Thursday, December 26, 2019

It is almost time (Planner setup)

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Today, I want to talk about time.  I know, boring subject, but there is a purpose for this topic.  I am not going to talk about time too much on this post, except for when it comes to setting up your planner.

How much time do we really have?

Photo by P.Lynne Designs (c) 2019
We all know what time is and how valuable it is in a day.  I feel that if I have a lot of time on my hands, I am not being productive when I watch a video or playing a game on my tablet. I like to be productive, as I am sure many of you do.  I am not saying don’t play games or watch videos.  Find a set time in the day/night to do that sort of thing.  This is part of your scheduling.  I do not write it down in my planner, but I make a conscious effort to note that in my head. 
Experts say that went you go to bed each night, turn off the screens.  What does that mean?  It simply means turn off your computer, turn off your phones and tablets, and do not play the television all night.  If you cannot do that, at least put them in the next room.  If you put them in the next room, you now have to physically get up to answer any texts or comments on your posts on Facebook, for example.  I know if I have to do that, I do not want to get up, so, I save it for the next morning.

For instance, I turn off my phone.  Not because the experts say that I have to, but I have a phone that constantly needs charging.  It is a Samsung Note 4 and on its last lap around the mobile bin. I will get into my issues with my phone at a later time and hopefully, I can change my phone soon. Next, there is my desktop computer.  I keep it on all the time, except when Windows 10 updates without my knowledge, and it automatically turns off the computer.  I have the computer downstairs because where I really want my computer, which is in the next room, my nephew and his girlfriend are living there until they can find an apartment.  My laptop is powered down for the moment and in my backpack for when I want to work in my room or decide to go to a coffee shop or the library to work. Those are examples of turning off the screens.

I have a flaw that I am working on.

One problem that I still have is my Ipad.  I carry it to bed with me.  I look at my messages, play games, read articles, and watch YouTube videos.  This is a bad example of turning off the screens.  When I don’t do these things that I mentioned, I find myself walking over to my Ipad, unlocking it, and just let the light from the screen put me to sleep.  It is my 5 minute night light, which I am trying to correct right now.

My tips for scheduling:

In addition to powering down your screens, which is more of a “how to get a restful night of sleep” than “How to schedule” tip.  I have these other tips:

  1. Get a good planner. 
I have I ready mentioned in Part 1 of Planning for Beginners 2020 Edition, steps for buying that first planner if you do not already have one.  I have watched plenty of YouTube videos prior to writing that post, to make sure that I was pointing the reader in the right direction.  This is sort of part 2, and I apologize for not writing a proper post for this second part.  What I have learned from my experiences and watching those videos is get a planner that is right for you and how you plan. 
Photo by Pixabay
No two people can have the exact type of planning and planners.  I have mentioned that I have 4 different planners.  One is for my business, for my personal life, for my budget, and I am trying out bullet journaling, after a failed attempt of it for 2019.  The planners are all from Erin Condren, but I am open to trying new ones.  This is the brand I have chosen for me.  There is also the Happy Planner, Moleskine, The Simplified planner, Mead has a planner, Emily Ley, and Carpe Diem, to name a few thousand.  It seems that everyone has a planner to sell.

  1. Have a “Think Tank” session. 
Choose a day to think about what you want to do and accomplish for 2020.  You do not have to take the whole day, but take a good chuck out of your say to set up your system and your schedule.  Place standing dates and dates (such as doctor’s appointment) that were scheduled in 2019 and place them in your planner. 
So, decorate or not decorate it according to your tastes.  Make a schedule that you are comfortable with.  I have 4 planners, and I am fine with that concept.  I know others who have 8 or 5.  There are some people who stick with one paper planner and have a digital planner. Do what makes you happy. 
Take ideas from people and make them your own.  You do not have to make an exact copy of their setup.  Before you begin, ask yourself, how can I make this work for me?  Use a scratch piece of paper, and write out a budget on what you are willing to spend and what you can spend.  Next, draw or write out your sections, such as Home, Business, Budget, and personal.

  1. If you can, have a separate budget book. 
Yes, that is what the Erin Condren Monthly deluxe planner is for with me.  This is not a new concept.  I adopted this technique from Shay McMillian, AKA Shay Budgets.  What I like about this planner is that there are notebook pages inside of each monthly section, where you can write down your notes, your income, your expenses, your sinking funds (I am still learning about those), and your financial goals.  You do not have to go all out like me.  I am testing this system for the first time.  What was not working for me was using Excel for a budget, and placing it in my main planner.

  1. Business/Work Planner
Also if you can, have a separate business planner (or work planner if you still have a corporate job).  When I planned out My Ambiance Life and decided to talk about business ventures, I did not realize that I had a whole audience of readers who were both entrepreneurs and corporate workers, or corporate workers ONLY.  So this tip is for you too.  Many times, for example, we often find ourselves not only placing appointments in our personal planners dental appointments for our children, but that “all-inclusive” staff meeting from XYZ company, or meeting with a client, who wants to do 14 fittings of a wedding dress that she is not sure of in the first place into that planner.  Why not have a separate planner?  Even better if you can leave on at the office and carry the other one around. 
Photo by Pixabay
Not feeling the need to have to carry one around.  Does pocket-size mean anything or using your phone as a digital planner?  That is why I carry my Ipad.  I put all my dates in there

5. Putting it all together.

Find a way to coordinate your system.  Make a conscious effort to look at it every day.  Decorate if you want to.  I know of some people who go wild with the decorating and some who take on a minimalist approach to it.  I am in the middle.  If I feel like it, I will decorate it.  I do not make a habit of it.  I like stickers, which goes back to my days of making scrapbooks. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of setting up a planner.  Place them in the comments section.

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