Obviously, planning has been genuinely life changing for me. While it started as a way for me to keep my grad school assignments, it’s morphed into something with a lot more meaning to me. So – what are some of the ways that planning has helped me?
- Productivity – This is the most obvious way that planning has helped me. I simply get more done in any given day when I write down tasks, to do lists and even when I plan time for relaxing.
- The 10 minute rule – I saw this somewhere on the depths of the internet a few years ago marketed as the 1 minute rule. Basically it went like this: if a task is going to take one minute or less, just do it when you think of it. I gradually made my way up to 10 minutes with the added change that I needed to do it that same day. It works for me to end the day knowing that I’ve accomplished a lot more than I probably wrote down.
- Tracking anxiety and symptoms – So one great thing that I like about planning is that I am able to track feelings and ailments. What do I mean by this? I more or less always write down when I have some sort of long-term pain that affects my day, particularly head aches. I can look at trends of days as a whole to see if something is triggering a head ache or my anxiety. I can see not only what I did but what habits I perhaps didn’t complete which could have brought on the anxiety or pain. It’s helpful to try to cut things out of my life which cause discomfort.
- Breaking down large tasks – I will never forget the intense checklist that I was given to get my visa to Spain. It was completely overwhelming. There were the first few steps – things like getting a note from my doctor and an FBI check. Then there were the translations. Then there was the actual act of going to New York and handing in all the papers. Instead of looking at it as one large task, I broke down each part into managable pieces. It was a lot less intimidating and organized than looking as one giant buerocratic task. I do this often with paperwork oriented things to do. It’s also helpful for more complicated lesson plans.
- Memory – So often, my friends and family will talk about not remembering a day or event that well. While I’ve always had a pretty good memory for conversations or events, I was in the same boat. Once I started putting down things in my planner, it’s easier for me to remember more. It allows me to remember a snapshot of the entire day which may put tasks, events and conversations into context and give me greater clarity.
- Artistic development – When I started my bullet journal, my doodling and sketching was pretty poor. While I don’t necessarily think I’m a great artist, it’s really satisfying to see the growth I’ve made. Even if it’s just taking inspiration from someone else’s work that I find on Instagram or in street art, I am able to produce something I’m proud of. It will be fascinating to see where I am in a year to see how I’ve developed even more.
Those are the six most important ways that planning has helped me. There are almost definitely more but these ones are the things I see the most day to day. How has planning helped you become a more complete person? Let me know in the comments below!