I often share pictures of planning in my bullet journal pages on social media.These pages probably look familiar to you.
My aim with this planning series is to show you everything that goes on behind the scenes. My bullet journal shows my confirmed plans for the day, but I often spend some time thinking about my tasks before getting to this stage.
This is one of the tools that I find really useful. It is known as the Eisenhower Grid or 4 Square Method. It helps you prioritise your tasks and give you a clear focus on important tasks.
Anything that falls within the category of urgent and important is something that you should be giving priority to. The tasks that we often ignore tend to fall into the category of important, but not urgent. These are the things that probably have the potential to be the most valuable to you, but as there is no deadline and nobody chasing you there is a big risk that they never get done.
When I write out my plans for each day in my bullet journal, I try to make sure that I include at least one thing from this category and treat it as a priority task.
If you find that you are not moving forwards with projects that are important to you, this may well be worth giving a try.
Another tool I find very useful is the time ladder. If you feel that time has been running away from you then this could really help you out. Also, if you are procrastinating and avoiding certain tasks then giving yourself a timetable could be just the push you need.
I don’t use this every day, but if I have a lot on, or nerves are holding me back from starting an important project then I plot out my whole day in advance. I try to over-estimate the time that I need for each task. This helps me deal with any interruptions or unexpected tasks, without feeling that I’m falling behind on my day.
One warning with using a time ladder is that it can make you feel unnecessary pressure, especially if you do fall an hour or two behind. This happens to me a lot. I try now to simply learn from this and record on the opposite page how my time was actually spent. This helps me plan more effectively for the next day.
I like to keep these types of plans separate from my bullet journal. The book I use for this type of planning is much cheaper so I feel I can use as many pages as I like to jot down rough plans. I try to keep my actual bullet journal uncluttered so that I feel a sense of calm when looking at my tasks throughout the day.
Electronic Time Tracking
Another great tool is the app called Toggl. If you know you will struggle to write down how your time was spent then using an app might speed this process up. You can use it on your desktop or phone to quickly track what you are doing. I like printing a report off at the end of the week to see where my time has been spent. I also use it to help me reflect on anything I want to change for the week ahead.
Both the 4 Square Method and Time Ladder are available as free printables. I hope you find them useful.
If you haven’t watched the planning video then you can click the image below to head straight there.
I hope you are finding this planning series useful and that it is giving you some new ideas. Happy planning!