There are a lot of common, beneficial reasons why people use planners to keep their lives in check. Planners help you know what to expect, they help you set reasonable goals with achievable measurements, and you’ll never miss another deadline again. You may find though, that these obvious reasons aren’t enough to help you maintain a planner. Sometimes the unusual benefits of keeping a planner help you move forward more than the usual ones.
Well, everybody has different strengths, goals, and desires. The next person who reads this article will have completely different motivation for reading this article than you do right this moment.
A lot of people will find motivation and interest to continue with a planner for the obvious reasons. And the smaller minority, well, will not.
If you are part of the percentage of people who can’t find motivation in the common reasons for using a planner, then keep reading!
It will improve your mental health.
Keeping a planner doesn’t mean you have to just track deadlines, assignments, and goals. You can track your mood. Your sleep. Your hygiene habits. If you see a therapist or a psychiatrist, these are actually really helpful with your care.
You can also do therapy homework. If you utilize a workbook for therapy purposes, you can do those assignments in your planner!
In addition, you can make some personal goals to directly improve your mental health and put those in your planner. Do you want to practice mindfulness? Make a meditation chart!
It will help you improve your physical health, too!
Some people meal plan. Others chart out their workouts (how long, how many days a week, what workouts to do). You can track your water intake, your weight, your meals, your calorie count, your steps, your added sugar intake, and so much more!
If there is something you want to work on specifically, make a plan and stick to it. There is nothing more satisfying than getting to check off that box saying you hit your daily goal of 10,000 steps!
You will learn more about your behavior and situational correlations.
Do you ever feel like you don’t quite get how you operate? Ever feel confused by jags of unusual behavior that seem to come and go without a logical explanation? Do you ever wonder why you eat large amounts of chocolate after stressful work days?
Well, ok, maybe you don’t eat copious amounts of chocolate after stressful work days. But after a few months of tracking whatever it is you want to track, you may start to see correlations in your behavior and emotions. This is actually really important information that most people can’t remember just because they don’t write it down.
If you do use your planner as part of your mental health journey, definitely have your therapist or psychiatrist take a peak at your personal tracking. They may find correlations you never even dreamed of.
You’ll learn what not to do in your own planner.
I promise, as silly as this sounds, it is a benefit.
I think people have a tendency to treat planners the same. They operate the weeks similarly and try to stick to a set way of doing things. For some, this works great. They rely on the routine to keep momentum week to week.
For some, this may actually be a roadblock. If you’re dreading a layout or you find yourself overwhelmed by what you’re trying to organize, this may be a time to make an adjustment.
Planning is super important, but you should only be dedicating a fraction of your day to setting things up and checking things out. If you are spending hours upon hours building structure and you are frustrated, please stop! Take out one thing, see how you feel, and make adjustments until you feel like you’ve hit planner peace again.
You can keep collections of anything!
Tracking your work to-do list is great.
But what about the fun things? What about memorable activities with loved ones? What you want to binge watch on Netflix? Vacations?
There are also trackers to help you with things. Stop smoking? Lose weight? No spending? Saving? The possibilities are endless.
You can utilize your creativity as an organizational tool.
I create a lot of my own structure through drawing and doodling. For me, it’s what helped me find motivation to keep moving forward and stick with a planner. The freedom of making exactly what I need for my week is not only a fabulous creative outlet, but allows me to maintain organization and structure in my life.
And there are other ways to express your creativity if you can’t draw (honestly, I’m not fabulous at it either!).
Washi tape and scrapbook paper add a little pop of color and fun to your page.
Stickers are another fun way to add a little pizazz, not to mention additional organization and motivation. Between craft stores such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, Etsy, and other planner companies (like Happy Planner), there is literally a sticker for everything. They add fun, organization, and motivation.
It’s a great way to stand out while connecting with others.
There are a lot of great people out in the planner community! However, it’s actually a pretty small percentage of the people you connect with in your real life.
But that doesn’t mean your planner can’t be a talking point with other people in your direct communities!
Planners make you look organized. Planners make you look put together. Plus, planners are a fabulous way to showcase your creativity. So when you bring your planner to work, to school, or even just out to a coffee shop… people notice! People will ask about it and want to look at it. You will be asked how you maintain it and how it benefits your life.
Plus, never a bad thing if your supervisor at work takes notice…
You’ll work faster.
Ok… maybe this particular aspect isn’t that unusual. However, most people tote productivity or task completion.
There is absolutely more to it than just productivity alone, though. Let me tell you a story.
For the longest time, I avoided keeping a planner at work. I made copious excuses to why having a work planner was a bad idea for me.
However, my old method of trying to keep my crap together wasn’t working for me either. I was losing post-its with important information. I’d dawdle trying to remember what I was supposed to do before I got interrupted by five people in a row. I would bypass my daily work duties just because something unusual happened that got me out of my groove.
So one day, I dragged a beloved dot-grid notebook to work. I was armed with productivity stickers and a select handful of colorful pens.
I got to work and made two lists. One for things I needed to follow up from the week prior. Another for current tasks to watch this week.
Then created a ‘to-do’ list with what I wanted to finish that week. I created a list of my daily tasks with a check mark for each day of the workweek. Last, I created a space for miscellaneous notes, and copious room for inspirational stickers.
I probably only spent about 30 minutes creating this, and used less than a dozen stickers for just two pages in my notebook.
For the first time that I can remember, I got everything accomplished that needed to be done for the week. Not just the critical things. The menial tasks were finished, too, like taking an e-learning course and cleaning up my email inbox (that still had staff absence emails from 2015!!!).
I got so much done, so efficiently, that I was effectively bored. I had to hunt for things to complete! And I got even more done that I wouldn’t have even dreamed of touching, like doing research for and watching informational videos for a huge upcoming project in 2018.
Wow, there really are a LOT of unusual benefits!
Once you determine your groove for maintaining a planner, you will soon discover what benefits your planner brings you.
It may take you a while to realize what unusual benefits a planner will bring you, but if you are willing to stick to it, I feel absolutely confident that you will make improvements to yourself.
Have you discovered other unusual benefits because of your planner? I’d love to hear your input about your planner journey and how it’s helped!
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