To use or not to use a planner? That is the question.
There are hundreds of planners out there: from physical to digital, from numbered to unnumbered. However, some people consider them a nuisance and a waste of time.
So, if you are one of those people wondering why you should use a planner, here are 15 reasons and benefits of using a planner.
Why should you use a planner?
Duh, it is a planner after all! However, one common mistake is to try to organize different parts of our lives separately. Using a planner helps you unite your life in one place: meals, to-do’s, appointments, goals, exercise, and so on. When it comes to planning, everything in your life must come together.
As you sit down to plan your week or your month, you become conscious about what you are going to do and what could go wrong. When you plan ahead, you know if there could be conflicts between certain tasks, appointments, or goals. Knowing about those “complications” can help you plan to avoid them or to prepare yourself to confront them.
Growth and Improvement
This is definitely one of the best functions of a planner: reflection. If you use a planner to organize your life, it is bound to make you see in which areas you are lacking. As a result, every time you plan and compare your days, you will discover ways you can update your habits.
Boost of productivity
As I said before, a planner is bound to make you see clearly your “time-wasters”. If you analyze and organize your tasks, you’ll become conscious about what to do and when to do it. Either with a daily, weekly, or monthly planner, you’ll strategize the way to do your tasks, and therefore, will end up doing more as a result.
A planner is a stress-management tool
Can you number all the times you can’t seem to go to sleep because you are thinking about all the things you have to do tomorrow? Me? I’m guilty as charged. The truth is, if you “brain-dump” everything that must be done in your planner, you drain your mind. You’ll feel relieved to know you won’t be forgetting anything because you wrote it all. Moreover, planning ahead will make you visualize how every single to-do will fit in your week, reassuring you that everything is under control.
Time- management and time saver
It is common sense that a planner will help you manage your time in the best way. That is the purpose of it. Moreover, ten or fifteen minutes dedicated to planning daily, are bound to save you hours of lost time. By planning your day wisely, you optimize the way you do your tasks. You don’t go around thinking “what’s next” or “what was I supposed to do” or “Am I forgetting something”? By planning ahead, you stop wasting time figuring out what’s next.
A planner in which you can write down your goals helps you to organize your way towards them. In fact, including your goals in your planner places you one step closer to achieving them. As written in this post, writing down your goals and making a plan with deadlines, will increase the chances of achieving those goals. Therefore, having a planner where you can visualize those goals along with everything else in your life, will make work consciously and strategically towards them.
How can a planner possibly make you more mindful? Well, it can, if it’s a good and complete planner, and if you use it the right way. By focusing only on those tasks you have to do now and not those you have to do in three days, you can live in the moment. Instead of getting anxious about what you can’t do or can’t control right now, you direct your efforts and your thoughts on what matters at the moment.
A planner can help you establish priorities
When you are getting organized and you’re conscious about how limited time is, you learn to fill that time with what’s truly essential. There are hundreds of things we would like to do at the same time, nonetheless, there are only a few things that will contribute to our goals and our wishes. By planning ahead, you can see which are those things and you can prioritize them over what won’t serve any good in your life.
Do you remember the moment you wrote on the calendar “Graduation day” or “Wedding day”? Can you remember the feeling of excitement it provoked in you? It was truly happening… and whenever you felt tired and wanting to give up, you saw that event and motivated yourself to work until you made it to that day? Well, that is an illustration of how writing down your goals and your special events in a planner can motivate you. And if that is not enough, you’ll find more motivation in crossing out your to-do’s.
Planning helps you to make decisions
What needs to be done? When and where? You answer these questions every time you write an event in your planner. By choosing one task over another, you are deciding ahead what you want, instead of trying to figure everything out as it goes.
A planner makes you feel in control of your life. Your daily routine goes from happening as a result of spontaneity and old habits to something you consciously decide. For example, by planning your meals, you have more control over what you eat and why you eat it. Instead of reaching for that instant spaghetti after arriving from work, you cook what you had planned because you bought the ingredients already for it. With a planner, you take control over every possible variable that you can and you use it to your favor.
“What’s the plan?” You’ve probably heard this a million times. Also, you probably remember a movie character that freaks out after he’s told there isn’t a plan. Why? Because they are probably going to die. Moral of the story? A plan can save your life.
Well, maybe to you it is not so much about life or death as it is about succeeding and failing. When you use a planner to design your working plan for your goals on fitness, work, productivity, and household, you get prepared for what needs to be done. Moreover, you take into account all obstacles and you surpass them.
Save money and energy
We already talked about how a planner can help you save time, but did you know it can also save you money and energy? How?
Ever went to the grocery store and forgot to buy something you needed and bought something you already had and then ended up going again? Exactly. On the contrary, when you use a list, you buy what you need without wasting any time (or more gas). The same applies to every other plan. By planning ahead, you arrange and organize your efforts to work smarter and not harder.
We all felt stuck in life at one point or another. We dream about a job, a house, a trip… But we don’t know how to grasp those dreams. Well, the answer is by planning. When you use a planner to write your goals and to develop a working plan with steps and deadlines, you suddenly see “a way”, a real path that, if followed, can take us to where you want.
And then you get pumped up, and you get working and get even more excited to see it actually works. And before you know it, you’ve got unstuck, you are moving forward, just because you made a plan, you wrote it and you started it.
About having a planner
Every person is different. There are people who have a perfectly functional and balanced life without the use of a planner. Nonetheless, for many people, the use of a planner could be beneficial.
For me, it helps to “put my life together”. What about you?
If you are not sure yet, you can start by trying out this free daily planner printables.