Planning isn’t something you do once a day and then you’re done until the next day. Daily planning is definitely a key part of the planning process but there’s more. Planning works best when you “plan as you go”.
Here are five examples of “planning as you go”.
- You get a call from the thrift store letting you know a truck will be in your area on February 15th and asking if you have anything to donate. You say yes and the pick-up is scheduled. You immediately put on your calendar that there will be a thrift store pick-up on 2/15. Then on 2/14, you put “set donation out for pick-up”. You might also put on your calendar the Saturday before that you need to gather items to donate.
- You notice your aunt’s birthday is next month. Her birthday is already on your calendar but you really want to send her a card. So two days before her birthday, you put “mail Aunt Susan’s card”. Two days before that you write: “prep Aunt Susan’s card”.
- You’re mailing a letter and you notice your stamps are low. You’re pretty sure you can last the rest of the month but you’ll need stamps soon. So you put a note on next month’s calendar to order stamps.
- You’re invited to a Super Bowl party and asked to bring an appetizer. You put the party on your calendar. Then on the day you make your grocery list, you put a reminder to include ingredients for an appetizer. Then you put another note on your calendar for the day of the Super Bowl party or the day before to remind you to make the appetizer.
- You have a problem with your phone bill and call to straighten it out. They tell you a credit should be on your next bill. So you put a note on next month’s calendar to check and see if you received the promised credit.
These are just a few examples of “planning as you go”. I can’t tell you often this strategy has saved my life! So many times I’ve opened my planner to a new day and read a note I wrote a week ago and said to myself, “Oh, I forgot I had to do that. Thank goodness I wrote it down!”