Daily Planner Routine
If you’re new to using a planner to organize your day, one way to be successful in using it is to create a daily planner routine. The most important thing to keep in mind is that consistency is key, so you need to choose a regular time that works for you. Let’s look at the benefits of having a morning or nighttime daily planner routine.
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Morning Planner Routine
For some people, morning is the best time to use their planner. The day is a fresh start, and you can look ahead at what you need to do and what you’d like to accomplish.
Benefits of a morning routine
The biggest benefit of starting your day with a planner routine is that it helps you get ready for the day. You can see what appointments you have, what tasks need to be accomplished, and use them to create a to-do list.
Starting your day with your planner helps to get you in the right mindset for tackling your tasks. You can also review the things you completed the day before and cross them off and move any remaining items to today.
If you struggle with productivity, morning planner time might be your best bet for change. It gives you a chance to prioritize what needs to get done and you can actually have a plan to stay on track. Focusing on your priorities will help you be in the right mindset to be productive.
Using your planner in the morning
Here is a checklist of how you might use your planner in the morning (depending on your planner layout and what you track):
- Check the monthly calendar page for anything happening today. Consider appointments, birthdays, and phone calls. If necessary, add them to your daily page.
- Write a to-do list of what you need to get done today. Consider order of importance for getting the tasks done, and write down an approximate amount of time each task will take. (This will help you create a schedule.)
- Take a few moments to fill out spaces in your planner for quotes, affirmations, or goals for the day.
- Use the notes or other section to create an approximate schedule for fitting everything in.
Other items for your morning routine
As you are on your journey to have a more organized life, your planner should be just a part of your morning routine. Many of the things we talk about have to do with mindset and wellness. In addition to writing in your planner and figuring out your day, consider some of these other tasks to help your day be brighter and more productive.
- Journal writing
- Practicing gratefulness
- Make a healthy breakfast
Nighttime Planner Routine
For some people, a nighttime planner routine works better because it allows for reflection on the completed day, and they can set up the following day.
Benefits of a nighttime routine
While a morning routine helps you get your planner set up for the day and get you in the right mindset, a nighttime planner routine can be just as beneficial. You can review the progress you made for the day and reflect on what you accomplished. You can also think about why something took longer than expected or why it was easier.
Reflecting on what you did for the day is an excellent way to understand your processes, so you can continue to be productive. Often, we go through our day and plow through the to-do list, but we don’t consider what’s working and what’s not. Nighttime is a good time to do that.
You can also plan ahead for the next day. Move things from your to-do list that weren’t completed to the following day. It gives you an automatic starting place. Often, it’s easier to plan and prioritize when you don’t have to worry about actually getting started. You can plan your day, and then relax. The following morning, you can hit the ground running.
Using your planner in the evening
Here is a checklist of how you might use your planner in the evening (depending on your planner layout and what you track):
- Cross items off your to-do list that you completed.
- Check to see what you have going on the next day.
- Make adjustments to your schedule based on what wasn’t done and what is already on the schedule.
- Reflect on what you accomplished for the day.
Other items for your nighttime routine
As you are on your journey to have a more organized life, your planner should be a part of your evening routine. Nighttime is a great time to reflect and readjust your mindset. Getting rid of anxiety and frustration before bed will help you sleep better and set you up for a good day tomorrow. Consider adding some of these things to your nighttime routine to ease you into restfulness.
- Praying or writing devotionals
- Writing in your journal
- Making fun or self-care plans
- Listening to soft music before sleep
- Practice gratitude or read a book
When thinking about the best time to use your planner, you need to consider when you can actually devote time and attention to it. If your mornings are hectic and the thought of waking earlier to give yourself this time makes you cringe, nighttime might be better for you. On the other hand, if you’re so exhausted by the end of the day that you can’t think straight, mornings might be your best option.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Splitting the work of maintaining your planner between morning and evening can work. The most important thing you have to do is be consistent. It takes time to turn a routine into a habit. Be patient with yourself as you figure out your best process.
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