It is often said that getting things done on time requires a plan. The truth is sometimes as individuals we are so set in our routines of going with the flow each day and hoping things fall into place that we fail to really sit and plan. Hoping things fall into place daily is a recipe for meltdowns, failures, and just a scene that could be totally avoided. Planning is not a punishment its rather an accomplishment that you will reap the benefits of every day and be happy that you decided to implement it. To plan simply means you intend or decide to do or achieve something in a set manner ahead of time.
Planning your day as a mom is the most proactive and effective means to attaining a more balanced life. The quote isn’t popular for no reason: ‘failing to plan simply means you plan to fail.’ Upon becoming a mom, plans naturally become out of place because you now must move with the flow of the development of your child until a rhythm or routine is developed.
Therefore, the other parts of your day that can be planned will prove to be beneficial to you until things are a little more structured. This will help you to have some amount of rhythm to your personal life which will provide you with feeling grounded though many other things might be out of place. Waiting until things settle would not be the perfect time to put things in place its making the baby steps from now that will amount to a plan that will work for you and your family. Practice makes progress and what better practice than amid the chaos.
We make it a duty to plan for big events in our lives, including parties and weddings. It wouldn’t hurt to plan your life by creating a type of travel guide that assists you in arriving at your desired location without the excessive bumps and bruises. Planning your life allows you to avoid going around in circles. It guarantees the focus needed to achieve your goals. Planning doesn’t delete hope but puts action to it by paying less attention to solely chance.
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What are the benefits of planning your day?
Is it important to plan your day? With this question comes a resounding yes for every mama. One of the encouraged times to plan your day is the evening before. What you plan to do the night before bed for the next day proves to become accomplished because it allows you to aim for it. In planning your day, the use of calendar planners and to do lists can be used separately or together. Writing at least the five most important things you want to achieve daily and starting each day by working at them is the key to a successful day plan. What’s better than actually planning your day, which is good, is to plan your day with active success.
Planning your day increases your willpower. Planning your day the night before affords increased will with less procrastination and more accomplished tasks that are priority. Planning your day increases productivity and encourages discipline thus giving way to great and non-mediocre outcomes. A planned day enhances your flow throughout the day and even makes room for starting activities that were delayed.
Provide for yourself a basic outline of your day as you plan. This will enable you to fill your days with useful work that will enhance your life.
In creating a daily plan as a mother, it is important to even place active play time with your kids where you provide them with your undivided attention. Setting aside time in your plan for when your meals are prepared throughout the day is also critical to building a plan that will ultimately work for you to form the structure of a champion. Your day plan is not set, and it can be altered to provide the best outcome that works to your advantage because as earlier mentioned schedules can change especially as a mother, but this shouldn’t hinder you from planning.
Planning the first hour of your day is essential and should be spent on meaningful activities which creates momentum to take on the day with optimism. Get excited about striking those planned items from your schedule! Started your day distracted with mere pings and rings will ultimately end your day in this manner. Don’t start your day distracted but rather alert and attentive.
Planning your day ahead of the day will allow you to be sure and confident of what your day will involve, and it gives you the courage to get it done.
Using a planner to plan your day
In using a planner effectively its important that you know how you want to plan. The three main planning methods include monthly (schedule for the entire month), weekly (schedule for the upcoming week) or daily (schedule for the next day). Planners don’t mean that things that pop up after you have diligently sat to schedule cannot be included – in fact having a planner helps to give perspective to things that pop-up which is a known reality of life.
Using one planner will keep you more organized and settled mentally as you are able to visit it and see how each event is progressing or altering both business and personal tasks. The onus is on you to check your planner often. This will keep you on track with all your tasks and events and cause for you to become and maintain order throughout your days.
Using a planner effectively simply means writing down everything – all the parties, dinner dates, vacations, invitations, birthdays, appointments, meetings, and relaxation moments. Be intentional yet realistic in setting goals for yourself.
Review them and give yourself praises for all you have accomplished and continue pushing ahead. For the tasks not yet complete work at getting them done as soon as possible and practice to strike them off the list. It’s important to visually be able to see everything that is complete and its mentally important as it communicates success and progress to the brain. This motivates you positively and allows you to improve and develop your task management abilities.
What should be included in a daily plan?
The first thing you will need to do when deciding to plan your day is determining what you want to track on a daily basis. There are many things that should be included that go far beyond the basics like schedules and appointments, especially when you use printable planner pages or ones you are able to customize yourself.
Here are some ideas for items to go into your daily plan to help get you started:
Plan your Appointments and Responsibilities
One of the basic designs of using a planner to plan your daily routine is to use it in order to track your appointments and responsibilities. A planner can help you remember exactly what you need to be doing at any particular part of the day, but also to organize your day in a way that allows you to maximize productivity as well as schedule in time for quiet and self-care. Some of the appointments you may want to track in your planner include:
- Medical Appointments
- Work Meetings and functions
- Scheduled calls or emails to respond to
- Home tasks
Basically, use the planner as a task list of the to do’s you do not want to forget and miss or what needs to be done on a specific day.
Track your Goals
Goal setting is a huge part of planning! And the best way to attain a goal is in small steps. Using your planner to break up tasks into smaller pieces is a great way to track and make sure that you reach your goals.
The way I usually do this is to take my long term goal and divide it into monthly short-term goals. Then each monthly short term goal is broken down even further into weekly shorter term goals. Which is then broken down further into daily tasks. This is not only a great way to make your goals feel more manageable but also idea for perserverence. Having the short term goals allows you to have mini wins along the way, which increases your desire to keep on pressing!
This works for any type of task or to-do list you might have, according to your personal goals.
Emotions, Moods, and Triggers
Daily planner pages can also be customized according to your personal goals and what you are using the planner for. For example, if you are tracking your moods and emotions due to anxiety or depression, or because you have been dealing with a lot of stress lately, the daily planner pages are perfect for this.
These pages offer a lot more space for recording this information, as opposed to weekly or monthly planner spreads. On the daily pages, you can put what your moods are, add triggers for stress or anxiety, note how you feel and what was worrying you.
In addition to the previous ideas, there are other things you can track on daily planner pages for your health. Here are some ideas:
- Water you drink
- What you eat
- Number of calories, sugar, carbs, protein, or other stats
- If you stayed on track with your food
- Fitness tracking
- Any medical issues, like headaches or chronic pain
Lastly, you can use the daily planner pages for your daily habits. Maybe you are starting a new morning routine where you do yoga, write in your journal, and read a chapter in your current book. You can track what you did each day as part of your routine.
How do you plan your day and stick to it?
The ability to plan your day and stick to it involves highlighting your to-do’s, separating what’s urgent from not urgent (Eisenhower matrix), removing distractions, time tracking, timely check-ins (at one hour intervals), incorporating a planner (whether digital or paper), leave room for plan readjustment (original vs revised plan), pay attention to results, plan a moment for pure relaxation, give yourself less time to accomplish tasks, let energy levels lead planning (accomplish the tasks that require more energy from you in the first portion of the day), always plan in advance (this keeps you organized and a step ahead and counteracts possible setbacks, color code your planner, pinpoint the necessary top3 tasks that must be accomplished each day, set alert reminders for each task, reflect, and zero your to-do list.
Here are some additional practical tips to plan your day as a busy mama:
- Write out a plan every day the night before
- Try planning at the same time everyday
- Plan tasks in relation to work and personal life
- Refer to your to-do list often to ensure you stay on track
- Don’t do it all by yourself – it is completely okay to ask for help when needed
- Create meal plans to add ease to dinner plans
- Group household chores together and divide out tasks when necessary
- Choose to use a family calendar – this will assist you in ensuring that no family activity is forgotten throughout your day
- Include your kids by allowing them to help, this will encourage them to get on board
- Turn off technology or detach yourself from being so connected to it
Additional ways to plan your day
Other than the above-mentioned tips, planning your day through the productivity method proves to be very beneficial. This includes:
- ‘Eating the frog’. This productivity method requests pinpointing an important task each day and completing it before all other tasks. This puts priority into action and perspective first. Many times, it’s a task that you would love to avoid because it brings much anxiety or added pressure to complete thus the reason for eating the frog and limiting all procrastination. This is termed as your frog task and should be placed at the top of your list above all others.
- Pomodoro technique. This is ideal for people who prefer working in more focused manner with many breaks. To successfully incorporate this approach includes setting pomodoros (25 minutes sessions) that you will need to complete each task. These prompts and highlights how long a specific assignment might take and allows you to plan accordingly.
- Time blocking to do list. This allows you to organize your day in blocks of time. Time blocking encourages you to create a schedule that allows you to work without distraction within the specified time block. This will also help to determine time frames for to-dos. Incorporating lunch and breaks with the time blocks allow it to be even more accurate.
Free daily Planner pages
Planning your day can offer so many benefits, why not start your planning with one of our free daily planner page printables.