Today I am thankful for planners. As a person who has multiple time-sensitive events and various schedules to keep track of, and as a person who very much appreciates organization, a great planner is one of the few items that I absolutely would not be willing to do without. I mean, let’s face it, we live in a day and age when so much is happening in our lives that many of us need to (unfortunately) plan our days and nights down to the minute. Many of us find ourselves needing to keep track of multiple schedules, from the work schedule to the school schedule to the workout schedule to the volunteer schedule to the church activity schedule to the book club schedule, and the list just goes on and on.
And when you think about all of the many agenda items that we shove into our twenty-four hours, it’s no wonder we oftentimes feel utterly spent and find ourselves too fatigued to even exert the brainpower necessary to figure out a simple reward for ourselves. But that is neither here nor there. We will save that discussion for another day.
In the meantime, planners, when used properly, serve to keep us on track and in as much control of our lives as we can realistically be. And though they are wonderful at helping us to maintain order as we seek to keep chaos at bay, they must be used responsibly and realistically. After all, there really are only twenty-four hours in a single day. And, no, no one has devised a method to add additional hours to a single day, so we have to make it a point to use those hours wisely.
You may be wondering how exactly does one determine whether or not they are using their planner in a manner that is responsible and realistic. Well, one surefire way to determine that is to add entries covering every single activity associated with all of your schedules into your planner. And then attempt to follow that master schedule to the letter for at least two to three weeks. If you are able to stay on top of things and adhere to your master schedule without deviating and becoming overwhelmed, then you are likely using your planner responsibly and realistically. However, if for that two to three week period you are unable to adhere to your master schedule and/or you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, then you are likely not using your planner in a manner that is both responsible and realistic.
We all have lots of ideas of what we would like to do, what we should do, what would look good to others for us to do, and so on, but at the end of the day our schedules need to be planned in such a way that demonstrates that we are living life, rather than that life is living us. Personally, my planner helps me to gauge this on a regular basis. My planner serves as a visual representation of the life that I am trying to live, and when I go weeks and weeks without being able to adhere to the master schedule detailed in my planner, I realize that I am trying to live a life that is not truly mine. This realization prompts me to scale back my activities and adjust my master schedule as need be, until the life that is staring back at me when I open my planner is an accurate reflection of the life that I am living.
At the end of the day it all comes down to balance, and planners are a way to bring balance to our lives, one entry, one day, one week, one month, and one year at a time. #lovebythedrop