doesn't really apply to me as we have almost no mobile reception at home, but it might sway those of you who are teetering between paper and digital: you don't have to turn your phone on to check your day and ooh! Someone messaged me on Facebook... and there goes half an hour of the day.
9. IT'S SOOO GOOD-LOOKING!
If I'm going to look at something umpteen times a day, and be inspired to use it, it needs to be stylish, attractive and colourful. Otherwise, I won't be motivated to use it properly. My planner is.
No doubt you already know what sort of person you are. What's most important now is that you think about what you want to use as your organising tool for 2017. If it's a paper planner, order yours now so you can hit the ground running on January 1.
You can order the Lorna Leigh Lane 2017 Weekly Planner here.
Tomorrow I've got a free printable to get you ready for Christmas Day. Five more sleeps until Santa comes and 12 more sleeps until 2017!