“By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.”- Benjamin Franklin
We live in a society obsessed with digital advancement. We are seeing the rise of virtual assistants and our calendars are becoming smarter than us! But despite all of this, we are also seeing a rise in paper day planners. The traditional and never failing way of keeping track of our day.
Surely these planners should be outdated and regulated to the scrap pile of history? After all, so many other tools have seen that shift. But no, day planners are here to stay. They have benefits that most virtual planners cannot give us.
Here are a few reasons why we all need a proper planner, and how it will helps us.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The thing about life is that without goals, we are going to stagnate and go nowhere. We need goals. With a proper planner, we can work out our goals, and map out a route for success. It does not help that we sit around all day, wishing for change but we never do anything about it. A planner will help us set goals and plan every day with our goal in mind.
This does not mean that we must set up a strict schedule that counts every minute of the day. That certainly would not work for all of us. We need to work out what we want to do today and do it. Don’t let our goals be wishes.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”- Abraham Lincoln
Many people balk at the idea of taking the time to plan their day. But what is worse than spending a few minutes planning your day? Wasting an entire day due to aimlessness. Our daily lives are bombarded with all sorts of distractions.
We may be busy with one thing, but suddenly our attention is pulled away by an email, or a funny tweet. This has given us terrible focus. We start out the day fully meaning to accomplish all our tasks, but suddenly, we find ourselves on the internet watching funny cat videos.
Obviously, this takes a toll on our productivity. The secret to victory is taking a few hours to “sharpen your axe.” Take the time to plan what you want to do today. Once you have a clear sense of direction, all you need is a little self-control and the rest falls into place.
“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” - Richard Cushing
We all have daily commitments from laundry to picking up groceries to business meetings and family events. Maybe you are an entrepreneur, a busy executive or a student. It does not matter who you are or what your path in life is. If you do not plan, distractions will find you and lead you away from the tasks and goals needing attention. And, at the end of the day leave you with the very familiar "Oh my google foo - I forgot . . . ".
Life is full of stressful situation. We must face them, and sometimes it is unpleasant. But a lot of that stress is self-inflicted. We could get rid of at least half our stress if we planned better. If we know what is coming and we put it all in order, we can reduce your stress by being prepared and avoid disaster.
Take the time to plan before you face something massive. As soon as you receive a deadline, break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Most day planners have space for you to schedule your day. Use that to work on whatever you need to stay ahead and create some free time. Most planners provide twelve months worth of organizing so use it to your advantage.
“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” – George S. Patton
Speaking about stress, have you ever tried to do something at the last second? Maybe you did not write it down because you swore you would not forget. And then you forgot. Or maybe the procrastination got so out of hand that today is the due date and you are out of plans?
The fact of the matter is that we do not do well under pressure. Pressure is not pleasant and should be avoided. A day planner takes all of that away. It is up to you to get into a habit of planning your days, writing things down. Your brain will pick up the rest and make connections.
When you check your past planning, you will be surprised to see how well everything came together in the end.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes: but no plans.” - Peter F. Drucker
When you write something down, it becomes a commitment. When you plan your goals, or just your day, you are making a commitment with yourself. You are promising to do your best and it is a step toward action.
Action follows thought, it is up to you to make the commitment. Make the plans. Your life will not go how you want it, unless you plan for it. The most successful people we know, plan their every move. Success is not luck, it never has been. Success belongs to those who work hard, act and plan.
You want to change, you want to be more successful. That all starts with you. No-one enjoys procrastinating, it is not rewarding at all. It is a habit, though, and the only way to break it is through planning.
“For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” - African proverb.
Your tomorrow is bright, there is no doubt about that. But it only starts becoming bright now, when you begin planning for it. You are unique, your tastes differ from many others. But there are a wide variety of planners out there. All you need to do is choose one.
So, do planners work? Let’s see.
They help you set goals. They give you space to plan your day and take small steps to achieve those goals. They give you space to write down your thoughts and notes. And at the end of the year, they allow you to look back on what you have accomplished. You get to see how far you have come. Yes, planners help.