You can write lesson plans with your eyes closed. But do you channel those same organizational skills into your personal life? Planning out the next month is a fantastic way to make sure you’re spending your time wisely while reducing stress and staying on target with your personal goals. Have anxiety? Always feel like you’re rushing? This will be a game-changer.
1. Brainstorm, baby. First of all, a solid brainstorming sesh is such an incredible way to reduce that feeling of brain clutter and mental chaos we all get from time to time. But it’s also the perfect way to start the planning process.
Once a month, preferably a week before a new month starts, make time for a brain dump. Simply sit down with a notebook and jot every thought that pops into your head — reminders, events, tasks, to-dos — nothing is too big or too small. Get it on the page. You’ll feel light as a feather and ready to rock.
2. Make room for the musts. Grab your calendar. Plug in your holidays and birthdays, major events or parties, and your appointments and commitments. This is your base that you will be building on. Be sure to include anything from your brainstorm list that is an absolute must.
3. Pick your purpose. Remember that list you made of things you want to focus on? Well you might want to reference it now. At the start of every month, choose one thing that you want to focus on for the month ahead. Once you’ve made your decision, set it in stone. And by that I mean write it down. In pen. Say it out loud a few times. Underline it.
4. Organize, Organize, Organize. Take the items on your brainstorm page and start organizing and grouping the ideas and tasks you wrote down. Keeping in mind the focus you’ve chosen for this month, figure out how much time you’ll need to spend on each task and see if there’s anything you can realistically delegate to someone else.
5. Prioritize for impact. From your freshly organized list, start weeding out the things that you can’t quite justify this month — because they don’t align with your focus or because they simply aren’t a priority. Start filling in the open slots in your calendar with the things that are most important to you — that way, you’re sure to have time for them. Continue this way until your calendar is full. If you fit in your whole brainstorm list — awesome. If not, just pull from that list during next month’s planning session.
6. Commit to your calendar. All that work won’t do you any good if you don’t actually make it happen. Set your intention at the beginning of the month to commit to the calendar you’ve created. Will things have to move around? Most likely! But don’t go crossing off things without moving them to another time slot. That’s just cheating yourself out of something you’ve already deemed a priority. Stick to the schedule. You’re worth it.
There you have it. Six simple steps to set up the next 30 days so you know what to expect, you feel on top of your game, and your daily life reflects what’s most important to you.