by Brittany McBride, CFP, Financial Advisor at Cary Street Partners
Many years ago, I remember going shopping for school supplies in preparation for my first year in college at Mary Washington. One of the items I added to the cart was my very first day planner. I didn’t know at the time that I would quickly become addicted to this new level of organization in my life. Since then, I have had all different types and brands of day planners, but I have never gone a day without one. Consistently using a day planner has enhanced my life and here are four main reasons I would suggest them to anyone!
Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Well, there’s not! Not to do every single item on your to-do-list. A planner forces you to be realistic about what you feel like you can do each day. If something is very high priority it can be written down for that day or week and if not, then you can write it down for the next week or even the next month. This will allow you to free up your current day while not forgetting about low-priority items.
Sometimes the most stressful thing about a busy schedule is feeling like you can’t possibly keep it all straight in your head and something might go forgotten. Writing tasks down in a planner not only eliminates this possibility, but it also always feels like fewer items when written down. So many times, I have felt stress from having a large to-do list floating in my mind. The minute I put these items on paper I am normally surprised that the list isn’t as long as I expected it to be. When it is organized and I can see it all in front of me, it doesn’t seem as overwhelming.
A good piece of advice that I often hear is to have an accountability partner when it comes to tasks or goals. I view my planner as a secondary accountability partner in a way that it holds me accountable to do the things I said I would. The motivation to stay true to my word will often help me complete tasks that I otherwise could have kicked out several weeks.
Achieving goals is such an accomplishing feeling and it can bring a sense of pride and empowerment. If you boil it down, each task on a day planner is kind of like a mini goal. I also feel that the organization that comes with a planner can help a person do more things in a shorter amount of time. Have you ever said, “I’ve been meaning to do that for so long” and been frustrated by the fact that you haven’t gotten around to it? I write everything on my planner even if I don’t plan on getting to it in weeks or even months. If it is at least there, it will be on my mind at the appropriate time, and I will make sure that it gets completed. This accomplishment is so energizing which can fuel even more motivation and positivity throughout someone’s day.