Last year I floundered a lot when it came to planning and organization. I was inconsistent and often found myself doing things at the last minute or worse, not at all. This is not how I like to operate! In early December I decided it was time to nail down a planning system that worked for me and get myself organized. Here’s what I’ve done to help me stay at the top of my game in 2020…
ONE. Switch back to a Bullet Journal. In 2018 I experimented with using the Agendio customizable planner. Last year I abandoned all planners and just used a simple wire bound notebook. It just felt simpler to me as I mostly work in lists, keeping schedules on my Google calendar. BUT, I missed the pretty pages of a bullet journal and the fun of creating layouts. So here we are again with a vow to keep it simple and manageable.
TWO. Plan at Night/Review in the Morning. Every night, just after dinner, I take my bullet journal and a pen and set it on my nightstand. This helps me to remember to do a quick planning session for the next day, just before I go to bed. When I get up in the morning I take my bullet journal with me out to the kitchen and leave it open on the counter all day. I do a quick review of my plan for the day before I start getting breakfast ready. As a stay at home mom, I can glance at my task list all day long as I move around the house getting things done.
THREE. Implement the “Alistair Method”. Tanya posted about this earlier in the month and it was a huge light bulb moment for me. I immediately started using the weekly style of the Alistair Method and it’s been a game changer. For years now I’ve realized that a traditional planner with all it’s schedules and dates just doesn’t work for me. I mentioned above that I work better with rolling task lists. Everything on my list needs to get done during the week but not necessarily on a specific date. So I use the Alistair Method and then put a dot next to my action item on the day that I completed it.
FOUR. Use a Social Media Scheduler. I really want to be more consistent when it comes to posting to Instagram in particular. The book community over there is so much fun and last year we created a GXO instagram account that needs some more love! (Come follow us @awesomerxoxo). Over the summer I started to experiment with the Later app, scheduling some Instagram posts ahead of time. I loved it and it was so easy! But I was still inconsistent. So I’m adding “photograph and schedule IG post” to my weekly task list in my bullet journal and making a goal to schedule at least 2-3 IG posts per week.
FIVE. Have a Set Time each Day to Work on Goals/Hobbies. As a stay at home mom, I found it hard to do things like work on the blog, take photos for Instagram, and even read blogs during the day. None of these things are ‘required.’ These are hobbies for me and therefore, expendable. I sometimes feel guilty sending my kids downstairs to play so I can sit at my computer and write blog posts. BUT, these are things that I enjoy doing and they make me feel like a whole person. So I decided to put these straight into my daily schedule and not feel guilty about it. Now I get up an hour earlier and have also set aside the hour before dinner as my time to work on personal tasks. Now I’m not just trying to sneak it in whenever I can and feeling frustrated about it all the time.
What has helped you stay on top of all of your daily and weekly tasks?