Learn about planning and make your own planner
From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis
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I’m sick and tired of doing “things.” ”Things” are what happened to me when I was a young Mom on a tight budget. I kept going to WalMart to buy “things.” I bought a little thing here and a little thing there. Then, I had to buy stuff to organize my “things” and take time to clean out my closet and give away lots of those “things.” I just didn’t need them or didn’t want them any more.
Forgive me if I hop on this bandwagon about “things.” The book Getting Things Done by David Allen is one of the best selling books of all time on time management. And I followed it religiously. Until it almost made me have a breakdown. I couldn’t do all those things I had put on my list. So, I had to sit down and ask myself some hard questions.
I didn’t want to do things any more. I wanted to do what matters.
Self management and self motivation are the unstoppable forces of our world. As for me, I choose to finely tune my planning so I do what matters.
Good is the enemy of great. Better is the enemy of best.
Our goal is to slash through all the THINGS and start doing what MATTERS.
This is the never ending journey of the high performing person. Doing what matters in a way that is less about the planning system we use and more about doing.
Secrets from Granny Martin
My Granny Martin is my hero. She accomplished more in her life than most people could in several lifetimes.
Her productivity secret was simple. Each night she listed four things she had to do the next day on the back of an envelope. She always had at least four, sometimes more.
Then, she did them.
Using this simple strategy, Granny Martin built a wildly successful real estate business. She traveled the world. She even didher own taxes until she was in her eighties. Her productivity system worked for her.
Making my Own Planner
I wanted to be like Granny Martin.
So, as a teenager in the 1980’s I designed my first planning page on my Dad’s MacIntosh SE. I still have the pages. It had my appointments, to-do list and my menus for the day. I got so much done.
When I went to college, I read books on college success. Then, I made a new, different system. It worked for me again. While leading several large campus organizations, I graduated first in my class.
When My Planning System Broke
After college, I went to work in the telephone business. The first thing my company did was send me to “productivity” training. While I picked up some great tips and strategies, my company bought me a planner.
It was the first planner I hadn’t made myself, and I was told to use it.
“Everyone uses this planner.”
I towed the company line and used the planner. I was successful. But I found myself spending far more time each week organizing the planner itself. “Planning” became part of my work, which led to less time for actual work. Instead of working, I was planning.
Whether I was a stay at home mom, a teacher, or a blogger, I have always been happier when I customize my system. When I used the mass produced systems, there were always little things that just didn’t work for me.
Planners Keep Your Life from Being Flooded
I live in rural south Georgia. We have red clay. When it is dry, the dust flies everywhere. The ground gets dry and cracked.
But when it rains, it pours from the sky faster than ice water out of a bucket!
The rain comes quickly and often with no warning.
Good farmers are prepared. While it is dry, these farmers dig well-designed drainage ditches to direct the water where they want it to flow. When the water comes down in torrents, their lands don’t flood. The water flows in the right direction.
The Activity of Life Comes in Floods
Life is like that. As a Mom of three, I’ll have times that I’m flooded with activity. Go here. Do this. Fill out this form. Return this one to the school. I can barely keep up. Sometimes I question my sanity and how one person can do it all.
Other times, I find myself struggling to do what matters. If I take the time during slower times to plan and build my system, I’ll be ready when life floods.
Your Planner Should Fit the Flow of Your Life
Your planning system is your drainage ditch. You are directing the flow of your life by designing your routines and workflow. Planners have an incredible impact on your life, your joy, and your productivity. The more personalized your planning system is, the greater the results.
In teaching we talk about the “self-running” classroom. Your planner should be “self planning” and just flow.
As you design your planning system, you are creating your life.
Keep it simple. Keep it straightforward. Get rid of what’s unnecessary. Let it flow in the most fitting way for you.
What is included in the package:
- 50+ page ebook with exercises to help you design your personal planning system
- the SMART planning system that is not like anything you’ve ever seen (most likely
- 6 simple choices to design the perfect planning system for you.
- 17 Daily Planning Templates to customize or print as is
- 5 Monthly/ Weekly Planning Templates
- 4 Master Task List Templates
- 5 Routine tracking templates
- A blank PDF copy of all templates.
I’m so excited to share this with you! I will be posting on Teachers pay Teachers as well. Get your preorder in today if you want a copy!
I will be planning a webinar sometime next week. Stay tuned!
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.