Live. Plan. Repeat.
Remember those kids in high school who faithfully journaled every waking moment without fail? Or those friends that somehow manage to arrive at parties exactly five minutes early without breaking a sweat?
Maybe that’s not you.
You’re the impulsive kid, the seat-of-the-pants flier, an extemporaneous free bird to the ‘nth degree. You take advantage of the exciting things that come your way, and don’t ever apologize for the spontaneous way you express yourself. All that to say: yup, you’re an anti-planner person.
Being an anti-planner person isn’t a bad thing. But living spontaneously still requires a plan, no matter how calendar-adverse you are. See, planners aren’t just these hard-and-fast rule books or concrete, un-changeable objects. In fact, the modern planner helps to create the metaphorical coordinates you need to live the lifestyle you want. Deep, huh?
Here’s how anti-planner people can practice structuring their day using planners, without cramping their own spontaneous style.
Building Planners Without Freaking Out
Putting together an awesome planner when you haven’t planned a day in your life isn’t actually all that hard. Seriously! It’s as easy as ABC. Actually, it’s more like a one-two punch.
One: Warm Up With Basics
Before you ever start planning, you’re going to need some tools. Ready?
- Writing Utensil: A pen or mechanical pencil will do! Folks who own a Rocketbook notebook know that we recommend pens from the Pilot Frixion line. Erasable ink pens? You betcha!
- A Brain: Thankfully, you’ve already got one of those!
- (Optional) Reusable Planner: Write over and over without killing a single tree, like training wheels for anti-planning pros. From Minis and Flips to Cores and Fusions, check out our whole line of products from the convenience of your home.
Gathering your set of tools is one thing, but sitting down to actually make some plans is quite another. It may be a little painful at first, but set aside anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes at the end of the day (or week, we’re not barbarians) to get it all together.
Start with tomorrow. What kind of stuff do you:
- Need to get done?
- Want to get done?
- Wish to get done?
Obviously, needs come first. Paying the electric bill, meeting a client, or attending an important Zoom call are all things that you probably have to do without question. Unless you’re in a Hallmark movie.
Daily wants are a little more variable. Feel like baking a tray of cookies? Hanging with friends? Watching E.T. for the 30th time? Do it! But of course, in a planned fashion. Remember that these things won’t make or break your day, so if you choose to skip over it for something else, no biggie!
Despite what the dictionary may tell you, there is a difference between ‘want’ and ‘wish.’ While your ‘wants’ are things that you’d really like to get done that day, your ‘wish’ items are things that you’d like to get around to if you have enough time left. These things are pretty much up to you to define, and are best left ambiguous anyway. After all, there needs to be some room left in your day for spontaneity!
If you still need extra help on setting attainable goals for the day, or for the future, no sweat! Use our 5 step goal-setting process to set yourself up for goal-getting success.
Two: Go Step By Step
Planning isn’t a personality, so take a breather! Think of it as an important task you need to complete every now and again. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be boring! Spice up your planning rehabilitation by:
- Inventing a color code for the things you need to plan. Green is for holidays, red is for ‘need’ items, and the list goes on. Make it something 100 percent yours!
- Leaving breathing space in the calendar for those oh-so precious impromptu activities. No need to fill up every minute of every day (unless you want to).
- Upload your notes, reminders, and doodles into the digital cloud to keep with you forever and ever. Who knows when you’ll need that homemade MoonPie recipe again?
- Feeling planner anxiety as you use your newfound planning expertise to map out your beach trips, work projects, and to-do lists is normal. Not sure where to start? Get a free template from Rocketbook to get the ball rolling. Pretty soon, you might be making templates of your own! Go get ’em tiger (er, person).
Most of all, try to find a planning rhythm. Or start tracking your habits to monitor your progress. After all, planning practice makes perfect!
Punch: Get Those Plans Done!
You already know what you want to get done, so let’s get down to brass tacks. This is the fun part, but it’s not always easy to get done all you set out to do. Here’s some tips to help complete your planner training.
- Try to leave the house 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to. It’s being spontaneous, without all the stress!
- Checking events and tasks off in the right order takes intentionality. Hang your plans and notes somewhere visible to avoid missing any important items. Hiding the planner under your bed, for example, is not a great spot.
- Forgot a date? Don’t freak out! If you can contact the people in question, simply send a text explaining what happened. It might be a little embarrassing, but it’s all part of the planning process. You’ll get it!
Finish Your Training: A Planning Metamorphosis
Planning doesn’t have to be hard. With the proper training, a good set of proper tools, and a motivated mindset, even people entirely unfamiliar with the art of the schedule can create awesomely effective planners to change their life. Armed with the one-two punch approach, anti-planner people everywhere can learn to successfully navigate the waters of unplanned chaos to find controlled, but spontaneous bliss. What that all means is: we’re proud of you.
At the end of the day, the important thing is to remember that planners are a guide, not necessarily a set of rock-solid rules. Sometimes, though, guide rails can come in handy, especially for planning; check out the 4 Best Ways To Build Happiness & Productivity (with the Rocketbook Panda Planner). Even while embracing your inner anti-planner, you can still successfully build an organizational system that supports an impromptu you, wherever you decide to fly. And that’s just plantastic.