I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately. What it’s about, and what you, as readers, want from it. I started the blog based on sharing good methods of time management, because who doesn’t need to manage their time more effectively? But, I wondered, is time management just another way to say planner?
There are few of us who can say that we have our time under control and get everything done that we need to do early or on time. And most of us aren’t doing this off of the top of our head. We need a way to manage all of our projects, appointments, tasks, and everything else that we come across in the course of a day. That’s where our planner comes into play.
And while I have tried to be diplomatic when it comes to covering the subject of planners, the truth is that I think the best planning method is still good old pen and paper, not digital. And it’s not just me; I have the science to back me up.
What is Time Management?
How do you define time management? To me, the name explains it quite simply. We each have the same number of hours in a day, and we each get to choose, more or less, how we spend them.
The term “time management” implies that we are interested in spending them wisely. If you do a Google search on time management (which I have, numerous times), what you get are “corporate” results. Google apparently thinks that everyone who is interested in spending their time well must be an important executive somewhere, in charge of lots of people and consequently, deciding how they spend their time.
But that’s not what I’m interested in, and I bet you aren’t either. I’m only interested in my time. When I was younger and raising children, it was how do I get this all done while saving my sanity and hopefully getting some sleep?
Now that my children are grown, my priorities have changed, but I still have time that needs to be managed, albeit for different reasons.
Enter the Planner
If you do another Google search, this time for planners instead of time management, you will get a lot of results. And they’re aimed at an entirely different audience. Apparently executives have personal assistants and secretaries, and they are the ones using the planners.
How do you manage your time without a planner?
Well, I’ve discovered something, and I guess it kind of confuses me. You see, I may be old enough to be a grandma, but I still have plans for my life. I have ambition and things I want to do. And for me, that means I need a system.
I have to write down my goals and break them down into smaller parts, and then I have to put them onto my schedule so that they get done. It’s important to wake up every morning and have a plan, to know what needs to be done, even if it’s just mopping the floors. (Cleaning the floors is the worst for some reason.)
Maybe like you, I am a planner person. I need one to manage my time, my goals, and my life.
But there are other people (friends and family) who find my planner obsession funny or cute or baffling. Why do I need one? What do I put in it? Can’t I just jot it down on a scrap of paper?
What would be the use of writing it down on a scrap of paper? Where would I put it? How could I find it when I needed it? How would I remember I needed it?
Is my memory just full of more holes than theirs?
I don’t think so.
Here’s the difference: I’m not content to get up in the morning and look forward to nothing to do all day. I can’t spend it watching old shows on TV or maybe reading a book. (Don’t get me wrong – I read a lot of books and take notes too – but I read more often for learning rather than simply pleasure. I enjoy what I read, but I get something out of it, too.)
I have plans and goals, and to accomplish them, I need a planner. Even if it’s to go on vacation, I use a planner. Doesn’t that make sense? To keep all of your travel plans, flight times and numbers, hotel information, etc in one place?
All of this is just to say, this whole time I’ve been thinking that I’ve been writing a blog about managing your time more effectively. And that being organized and having a planner were related to that. And productivity. You can be more productive if you manage your time wisely.
But now I see things a little differently.
You manage your time with a planner, and a planner helps keep you organized and makes you more productive. And a planner can help you get more done, whether that’s getting the housework out of the way early so you can go play tennis (or poker), or so you can start on your new novel.
So, silly me. I start a blog called Planning Your Time and don’t realize that’s it’s really about planners as much as it is about time. I bet you knew that already and have been waiting for me to catch on. It always did take me a while…
Tell Me About You
So what about you? What do you use your planner for? What kinds of exciting things do you schedule into your day?
And what kind of planner do you use? Ring-bound? Disc-bound? Are you one of those Japanese planner fans who loves their Hobonichi? Or maybe you’re like me, and you’ve just discovered travelers notebooks?
And if you are a minimalist, here’s a little tip for you: you can get a two-year monthly planner (some with inside folders) at Barnes and Noble for about $5.00.
And I hear that Dollar Tree has them for $1.00!
So what kind of planner girl are you?