I am SO excited that you are joining me here for another episode. The goal today is to get your paper planner functioning at an even higher capacity than it already is! If you are already time blocking, prioritized your tasks that you need to get done every single week to be able to take care of YOU and your home, and you know how to use YOUR time and manage it really, really well because you already have a paper planner; that is AMAZING! However, I bet you are still wondering, is there any other way I can be using my paper planner to be just a little bit more productive, to squeeze just a little bit more out of it. So many people have so many cool ways that they use their paper planner. Today, we are going to talk about 4 advanced tips that you can use to start using your paper planner more productively.
These 4 advanced tips are some of my FAVORITE things too layer in to the real basic parts of using a paper planner. If you don’t already have the basic steps implemented, don’t worry, you can check out how I utilize my Horacio Paper Planner here, or you can keep on reading as I am going to share my favorite tips for using your paper planner here. So, what do you say, go grab your favorite paper planner and lets get started with the 4 advanced tips you need to use your paper planner more productively!
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Summer is in FULL FORCE and the heat is on. Not just the summer heat of Arizona, but the heat of managing ALL the things as a mom, managing children’s schedules and all the things. It is on! I watch this happen every single year and if you are feeling big things too, just know you are not alone! There are ways to have SO much fun and enjoy it, all while still being super productive.
If you want support in that, please know you can get an entire home management system, 100% of it fully set up in your paper planner and you can get my help with that if you are fully ready to dive on in to the Systemize Your Life Academy. When you join the Academy, within just four short weeks you can have your entire home management system fully set up before the kids go back to school. In four short weeks you can get from overwhelmed too organized in the most simple and effective way possible.
Using Your Paper Planner More Productively
Through today’s look at how to use your paper planner more productively, these four ways are a sweet little taste of exactly what you can expect when you become a member of our Systemize Your Life Academy. This is to help you become more productive as a stay at home or work from home mom. Whether or not you are currently doing work this summer, or are looking forward to when you will be doing work, these 4 advanced tips will help you set up your paper planner for more productive success!
How I Originally Used My Paper Planner
In the beginning, I wasn’t using my paper planner productively, nor was I using it as a really helpful and resourceful tool for me. I just really loved to journal and I thought it was fun. However, I got to a point where I realized if I was going to have this thing than I really needed to use it. I was searching and searching for the “perfect, useful” paper planner. In reality, it is what you do with your paper planner that makes it “a perfect tool!” While the layout of your paper planner is definitely something you want to pay attention to as you don’t want to get a paper planner where the layout is not useful at all. You can check out my favorite things to look for when you are getting a paper planner here.
My Dream Paper Planner
If you are looking for your new favorite planner, go to Horacio Printing and use the code: Chelsi10 to get you a discount at checkout. There are also several other products there that I am sure you will love. My paper planner is the basis for my ENTIRE home management system. That is where I keep my time management, my time blocks, my fundamental needs, all of those things go INSIDE my paper planner as the foundation. That is the bottom of the barrel, the bare necessities of what YOU need to be able to use your paper planner as a really resourceful tool.
Today, though, is all about the FOUR extra things I put inside my paper planner every single week in order to make my paper planner SUPER useful and to be even MORE productive. In order to produce the life, the week, the day, the time block that I want! The outcome that I was really hoping to find, these are the four extra things you can do to get you there!
Before We Fully Dive In To The Four Advanced Tips You Need To Be More Productive In Your Paper Planner…
Out of the four advanced tips I am going to give you, three of them happen in the negative space of the planner. So if you are using a paper planner that has its own system created and already outlined for you. I don’t necessarily think you need to scrap it, but you are going to need to adjust and adapt to be able to find and fit these things in. Or, maybe there is already a place for it. So, be looking at your paper planner as we do this and try to find a place where you can put these three things that I am going to describe to you!
Advanced Tip #1: A Habit Tracker
One of the BEST things you can do in your paper planner to be more productive is to have a habit tracker. I am obsessed with habit trackers. The Horacio Printing Planner that I use has a TON of blank space. It is a beautifully designed blank canvas that allows me to put my own home management system into it and that is exactly what I do with my habit tracker.
What is a habit tracker?
What is your habit tracker? You can have a ton of habits that you want to accomplish. Truly, 1-3 habits, maybe 5 if you have a really great grasp on your time management and your home management and you have really good support with space where you have already built in some breathing room in your life. If you have a little bit of extra time in a week, you can easily track 5 habits.
However, if you are already maxed out and are looking to just change one thing. Maybe you are feeling super frustrated, you don’t see light at the end of the table, you don’t feel certain that you will be able to change, you don’t trust yourself, or aren’t sure what is wrong with you THAN don’t try to track five habits. Instead, focus on just trying to track ONE habit.
For example, I track my water intake, my nutrition, my morning and evening reading. All the things that I really want to get better at and habits that I want to create, I keep track of myself. That is one thing that you are going to want to find space for in your planner’s negative space. Whatever the goal/habit is say you want to drink 100 oz of water than you write that down and next to the goal you have a check box for every day that you would like to drink 100 oz of water. If your goal is to drink 100 oz of water every day that week then you would have seven check boxes next to that goal (x7).
If you are trying to get to bed by 9pm than you would put bed 9 pm however many days a week you are hoping to do it. The important thing is you start small. Do you want to go to bed at 9 pm every night? Probably! But you don’t need to do it all at once. Be realistic, seriously!
Compare Yourself To Where You Are Right Now And What You Want It To Look Like Tomorrow
Don’t even think about comparing yourself to the person who you think has it all together. Compare yourself to where you are right now and what you want it to look like tomorrow. It is going to take some time, but you are going to have to be okay with that. It is better spent time that way, trying to produce and be more productive and to grow your habits and yourself than not trying to grow at all.
Start with maybe two nights a week and then build on that. So many people feel discouraged that they can’t get it right. The only thing you need to get right is your mindset around how productive you are supposed to be in comparison to your expectations of what you think you are supposed to be doing. Make a promise to yourself that if you don’t get it right in this time block that you are going to try again. There will be small wins in this process that you are going to have to cling too!
Compare yourself to where you are right now and what you want it to look like tomorrow. It is going to take some time, but you are going to have to be okay with that.
When tracking your habits it is not about perfection. There will be consistency and there will be inconsistency. But it is all about what got you down and what got you back up again! Okay, moving on to advanced tip number two!
I have my own peer-led masterminds and I myself have joined other programs that are teaching me exactly what I need to do to get where I want to be in my business. I have a community all over surrounding me in my professional life. I have accountability there for me because I know the power of it, and you have to do that too.
Advanced Tip #2 – Tidy Cues
Tidy cues are something we teach very heavily inside the Systemize Your Life Academy. Tidy cues are all about how to keep your home tidy. You want to schedule tidy cues into your everyday. Within your time blocks that are already in your daily planner, you are going to insert tidy cues within your day when you know if I don’t do this now, than it will be staring at me all throughout the day!
This allows me to stick to my nighttime routine, because at the end of the day, once my kids are in bed, I don’t have to worry about doing all the tidying up things, because it is already done. I scheduled it throughout my day so that way once my day is done and the kids are in bed, I can focus on me! I can read a book. I can do the things that I want to do! I layer tidy cues throughout the day. At this point in my life, I don’t even need to write them down anymore because they are so layered in my day.
Definitely be sure to write out the word tidy cue as a reminder, in your paper planner, to do the things you need at the specific times throughout your day to tidy up your home so you can really focus on YOU at the end of the day!
Advanced Tip #3 – Your Routines
This is something that is really fun to put in your planner, outside of your time blocks. In your negative space of your paper planner, write out a FULL routine. For me, inside my time blocks it is NOT about writing out every single that needs to be done. That is a lot on our brains. If you look at a planner that is not color coordinated and has way too many things on it, you are going to become overwhelmed really quickly and not be able nor want to get anything done!
In my time blocks, I have the name of the routine such as “morning routine” or “nighttime routine.” When new routines change, I write out what that actual routine is in the negative space in my planner until it becomes really ingrained for myself and our family! The full routine will be written out until it has become second nature for you!
Advanced Tip #4 – Your Goals
This is my favorite one and one of the most advanced things you can do with your planner is to incorporate your goals. A goal should be to take care of ourselves. To get to the gym, to set up our calendar, to plan out our meals. When you do those things you feel the best you have ever felt! That is the true goal! Goals can be boring. For me, my goals are to prioritize my fundamental needs, to get through my time blocks. Those are my goals. I am going to show up during my work block and work on my business goals.
Every once in a while, I will add in a new goal that I know I have the emotional bandwidth for and I will add that one in. Everyone is always telling us that we need to do more. I say no. Make your goals very realistic. Very foundational. But every once in awhile you can add in some fun goals. For me this year, I want to put together my family photo albums. You can track marriage goals such as how can I support my husband this week. This is all about establishing your goals and reminding yourself of them throughout the week so you can prioritize the things in your life that really, really matter!
You Can Do This!
If you are looking for a more advanced, more solid foundation to set your goals and keep these things set in stone, try using these four advanced tips to use your paper planner more productively as a work from home mom, or a stay at home mom, or even a work outside of the house mom. Come over inside of the Facebook group for even additional support as you work through your paper planner to make the most productive use of your week.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is your favorite paper planner to use to plan out your week and set goals?
My most favorite paper planner to use to be able to plan out my week, time block, build in my fundamental needs and set goals (as well as crush them!) is the Dream Planner from my dear friend Polly at Horacio Printing. Use code Chelsi10 at checkout to save you money on your purchase!