Let’s start by entering all of the critical information you know about this year. Start with the long-term items, and work into the more specific ones.
- Find work and/or school schedules for yourself and anyone in your household you should be aware of or responsible for - transfer all critical dates, like days off, and holidays, into the monthly and weekly sheets in this planner. Add your pay dates to the planner. Consider marking them on the year-at-a-glance page at the back as well.
- Now think about things at home and write them into this planner: holidays, travel dates, birthdays, family gatherings, chores, tasks, etc. If you have certain bills due at the time of the month, adding them to the planner will help you stay on track. Use the weekly layout for most items and the monthly Top of Mind view for big items.
- Next, think about the tasks that only come up once a month, or less. Oil changes for your car, changing furnace air filters, prepping things for winter or summer use, haircuts, physicals, even taxes, and yearly paperwork for leases or mortgages. You might even pick a date to work on baking cookies for the holidays.
- Add your fun activities, hobbies, and events to the weekly sheets and your monthly schedule: fitness classes, sports events, games, performances, and weekly phone calls to your closest friends.
- Now add any deadlines or important work or volunteer tasks you know about. These will most likely apply to the next few weeks or months. But if you are aware of anything further out, like an annual work event, add that too.
Take a deep breath and enjoy having that done! You'll want to revisit steps 4 & 5 regularly and might find it helpful to set aside 5 minutes at the beginning or end of every week to be intentional about doing this. There are also tasks to check off in the planner to help you remember to do this.
Leave a comment below and tell us how this went. How did it feel? Is there anything we left off the list in Step 3 that you think could be helpful to share with others?