Planning your day is so important if you want to be productive and successful in life.
You probably think that all you need is a shiny new planner to be successful, but it’s much more than that.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been through a TON of different planners and you’re still wondering why nothing works.
Every new planner you buy ends up half-empty before you finally throw it in the trash and move on to the next one.
Each time you start with so much hope that this time it’s going to work for you, only to repeat the same cycle over and over again.
You can’t seem to stick to your plans no matter what you do or which planner you buy.
Here’s the thing, though. You are focused on the wrong thing. It’s not about the planner. It’s about how you use the planner.
I used to be right where you are – overwhelmed, frustrated, and scrambling to keep up with everything on my to-do list.
It was a tough pill to swallow because that’s not who I was before I had kids.
I’m not blaming my kids. I love my kids.
I had to learn how to change my mindset, conquer the chaos and turn my life around.
That is what I want for you, as well. Below I’m sharing ten planning mistakes that are keeping you stuck.
I have a solution for you, but I want to dive into the reasons you’re struggling first. Be sure to stick with me until the end, so I can share more about how to move forward.
Ten planning mistakes that are keeping you stuck
1 // Not knowing your priorities
Your priorities should guide how you spend your time. Not every single task on your to-do list will line up with your priorities, but a lot of them should.
Would you like to spend more time on the things that make life worth living? You can do more of those things guilt-free if you are intentional in planning your time.
It’s hard to make sure you are spending your time on the things that are important to you if you don’t have a clear understanding of what those things are.
Living your life without any real sense of direction will leave you feeling exhausted, unmotivated, and unfulfilled.
2 // Not using the right tools
Girl, you do not need another planner. A fancy planner will not solve all of your planning problems.
Trust me. I love planners as much as you do, but you are using your planner all wrong.
It is also likely that your expectations for your planner are way too high. I can show you how to fix that.
Enter your email address in the form below and I will send you my favorite planning tools and how I use them. Hint: It’s probably not how you think.
3 // Doing things as you go instead of planning ahead
Plan ahead as often as possible to reduce the number of decisions you need to make in the moment.
Have you ever been blessed with an hour of spare time only to spend the entire hour trying to figure out what to do?
Then, at the end of the hour, you feel guilty for wasting the time you had because you’re not sure if you’ll ever get it back.
Planning your day ahead of time solves this problem. You are never faced with the question of what to do because your time is already accounted for.
4 // Trying to do too many things at once
Women are born multi-taskers, right? At least that’s what you’ve been told. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
When you focus on too many things at the same time, you cannot give any one of those things your full attention.
Breaking this habit is a total game-changer when it comes to getting things done.
It keeps your brain from having to switch from one task to another. When your brain has to switch its focus, it slows you down.
5 // Not creating good routines
There are so many tasks that you do day in and day out that you could automate with a good routine in place.
A routine is habitual – something you do without having to think too much.
Routines give you specific times of day to focus on tasks that need your attention and allow you to make time for those things that might otherwise be left out.
A good routine is created with intention. It is well thought out and works with your current season of life.
6 // Allowing distractions to take up too much of your time
There are so many distractions that come up during the day and will kill your productivity if you let them.
You might innocently open Instagram while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew and before you know it, you’ve been mindlessly scrolling for an hour.
Identify time wasters in your life, acknowledge them for what they are and just say no.
Your time is precious and there’s no sense in wasting it on things that don’t matter, especially if you feel like you don’t have enough time as it is.
7 // Putting things off when they seem overwhelming
Everyone struggles with procrastination. It’s not just you. The good news is that you can learn how to manage your time well.
If you want to stop procrastinating, you have to make a choice. We all have the same amount of time each day.
The effects of procrastination are more harmful than you realize.
Even the smallest problems that result from procrastination can create a snowball effect, causing bigger problems down the road.
8 // Relying on motivation rather than discipline
You won’t always feel like doing what you need to do. The key is to show up and do it anyway.
Consistency is what will change your life. There is freedom in discipline.
One thing I’ve learned in studying personal development is that your thoughts create your feelings.
The great thing about this is that you have the power to change your thoughts about any circumstance you face.
Motivation is based on emotion. If you don’t feel like doing something, you can change your thoughts about it and produce a completely different result.
9 // Not setting goals
Goal setting is important because it provides a roadmap for creating the kind of life you desire to live.
Setting and achieving goals is what will get you where you want to be in life.
You are headed somewhere, whether you like it or not. Are your actions taking you where you want to go?
If not, you’re headed in the wrong direction.
No need to worry, though. If there is something you don’t like about your life and where you’re headed, you can change that!
That is the beauty of goal-setting. Goals give you something to work toward and ensure that you are on the right track.
10 // Not evaluating your progress
Taking note of your progress on a monthly or weekly basis reminds you of where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.
It will also show you what’s working and what isn’t, so you can change course before it’s too late.
If you let too much time go by without checking in with yourself, you will get too far off track.
You can always get back on track, but evaluating your progress more regularly will reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to do so.
Now, it’s your turn
The biggest problem people face when trying to plan their day is knowing how to prioritize their tasks.
If you want to learn how to find focus, even when things seem overwhelming, my ebook Purposeful Productivity is a great place to start.
It comes with everything you need to plan your day with confidence, so you can spend more time doing the things that make life worth living.
It’s a great solution for those looking to stay motivated, stop procrastinating, and stop wasting those precious moments that could be spent on something more important.
It will show you exactly how to conquer the chaos and develop a plan to live the kind of life you desire.
You can see everything it can help you with by clicking here.
And remember to avoid these planning mistakes that are keeping you stuck:
- Not knowing your priorities
- Not using the right tools
- Doing things as you go instead of planning ahead
- Trying to do too many things at once
- Not creating good routines
- Allowing distractions to take up too much of your time
- Putting things off when they seem overwhelming
- Relying on motivation rather than discipline
- Not setting goals
- Not evaluating your progress