Let Us Organize Your Life: an organizational lifestyle series where we show you how to get your sh!t together.
As the summer continues onward, the inevitability of post-summer normality is upon us. Whether it be going back to school or the office, it may be challenging to think about getting back into a routine. We are especially reminded of this every time we walk in a store, where the back-to-school supplies take the limelight, and the discounted pool floats and sunscreen sit sadly in the corner. “August, the Sunday of summer,” I often say to myself passing by that section of Target. Trust me, I get it, and just as real as the “Sunday Blues” are, so are the “August Scaries.”
However, my end-of-summer melancholiness quickly turns into excitement at the thought of one life-saving organizational resource, a planner. Yes, a seemingly old-fashioned paper planner, but this tool holds a power that has been my trick to organizational success since middle school.
A planner is an easy and efficient way to keep track of what you’re doing, what you plan to do, and what you need to get accomplished. You may be thinking, “why can’t I just use the Reminders and Notes apps on my phone as my electronic planner?” Although using your phone is seemingly more convenient, published studies have shown that writing by hand enhances memory and retainability, activating your brain and telling it what you have to get accomplished. Much like your daily goals, utilizing a paper planner also gives the same satisfaction of physically crossing off what you have done. And besides, who doesn’t love cute stationery?!
An added asset of utilizing a planner is a boost in productivity in all realms of your life. By writing in a planner, not only do you amplify your career/academic life by staying on top of your work, but also your personal well-being. You can strategically plan your day to include time for your work and relaxation. From your 9 am morning yoga, to that afternoon work call, to an evening stroll, you will feel relaxed knowing that your day is perfectly planned in your trusted organizational guide.
Excited to start utilizing a planner but don’t know where to begin? Below are my “1-2-3s” of using a planner efficiently and effectively!
Choose a planner that’s right for you.
There are countless planners to choose from, all unique in functionality and style. From chic to funky, you can find a planner that perfectly fits not only your needs but your personality. Are you a busy person with a lot on your plate? Opt for a larger planner, so you have the space to write all of your tasks. Prefer to keep your life simple and concise? Choose a small or mini planner that can fit in your pocket.
2. Color-code your tasks
Color-coding is an organizational technique that utilizes different colors to resonate with corresponding tasks. Scientific studies have communicated that color increases our memory capacity, and this technique is especially beneficial for students to keep track of their classes.
3. Keep it in an easily accessible place.
For a planner to be practical, you need consistency, which does not mean using it on Monday, forgetting about it on your desk, and remembering again on Friday. Instead, keep it somewhere where you often are, such as a nightstand in your bedroom. Remember, a planner is a tool to help you, not a burden.
As the warm summer air soon turns cool, your August and post-summer normality does not have to be “scary” due to your newfound power in utilizing a planner. You can now find excitement in choosing your personalized organizational BFF. Perhaps, you may even be looking forward to getting back into a routine … hint on next month’s blog post!