The first thing I learned when I transitioned to working full time from home was the necessity of a routine. Making up your own is a challenging experience when you’re used to having one established for you. I worked in a school, so my day naturally broke into class periods. It was a schedule that made sense. Transitioning to working at home proved to be a major shift. My day no longer consisted of little time periods of work built into one whole day. There wasn’t a clear dictation of how to spend my time. My goals remained, but the tools to achieve them eluded me. That is, until I found my bullet journal.
You can read more about how the bullet journal has changed my life and the way I prioritize and plan here. I cannot stress how this form of planning has both liberated me from the frustration of a rigid planner. It has certainly been a life changer, helping me streamline my day. If you’re looking to get started with the bullet journal, I highly suggest you watch this tutorial, which comes from the bullet journal website:
I find most of my bullet journal inspirations on Instagram and Pinterest, great places to go as a beginner or master bullet journaler. Whether you are a bullet journal junkie like I am or not, I cannot stress the importance of developing time in your routine to plan. Bullet journaling is just one method. There are plenty of proven methods out there, but none of them will help you unless you create time in your day to utilize them.
Schedule Time in Your Day
Scheduling time to plan is the most important step in fostering planning peace. After all, you can’t accomplish planner peace without the planning, right? I experimented a great deal before finding balance in my planning routine. Two structured planning times help streamline my day in the morning and evening. I don’t do both every day, because life happens (more about this later!) and I have to be flexible for that. I always make time to plan in the morning, even if it’s just five minutes to set up my to do list for the day. I try to spend a little more time in the morning planning so that all I have to do in the evening is check things off and take stock of what still needs to be finished.
Since I plan using my bullet journal, I usually spend some time on Sunday mornings setting up my weekly spreads. I also spend one Sunday a month setting up the following month. I find it calming and setting it all up myself makes it so much more personal and rewarding. If you’d like to see some of the weekly spreads that have inspired me, head on over to this blog post.
The important thing to keep in mind is to set a specific time to plan (no matter how short or long) and stick to it! Whether it’s 10 minutes or a half hour, making a plan for your day and your life can really help you sort out your priorities.
Find Your Planning Space
Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference. Just like a good reading spot enhances the reading experience, so does a good planning spot! My favorite places to plan all include a few simple things: a cup of coffee, a view of the outside, and my bujo. I think at some point I would like to create an outside planning space for nice days, but for now, I quite enjoy planning at my desk or on my couch. The most important ingredient for good planning always includes coffee for me, but tea is its occasional replacement.
Right now, I don’t have a specified desk (Going to build my own!) so I’ve brightened up a simple folding table with a tablecloth and some personal touches in the mean time. It’s small, but the personal touches brighten my day and that little boost of inspiration helps boost me forward. You can see it in the Instagram photo above. Somehow being surrounded by a few simple things that cheer me up helps me greet the day with a much more positive attitude.
What are your favorite spaces to plan? I’d love to see them! Comment with pictures below!
If it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s the necessity of keeping your priorities at the front of your mind. Keeping my goals and dreams in mind helps me define the steps I need to pursue them. At the beginning of each month, I review last month’s goals and see how close I came to achieving them and what steps remain. While it’s still only my first year utilizing my planning system, I plan to review everything at the end of the year, as I did with this six month reflection, and see where else I can improve.
Priorities help us triage our day, so to speak. They also help guide us forward, whether it is the expected direction or not. Creating a consistent planning routine helps me revisit those priorities daily. It means they are always at the forefront of my mind, and therefore makes it more likely that they will guide my goals.
Love Your Routine & Make Mistakes!
Over the past few months, I grew to love my planning time. It gives me time to reflect on where I’ve been, what I’m doing, and where I want to be. I make mistakes all the time. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve written Augusday instead of August this month (I just counted–it’s 3 times). I go to bed knowing that when I wake up the next morning, it will be easier to define what it is I have to do because I take the time to plan it out in advance. When I transitioned to working from home, I stressed about what I would schedule for myself for each day. I spent hours agonizing over where to start and what to do. I no longer wake up worried about what I’ll do the next day.
The time I spend planning translated into making time for myself. Now, I spend a small part of my day learning something of interest, doodling, and reflecting. These things give me a sense of calm. My planning time gives me the time I need to ground myself before tackling my tasks each day. It inspires me to tackle those things that once would have fallen by the wayside, like chores I don’t like or tasks I avoid. Making mistakes taught me to be flexible in my planning and often surged me toward a much needed solution to a problem. You’d be surprised how many times a mistake leads to an unintended discovery.
I hope you have found this discussion of planning routines useful! If there is anything you’re curious about, please comment below or send me a question on Twitter.
Related articles across the web
Join Our Weekly Newsletter!
Subscribe to get exclusive content and FREE PRINTABLES only available to subscribers. Get your first one right after signing up!