Have you ever felt like throwing your planner away or hiding it in your deepest drawer or closet? I never used to feel that way, but these days, sometimes I just don’t want to use it. But, and that’s a VERY BIG BUT, I must use it. If I don’t use my planner, bad things happen. When I casually suggest to my family that I’m thinking about not using a planner anymore, they go into panic mode. They know, as well as I do, that things do not go well for any of us when I don’t use my planner.
If you’ve ever felt that way, too, here are a few questions to consider when you’re tempted to toss your planner.
- Have you tried to figure out what the problem is? Sometimes a little analysis can show you what’s going on. Do you hate your binder? Do you hate your pages? Do you need more color? Do you need less color? Are you frustrated because you’re planning but not getting anything done? Are you struggling because you don’t know how to use a planner? Do you feel you don’t have time to plan? If you can figure out WHY you’re not using your planner, it will be much easier to fix the problem and start using your planner again.
- Is it possible you’re over planning? Nothing will make you want to toss your planner faster than over planning and under performing. If you feel like planning is a waste of time, using a planner will seem like a waste of time, too. And you won’t do it. Or at least you won’t want to. If that’s the case, it may be time to plan less so you can actually accomplish what you plan. At least for now.
- Is it possible your planner set-up isn’t right for you? Most of us are willing to switch planners or formats at the drop of a hat but that’s not usually a good idea. However, sometimes it is actually necessary. For example, if you’re trying to cram too much into a weekly view, that can cause frustration. On the other hand, if you have two pages per day and they’re mostly empty, that’s probably not the right format. Maybe you prefer weekly but you’re forcing yourself to use daily. Or you like daily but you’re forcing yourself to use weekly. Take a little time to figure out what you need, what you want, and what actually works. And if what you’re currently works for you, don’t switch. Your format isn’t your problem. But if it isn’t what you need, maybe that’s why you don’t want to use your planner.
- Is it possible you’re going through a tough time? We all go through times when we’re worried, upset, sad, busy, sick, etc. When we do, dealing with a planner can be the last thing we want to think about. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to dial it back a bit. Instead of going whole hog with the planning, just do the bare minimum. Don’t abandon your planner – just switch to maintenance mode. Eventually, when you get through your tough time, you’ll be ready to go back to planning the way you used to. And because you kept your planner current, you won’t have to start over or fill in the gaps.
- Are you letting your planner run your life? Your planner is not your boss – it’s your servant. You don’t have to live your life chained to the planner or the task list you created. If you want to do something other than what’s on the list, count the cost, and if you can work it out, do it! Don’t take your planner too seriously. Remember it’s just a tool.
- Is it possible you’re just bored? Instead of abandoning your planner or reinventing a system that already works, maybe you should find something else to do. Boredom with your life or your routine isn’t your planner’s fault. Leave the planner alone and figure out a way to make your life more interesting.
Have you ever gone through a time when you didn’t want to use your planner? How did you get through it?