Planning for Simplicity is part of the Simplify Your Life series. Using a planner can help change habits and perspectives to simplify areas of your life.
Here are a few steps to help you plan for simplicity. We tend to overindulge ourselves with consumables and excess, and In order to truly simplify, we have to change our mindset and habits. I find that using a planner helps me to minimize daily distractions and focus on activities and tasks that are important in my life.
Choose The Best Planner
Whether you use a paper planner or an electronic version, you will want to make sure that you have this important tool to help you plan. Most people surveyed plan using a combination of both.
Why do you need a planner? It helps you prioritize and schedule activities that support your goals..It can also help you develop habits and processes to make your life easier. You may find that a simple bullet journal is all you need to gain more control of your schedule. If you want something more elaborate, there are many types of planners and I have put together some information on how to choose the best planner for your style.
Set Time To Plan
This may sound a bit counter-productive, but it is important to set some time in your schedule for planning. It not only feels good to plan and strive towards your goals, but it also gives you control over your day. Scheduling planning time is imperative in realizing your vision and helps to provide needed motivation towards that vision.
Most people plan their day at the first opportunity in the morning. No matter how busy your morning is, I recommend that you take some time to determine a few tasks you want to accomplish by the end of the day. You might have a ton of things rolling around in your head, but in an effort to simplify, I suggest picking three to five things to accomplish during the day. These can be simple things but I encourage and recommend that one of the things be something to simplify your life in the future, such as organizing a drawer or purging excess paper.
Time Blocking for Simplicity
Time blocking is when you set aside a block of time in your schedule to do something. That something can be specific or not so much. It helps you have control over your schedule and also encourages you to minimize distractions. Time blocking examples could include decluttering the counters, studying for a course or taking the kids to a sporting event. Try to be realistic in calculating your activity time. Also, avoid blocking your entire day, you will want to keep open time slots for unexpected events or calls, and for downtime.
Ending the Day
End the day with gratitude as often as you can help you reflect on your focus. Looking back at your three to five things that you set out to do, you may not have accomplished them all or maybe you did and also managed to get a few more things done. Or maybe you spent some time with others creating memories that you will cherish.
No matter how hectic or unproductive a day may seem, chances are that you have accomplished something relevant and fulfilling. Small wins are still wins. Having a perspective of gratitude can change your outlook and happiness level. Studies have found that people who take the time to consciously reflect on gratitude tend to be happier and less depressed.
You may find that it helps to write down wins in your planner or gratitude journal. SEeing the things that bring you joy will help inspire you to simplify, as it truly is the simplist things in life that matter most.
Next in this series, we will talk about simplifying in the home. What is an area in your life you would like to simplify?
I love paper planners!
They are my favorite too!
I love time blocking! It's my favorite way to work/not work. I time block the work itself too, and mix it with other errands, eating, personal stuff.
How we end the day, I'm fast learning, is really important. I always think of it the next morning.
Yes, this can be life-changing and really helps you find the wins!