Being over scheduled makes me less productive and quite grouchy. For this reason, creating more flow and balance in my schedule has become a personal quest. Having tried my fair share of planners in the past, I became determined to find one that would make planning feel less like a chore.
Finding a Planner
When I stumbled across the Inner Guide planner online, I was skeptical. I wanted a planner that would inspire me, not one that kept me focused on doing more, more, more. Already a disciplined over-achiever with a high performing frontal lobe, I didn’t need another box checking tool. Instead, I wanted a planner that would inspire me. My perfect planner would be like a dear friend cheering me on each day. It would give me hugs and high fives along the way.
My Inner Guide planner arrived on my front porch in June 2019. After only a few months of using it, the planner became a shining Light in my over-scheduled life. I began to change the way I scheduled my time. Instead of overloading my schedule, I intentionally spread things out over a full month. Rather than making long to-do lists, I added a few tasks to each week. By prioritizing important tasks, I was able to complete almost everything. Before long, I felt better about how I spent my time. I even began to acknowledge my achievements and give myself high fives.
A New Practice
Not being over scheduled required me to say no to anything that added stress. Before scheduling an appointment, meeting, or anything else, I would check my Inner Guide to see where the appointment would fit best for me. By doing this consistently, I noticed there was plenty of time to take care of the things I needed to do and more time to spend on the the things that mattered most to me. Each day there seemed to be a little more time for me and the things I love.
Without effort, my Inner Guide planner became a joyful Light in my life. I looked forward to opening it up each day. With more time for meditation, yoga, Pilates, journaling, and walks with my dog, my stress level became manageable and I actually started to feel more peace and ease in my body and in my life.
As 2019 came to an end, I was ready to begin 2020 with my Inner Guide helping me. In past years, I had begun each new year with lofty goals, resolutions, and ways to hold myself accountable to the many tasks and lists I had written. I used a planner to write down all of the things I had to do each day, week and month to make sure I stayed on task. List after list, check mark after check mark, my planner would serve as a constant source of stress. I wanted to begin 2020 with a new approach, so I began with the intention to Be Light. My Inner Guide planner helped bring my intention to life.
I was intentional about creating a clear vision of how I wanted my life to look and feel in 2020. As I spent time alone meditating and journaling, my vision took shape. After a full week of reflection, I had written a complete story of how I imagined my life to be that year. I felt grounded, inspired and ready to begin!
Once my story was written, I used the Inner Guide prompts to set clear intentions and practices that would lead me towards my Vision:
- Complete each month by reflecting on accomplishments and circling back to the things I did not do. Anything left incomplete gets circled so that I can revisit it later.
- Begin each month by re-reading my 2020 Vision and setting clear intentions for the month ahead.
- Find time in the month when I can spend time in nature, get a massage or get a facial.
- Every Sunday, I take time to reflect on the past week. Re-read my goals for the month helps me keep focus so I can create a plan for the week ahead. Writing a short and specific To-Do list for things that need to happen in the week allows me to accomplish all of the tasks by the end of the week.
- Check my weekly schedule for balance and flow. If appointments need to be added, I flip through the month and see where an extra appointment will fit best and cause me stress.
- Keep space in each day for self care.
- Begin each morning with reflection and acknowledgement. Set an intention for the day ahead.
- Use colored pencils to color in my time blocks each day. By using different colors to represent different areas of my life, I can see how my time is distributed each day. The picture at the end of the week shows me whether or not I was in balance with my intentions.
Now that I have a daily, weekly and monthly practice for using my planner, I spend less time writing to-do lists and more time enjoying the balance and flow of energy in each day. The Inner Guide Planner is one of my Favorite Things. I have been accepted as an affiliate. If you would like to give one a try, use the links in this blog post to shop Inner Guide.
In the meantime, post a comment and let me know how I can support you in your efforts to Be Light in scheduling.