How To Use A Weekly Planner To Increase Productivity

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do each week? You're not alone. Every day seems to go by faster than the last, and it can feel like there's too much to keep track of.

Using a weekly planner can help calm the chaos. It's a place where you can write down everything you need to accomplish: appointments, goals, shopping lists, and more. It doesn't need to be boring at all - using a STARTplanner can make it fun. Here are some ideas about how to use your planner.

Pick a day to write everything in your planner.

Pick a day, ideally at the beginning of the week, where you set aside a good fifteen or twenty minutes to block in everything you know is going to happen in the week ahead. If you work, make a note of your regular work hours; if you're in school, write in your class schedule.

As you're plotting, you can alternate between pen and pencil: pen for more permanent events you know are unlikely to change; pencil for goals or appointments that have more flexibility.

After you've finished writing in everything you know is on the agenda, bring your planner with you to your appointments and keep it updated throughout the week. Updating will take less time once you've mapped out the big picture.

Maintain a running "dump list" throughout the week.

You've talked to your child's teacher and there are some follow-up phone calls you need to make. Or you need to go back to the mall to return a blouse. Or your coach calls to say there's going to be another practice on Saturday, and gives you a list of warm-up drills.

Moments like these are where a "dump list" comes in handy. On it, you can write action points, remind yourself of emails you need to send, and keep track of to-do items. Once you've written it all down, it's easy to refer to your planner and make a note of when and where these small tasks can be accomplished.

Color code.

If you have a lot to keep track of in your planner, color coding is a great way to go. For example, you could use blue for doctor's appointments, orange for travel days, or green for birthday reminders. It's truly up to you.

It can be helpful to keep the number of colors you use to a minimum, so you don't get confused about which color goes with which project. Make a routine and stick to it.

Add a pop of whimsy to make using your planner fun.

Got a gloomy week or just need a planner pick-me-up? Try using stickers and planner tape with your STARTplanner. A little hint of color and cute will help you look forward to using your planner. The joy you give yourself has a positive ripple effect on your life.

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