With 2017 approaching, many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions and starting fresh. But this takes planning right?! If you’re anything like me, I cannot function without a schedule on my cell phone, on my email, and a physical planner. Yep, three different methods of planning. It’s a little extreme, but that’s my Type A kicking in.
The biggest question I have been asked this year is “Brandi, how do you do it?” when referring to my work/life balance. Let me tell you girlfriend, it ain’t easy! Between working full time in the corporate PR world, being involved in many organizations and projects, making time for my husband, laughing with friends and fitting time in for my trashy housewife shows, life is craycray in Brandi’s world. Since middle school, my mom always made me keep a planner to write down assignments and it’s stuck with me ever since. Thanks for that mom! To this day, the only way I am able to keep myself together as well as my husband (and you know it’s true! Men without ladies keeping them in check is a disaster) is to keep a detailed calendar.
And yes, I have to have the old fashioned paperback planner. I know there is endless technology, but those savvy outlets are not always dependable. I cannot tell you how many times my email calendar has not synced with my new phone or a date was input wrong. By having a physical planner as backup, I can double check what’s coming up and highlight and write notes when needed. Plus for me, when I write something down, I can remember it much easier.
With planning comes routine. It’s so important to set time aside to plan for the upcoming week. I always sit down on Sunday night after dinner when it’s usually quiet to have what I call ME time which usually involves a glass of wine and trash TV on Bravo. I will look at my planner for the next week or two and make sure my head is in the game and all of my calendars match. This time also allows me to somewhat destress and pat myself on the back for what I accomplished the previous week.
Another thing I do is plan out what blog content I want to shoot, write, and post….kind of like an editorial calendar, which I highly recommend for those who are serious bloggers or just getting into the bloggersphere. Plan and keep yourself accountable!
I could go on and on, but here are my top tips to help you get it together in 2017:
- Purchase a planner that works for YOU. Whether it be more visually appealing or broken down hour-by-hour, find one that will work for you.
- Write down everything. All appointments, even if tentative, as soon as you hear of them. If you don’t, chances are you will forget about it and even worse not show up.
- Make sure to set reminders. If you cross check and use both a calendar and email/phone calendar, make sure your notifications are set to go off at least 15 minutes before the appointment.
- Set time to plan. Once a week, sit down and review the week’s tasks ahead. This will help you become mentally prepared and ultimately destress you if you know what to expect.
- Write down EVERYTHING. Those monthly recurring meetings and even write down date nights or GNOs. This will help you stay committed, especially since we’re all so busy, and have something to look forward to.
- Don’t overbook or overlap. It’s not uncommon to overbook yourself for a fear of saying NO, but you also need to keep in mind that you too need time to decompress. Going back to back to meetings is not good for the brain and there is no way you can give your full focus to the task at hand which then leads to poor performance.
- Block out time to eat. I am so guilty of this. Especially in busy event season like October. I know life can get busy, but making time to eat something decent besides fast food is so important.
- Make time for YOU. This is the most important tip I can give you. In order to be the best person you can be both mentally and physically, you have to make make time for yourself. Whether it’s working out like I try to do (try being the key word) or binge watching Netflix, be sure to make yourself a priority!
Now time to shop for a calendar which can be the most stressful part because I’m super picky. I, personally, use a Kate Spade agenda. I love the room for space and the extra pages for notes. I have also used Lilly Pulitzer and loved the pretty designs. I’ve also heard great things about Day Designer planners. Just remember, pick the planner that works for you. It can be as simple as a pocket planner.
You will be surprised by how amazing you feel after laying out your schedule and also impressed by how much you can get done. Cheers to starting 2017 off organized!
PS I also share my calendar on my phone with my husband and it helps so much with making plans for date nights or keeping up with appointments. LIFESAVER!
– BRANDI –