For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a list maker and a planner!
I could never take a trip overseas without any accommodation booked. It would just stress me out too much. Hence spontaneity isn’t one of my core values 🙂
Anyway, My Silver Fox used to cringe at the sight of my to-do lists. They were completely unrealistic of what I could actually achieve in a day. On Saturday morning he’d ask, “What do you want to do this weekend?” I’d whip out my to-do list . . .
But I would do this everyday. I was consistently putting pressure on myself to achieve a multitude of things in 24 hours.
I LOVE Planners
The other thing that doesn’t help my situation is that I LOVE diaries and planners. They’re just so pretty and they make it look like the planner will simplify my life. And believe me, I’ve spent quite a bit of money trying out different planners and journals . . . I’ve had the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Day Designer, which both cost a small fortune to get shipped over from America.
In my Erin Condren Life Planner, I had each day divided into HOME, WORK and MY FUN BOX. Under each section I would list my to-do’s for each. I wish I had kept one of them to show you what it looked like when I was using it but this photo gives you an idea:
And this year, up until I started on the crazy pills, I was using the Day Designer first like this:
Then like this:
Too Much Space = To Many To-Do’s
It got to the point where I felt I had to fill the pages of the planner. As you can see, it all got overwhelming and I’d get to the end of each day feeling like a complete failure. And I know . . . trying to run two businesses, a household and two kids is a BIG ask of one person. Yet, everyday I kept putting the same pressure on myself and I eventually cracked. But that’s another story!
When I finally admitted to myself that I couldn’t get myself out of ‘the fog’, or depression, I realised the unrealistic to-do lists weren’t serving me at all. They were only adding to my ‘I’m Not Good Enough’ mindset.
Fuck The To-Do List
So I said to myself, “Fuck the to-do list!” and decided to make my own, highly simplified, weekly planner. I put a whole week onto one page, with each day only having a few lines, a Dump It section to brain dump ideas and thoughts, and a space for things to remember. I used to have such a good memory . . . now I forget why I walked into another room!
Don’t know what a brain dump is?
A brain dump (sometimes spelled braindump, or brain-dump) is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge about a particular subject from your brain to some other storage medium, such as paper or your computer’s hard drive.
So on either Sunday night or Monday morning, I sit down with my monthly calendar and my weekly planner page. I note down all upcoming events up for the week, onto the planner. I usually asterisk them so they stand out a bit more. Then I look at the previous week’s planner page and take anything from there that I haven’t done, and add it to the next week’s page. And then anything that comes up during the week, I can just add as I go.
And as you can see, there’s so much less to-do compared to how I was using the other planner. Yay!
Get Your Copy Of My Weekly Planner
If you want to simplify your diary and to-do list, get a copy of My Weekly Planner and try it out for free. But there’s a catch . . . I’ll give you my free planner for your email address. FYI – I will only send one email a month and it will have updates on what’s been happening on the blog, as well as inspirational bits and pieces!
Are you a list maker? Comment below on how you use yours.
Until next time, take care!
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