Why I STOPPED doing this to find 'planner peace' as a work from home mum
It happens every year around November to January time when most work from home mums decide they're going to be more productive and organised. So they buy a new planner and start mapping out all their goals and priorities for the year ahead.
They set financial goals, health goals, spiritual goals, business goals. They define their top priorities for things that need doing around the home, things they want to do with their family, and targets they want to reach in their business.
Ambitious mums who want to be more organised and productive aim to stick with their planner habit, until...
But after a few months reality sets in, life happens and unexpected events pop up leaving them struggling to keep up with all their best made plans.
If this sounds like you and you've fallen off the planner wagon then read on...
I've been down the same path, for three years in a row I tried to 'nail the planning habit'. Each year I was determined to sort it out, so I'd kick it off with a shiny new planner hoping it was going to solve my organisational and productivity woes, and each year I would be left feeling defeated as my planner gathered blank weekly spreads.
I never thought that the problem might be with the planner and what I was planning. I just assumed that if I have the right tool, the perfect planner, then I should have everything I need to be productive and organised.
So when I had my third planner fail in a row I assumed that I must be the problem. My inner critic would say things like "obviously you're just not that organised", or "being productive simply isn't meant for people like you", and the classic "you clearly don't have what it takes to be successful and build your best life" - ouch!
The truth is there's never going to be the 'perfect planner' that gets you to be organized and productive.
Most planners ended up distracting us with all the bells and whistles. We're lead to believe that the more productivity and organisational extras the planner includes the more productive and organised we'll be. Those type of planners tend to only make the problem behind why you can't stick with your planner habit worse.
The real problem at the root of not having planner peace is trying to plan and organise all the things - it's like trying complete a marathon before mastering the art of crawling.
If you're ever going to succeed at anything, showing up is arguably the first and most important habit to master. Sounds so simple - just show up. But here's the kicker, the bigger the goal, task or habit, the harder it is to just show up.
So, how do you rekindle your planner habit after you've fallen off the wagon?
I started by not trying to do it all, I just showed up with the aim of being more intentional with my time and energy. I got back to basics in my planner and started with the essential things that absolutely must be planned. For me that was stuff related to my kiddos school (inset days, non uniform day, trips, events, etc.), meal planning, and my own weekly agenda.
When I stopped trying to do it all in my planner it was like finding a peaceful garden where I was able to cultivate clarity.
Once I got the essential basics nailed and was showing up every day in my planner, then (and only then) did I add on an additional activity such as tracking a habit, project/goal planning, etc.
I managed to rise up from a place of feeling totally defeated and I believe you can too, simply by starting small and showing up.
James Clear puts it beautifully in his book Atomic Habits:
"All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow."
"...the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time."
So treat finding 'planner peace' like cultivating a delicate flower, nurture it every day and watch it grow.
If you're determined to find planner peace so you can be productive and organised, and would like support while cultivating your planner habit then reach out to me here.
Looking for more inspiration around planner peace? Check out this blog post next: Minimalist planning for being intentional with your month ahead.