I am sure you have heard of the acronym KISS. It stands for the saying, “Keep it simple, Stupid.” Or at least that’s what my teacher told me. I never had the courage to say it then, so I’ll say it now. “Who are you calling stupid, Numnut?”
OK, well for our purposes and to be politically correct (don’t get your hopes up, I’m not really aiming for that regularly!) let’s use the acronym this way: Keep it Simple, Short and Sweet. So I added an extra S. Deal with it. Blame it on my old teacher who was not so sweet, and traumatized me for life. Sweetness is required and Niceness DOES Matter. I’ll have my extra S!
It’s Friday, and late in the day so I want you to think about this in relation to your planner life. Let’s apply KISS to one of the biggest planner obstacles we encounter in our planner lives, and see how it might benefit us, shall we?
Common Planner Problem: Blaming the planner for our behavior: “I buy a planner with good intentions only to find myself missing appointments, forgetting to check it and leaving it on the kitchen counter. “
KISS IT: The problem is not your planner, sunshine, it’s YOU! Or at least your planner routine. So the first question you might ask yourself before you sink another cent into another planner is, what am I looking for in a planner? Or maybe even ask yourself, what do I expect FROM my planner. After you say this , preferably out loud and realize the absurdity of expecting something from your PLANNER, “You are ready to begin.” said with Yoda like voice…
Because ultimately, you are looking at a fancy notebook system, or calendar. SO…it begins with you and ends with you. Like a diet or exercise program, ANY one of many will work. When the student follows the plan. True, we must find what works for us ideally, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. Um…but no skinning of cats for us. Instead let’s simplify!
Keep it Simple, Short and Sweet: Develop the planner habit BEFORE investing in any particular one planning system. Or at the very least, whatever you have already purchased, be willing to give it the old college try. Often we don’t commit for a long enough time utilizing something before we bail and blame. If this sounds familiar to you, then use a notebook of your choice for 21 -31 days. Make 3 sections: 1) monthly calendar; 2) daily pages ; 3) notes etc. You can print out, paste, stamp or otherwise create your monthly calendar pages. For the daily pages, simply write the date and day at the top of the page, then sketch out your day, appointments, what you want to accomplish, do and be. The notes section is purposefully bland. What will you put in there? Well that is the point. After you see what makes its way to the notes section, you will have an idea of what specific sections you require if any.
For instance if you find you are constantly dropping contacts, e-mails and phone numbers in the notes, a contacts section may be important to add. Maybe you doodle. Well hello, doodle section! Maybe you record your Fitness sessions, prayers (or prayer lists), Girl Scout leader notes, or concert dates. Maybe all of your family randoms appear there. Just use the notes for anything that does not seem to belong in the monthly or daily pages. This is about as simple and basic as you can get.
Once you have your “planner” set, it’s time to plan your planner time. This is where you create your vision and plans for the week, day and days to come.
1. Look at your upcoming month, gather information and plug all into your MONTHLY view.
2. Pick one night or time over the weekend (Friday-Sunday) for planning time to plan the week ahead.
3. Write out your appointments for the week.
4. There should be lots of, if not some, WHITESPACE for filling in activities which are not productive only, but enjoyable, and recreational. Schedule ME time. Whether pedicure, read time, creative time or just relax time at a coffee shop with a girlfriend or your journal.
Each morning you will check in with your planner make sure you know what, where, how, who and why for your day.
Develop the Planner Habit by having:
* a weekly planning session (20-30 minutes)
*a morning planner check in (5-10 minutes)
* a goodnight KISS before bed ( 2-3 minutes)
Two out of three ain’t bad, but set the bar for success. Remember to record any changes in plans as they arise in monthly and daily pages.
A Practical Tip: If you have not developed a consistent planner plan, then why not give it a try? A planner plan, is simply when and how you make time to plan your days. Keep it simple, short and sweet, by not trying to make the planner the be all end all. At least not right away! Repeat after me: “There are no perfect planners, only prepared people!”
A Quote to Ponder: “Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.” Gordon Parks
A Prayer for Today: Lord, You alone are God. You hold time and eternity in the palm of your hand, I stand in awe of you. Lord, I forget that it is You who sets the stars in the sky, the tides of the sea, and each moment is a granule of sand in a universal desert beyond my comprehension. May I be content to number my days simply, graciously and wisely, in your eyes. And at the end of my day trusting your hand, above my plan, laying my head upon pillow satisfied completely in your love. In Jesus name, Amen.
This is Day 3 of the series Planning with Purpose: 31 Days of Planner Tips
I wrote an INTRO POST here explaining everything!
I have also made designated a PAGE for it. Hope this makes it easy. I am happy to tackle a topic, or issue regarding your planner habits.
Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me.
I pray this series is a blessing to you.
Linking with Missional Women