BUSY VS. INTENTIONAL PLANNING
Nowadays being busy seems like a badge of honour. You aren't living unless you're running from one event or task to another. Your weekly spread shouldn't have any blank spaces, right? People will think you're lazy.
With a jam packed schedule you're likely to be left burnt out, stressed and anxiety ridden. Rather than fill my days with tons of things to take care of, my way of planning is very intentional and goal based. I don't plan to be busy, I plan to be productive.
Here's how my planner helps me to be more intentional with my time:
Generally goals are something I plan out for the year and break down into tasks for each month, week and day through things like habit trackers. It's not rocket science. These are just tasks that mean something to me and I want to commit to and accomplish. Either I think they'll make me a better person, make me achieve something, or let me live the life I want. Each month and week I assess my goals and schedule in action items that I can do to work towards them. I'm careful not to overburden myself with too many tasks otherwise I'm setting myself up for failure. By consistantly checking in with my goals and scheduling them into my days, i'm making commitments to be intentional with my time, not leaving it up to fate that I get these done at the end of the year.
TO DO LISTS
To do lists are obviously incredibly useful. As easy as they seem, there is a right way and a wrong way to make a to do list. Finding the best method is subjective to you. Everyone's productivity is different. I used to set a to do list for myself every single day and while my intentions were good, I was often unrealistic by setting too many tasks than was physically possible in a day. All that did for me was make me feel anxious and guilty that things didn't get done. Instead I keep a master to do list in my planner, which I have avaliable on the shop in A5, Personal, and Pocket. Each week I visit the to do list and choose a few items I need to tackle for the week. If I have to be more specific or there is a deadline, I will include no more than three tasks to complete for each day. Be intentional and realistic with what you can get done and don't put any more pressure on yourself beyond that.
Being intentional with your time means being purposeful with your priorities and time commitments. Think about the things that are most important to you and assess where your time is actually being spent. Do the two correspond? Probably not. I really enjoy using the Daily Routine insert to plan out my ideal day and make sure each hour of my day is carefully considered.