I have learned in my adult life that I am not as organized as I always thought I was. In fact, I am scatterbrained, and despite my great efforts to remember things and keep track of sticky notes all over the house… that’s just not a great way to organize life.
My life got to the point my desk looked like annotations from high school lit. You know what I mean?
So last year, I decided it was my year to really get things together. It was time to grow up, stop writing my life on sticky notes, and (most importantly) I was going to make our marriage a whole lot more functional with my end being much more put together. Just being honest! We would literally make plans, and I would have completely spaced until the day before that I have something else at the same time. We haven’t had to cancel on anybody we love last minute because of MY scatterbrain in the last year. PRAISES.
So, after lots of research, I decided to purchase the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. It seemed like the best way to organize my day to day. It is set up with the ‘always on the run’, busy woman in mind. For every month there is a monthly calendar layout for you to see a general overview, and then it is broken down to days with an hourly time schedule- sun up to sun down. I need help with organizing every hour of my day basically. And, y‘all, it was the best decision ever. I have owned so many planners over the years that barely ever got filled. That is not the case with this one. I wake up every single day and fill in everything from times to eat to tasks for the day, and I ALWAYS write in obligations and commitments the second they are confirmed.
If you are married- Paul and I share a calendar on the computer also, and we add things to it for each other (it’s color coded!). It’s so that we know things we need to be at together, AND so that we know when and where each other are at. If the calendar says I have a meeting at 2 PM with so and so, Paul knows not to call me and he knows that is something he can have intentional conversation about over dinner later.
How I Stay On Top of Things
1. Write out EVERYTHING- write out when you have your quiet time, workout time, eating time, tasks for the day, places to be that day, and goals to accomplish for the day. If it’s not in the planner, it likely won’t happen.
2. Every morning I do my quiet time, and then I do the above. I sit on my sofa, drink my coffee, see what is in store for the day, and then add my tasks. It’s incredibly satisfying to write out my goals for the day. Often this will be orders I need to fulfill for The Cake Shop, what time I will take orders to USPS, people I need to email, brands I want to reach out to/respond to, posts to edit and write, etc.
3. At the end of the day, if there are any tasks I didn’t complete, I circle them and put an arrow to the next day. I know in the morning those are my #1 priorities to do that day.
4. In the notes section of my day, I put what we are having for dinner & when to put out any meat that might need to defrost. I also keep running lists of things I want to accomplish for that month, quarter, and year. It keeps me focused and determined to rewrite them every day! I keep tee shirt ideas, phrases I think of, etc. down in the notes section, too.
5. The monthly overview of my calendar is just as important as the daily. Anytime somebody asks me to hang out or do something, I go to my monthly overview to see how filled it is. If I get overwhelmed by how much is filled in, then I suggest a date in a few weeks that will be less full and at which I will be more present/less frantic. Basically, using my “yes” wisely. (This has taken me a long time to master.)
I hope this helps you as you get everything together for the upcoming year. You’ve got this! Don’t go another year feeling like a chicken with her head cut off. This planner is seriously the answer to your problems. Plus… come on… they’re so pretty!
All photos by Cottonwood Road Photography for The Cake by Hannah
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