By Desleyjane Pitcher - Design Team Member
How to Plan When You Don’t Have Time to Plan.
I spent some time with scrapbookers last weekend and they were very interested in looking through all of my planners (I took 4 with me). They thought they were very pretty and very organized but almost resoundingly, they said - I don’t have time for that!
So I changed tactics and instead asked people if they plan, and they all said no, they don’t have time to plan. Most said that they put appointments on their phones but they don’t “plan”.
I do understand that the time commitment to planning can be a lot. For me, it can take a full Sunday afternoon, because my planning session includes decorating, photographing everything and sometimes filming as well. And then I spend maybe 10-15 minutes a day in my planner as well.
So I thought - what do I do when I don’t have time to plan? Sometimes there’s so much work on, maybe you didn’t sleep well, maybe you have some early meetings. Life happens and sometimes you just can’t spend a long time with your planner.
That’s where this blog post has come from.
I hope that maybe I can help people who WANT to plan but feel like they don’t have time. I want to help you get started. Here’s what you can achieve if you can spare a few minutes. Grab a coffee or tea or something that makes you feel good and make a tiny little plan.
The two-minute fix.
It can be as simple as a to-do list. It is so therapeutic to just sit down and write out all of the thoughts and ideas and tasks floating around your head. I often have a million thoughts and I have so much trouble turning my brain off. But if I take just 2 minutes to write it all down, get it out of my brain and onto paper (or even into the Notes App on your phone) then the anxiety levels drop and everything seems much less dramatic.
What if you’ve got 5 or 6 minutes?
Grab some markers or some super cute stickers and colour-code the tasks. Choose blue for work, pink for personal, green for finance, or different colours for each child. This will help you get an overall view of where your time will be used up in the coming days. And you’ll be able to see at a glance all of the similar or related tasks. If you have an extra minute, pick your top three that are high priority.
Cover it all in 15-20 minutes.
In my 15 minutes each day, I write out my to-do list and then go through and separate the tasks into categories, as mentioned above. But then I can take it a little further and pop those tasks into my weekly spread in my planner, along with all my appointments for the week. I try to put my appointments in first so that I can then work the tasks in around those appointments. It can be very easy then to group similar tasks together. I have two distinct sides to my job - a creative side and a very analytical side. It is very helpful for me to group the same types of tasks together.
For me, those 20 minutes each day can be very rewarding. I don’t get time every single day, but if I don't, I at least do the two-minute fix. Once it’s done, there’s a sense of calm. I have a plan, I can see a way forward.
And I honestly think it saves you time in the long run. You will be more focused on what needs to be done and spend less time on tasks that aren’t a high priority.
I hope this is helpful for those of you who feel like you don’t have time. Let me know in the comments, I’m interested to hear how you plan when you feel like you just don’t have time.