If you know me, you have probably learned that I have a type A personality. I NEED to have a schedule/plan. I obsess over organization. I like routines. I am pretty sure I am borderline OCD. Yes, that is a self-diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I will admit that I have a problem and that if I were ever to seek advice from a certified medical professional; they would likely give me that diagnosis. I just really like schedules and order and lists and neatness and plans. Did I mention schedules? I love making them, and I love looking at them. I am certainly NOT a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of girl. I like to know ahead of time how things are going to go and what the plan is. I can’t do a day-to-day kind of thing either. I like to be able to look at the week ahead and know what is coming. This came in handy as a teacher of children with Autism who thrive on a routine and schedule. Some might say that is where my need for a schedule came from, but, honestly, I think I have always been like that. It has just gotten worse as I have gotten older. I do not like surprises or spontaneity! It is important for me to have not only a weekly schedule but also a daily schedule, especially now that I am home most of the day. I don’t know about you but I am much more productive when I have a schedule to follow. Without a schedule, I tend to get off track and get easily distracted. I have made my goal for October to create a daily schedule and stick to it. I have written that goal down and have planned out my day. Well, it is only 3 days into the month and so far it is going well. What do I mean by a schedule? How detailed is it? I mean that I have planned out my entire day so that I am able to accomplish all of the things that I want to do in a day and that are important to me. I even put in the 30 minutes of time to work on my personal development (see Put on Your Big Girl Panties), family time, and hobby time. Here is an example of the schedule I have made for myself for this month. As you can see it is pretty detailed but it works. I have time for myself, and I get my work done. I don’t have a strict schedule for the weekends, this is just for the weekdays to keep me on track. Your schedule will likely look totally different than mine. This is what works for me.
|6:15||Begin Morning routine (wake up Bay, make lunches, iron clothes, etc.)|
|7:00||Wake up Em|
|7:45||Shower and get ready (yes, it takes me an hour)|
|9:00||Rodan + Fields Business
10-11 Reach-outs/social media
|11:00||Anchored Piece by Piece
1-2 Social Media
|5:15||Cook Dinner/Homework/Family Time|
|8:00||Hobby Time/Time with hubby-read, TV, craft, etc.|
I am also a very visual learner. I was the kid that took notes in class and then went home and recopied all of the notes as a study technique. I needed to visualize it on the paper in order to remember it. When someone tries to give me directions, I have to write it down. I cannot just remember it if you give it to me auditorily. I have to see it. All of these things are reasons why I LOVE planners. Actually, I am pretty obsessed with planners. I am automatically drawn to them in stores. I may or may not have a collection of them hidden away in a box because I can’t bear to throw them away. They are full of memories! I have even been known to buy a planner, get it all set up, and then buy another one a few weeks later because it was cuter, or it was what I deemed as “better” than the first one. I know this is not normal, but I can’t stop myself. Does anyone else like planners besides me? I can’t be the only old school girl that likes a planner. It is a great way to keep you organized and put together. If you have a busy schedule with lots of appointments and things, you definitely need some way to keep it all straight. Planners are a great way to do that.
The pen and paper kind of planner works best for me. I have tried using the calendar on my phone linked with my husband’s so that we can both see and know what is going on, but that is not visual enough for me. I can’t see everything all at one glance. My husband is not a visual learner and loves having the joint calendar on our phones so I do input all of our appointments and gymnastics meets and cheer competitions in it for him. I just don’t prefer that way for myself. I have also tried the large desk calendars and the big dry erase board calendars in the kitchen or my classroom, but these just don’t work for me either because I can’t take them with me. I have tried the small pocket size calendars that fit in your purse too, but those aren’t good because I don’t have enough room to write everything. You guys, the struggle is real! I am really picky about what features my planners have in them. It has taken me years, but I have finally found the perfect planner for me. It allows me to customize it with the exact features I want. I anxiously awaited my first one to come in the mail, and it was like Christmas morning when it finally arrived. I am obsessed. It is too big for my purse, but it is definitely manageable to carry with me in the car and to appointments and meetings. It is important that you find what works best for you. Being organized just makes you feel better. I hate running around frantic because I don’t remember which appointment I am supposed to be at or what time that meeting was. As long as you are organized, you can choose whatever method helps you best. What have you found that works for you?
Remember how I said I was a visual person? Another thing that helps keep me organized is that I color code my planner. Each family member has their own color, and each of my businesses has it’s own color. When you open to the week, it looks like a rainbow but it is so easy for me to see who goes where and what I am doing that day/week. I even make a key that tells me who/what each color represents in case I forget. I have been doing this for years and it is glorious! My favorite pens to use are the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip pens. They don’t bleed through to the next page and I highly recommend them to help keep you organized. They come in so many colors, and they make your planner look so pretty! I know my fellow teachers know which ones I am talking about. So good! Organization excites me! Another side note and part of my OCD is that I never cross/scribble things out in my planner because that makes it look too messy. I always use white out; not the liquid, goopy, messy kind. I like to use the BIC White Out Correction Tape. It’s easy, effective, and there is no drying time required!
My planner is my life. If I loose it, I promise, it is like the end of the world to me. I live and breathe by my calendar. It not only has our schedules and appointments in it, but it also had my to do lists in it, important phone numbers, my goals, and my notes/ideas. It has everything in it. It is how I keep up with everything that goes on in my life from doctor appointments to practice schedules to what I need from the grocery store. It is so important when thinking about that life balance that you try to stay organized. I challenge you to figure out a schedule and system that works for you and stick to it. It will make your life easier.