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5 Tips for Paper Planning During A Pandemic

Monday, October 26, 2020

Last week I had the extreme honor of being a guest speaker on a planner workshop! It was a workshop for beginners to see the value in paper planning. When I was asked to share something on the program, I was only drawing a blank. I mean, I've been paper planning for as long as I can remember, but to explain my ideas and systems to someone else was kind of daunting.

The first thing that popped into my mind was the meme that I had seen going around that said my 2020 planner was the biggest waste of a purchase ever. And, then my wheels started turning. If these were beginners, 2020 probably felt like a really weird time to start paper planning! After all, I don't think I picked up my planner for weeks in the spring. 

So I wanted to pass on to you what I shared during the workshop! 5 tips for paper planning during a pandemic:

1. You’ve got to let go of perfection!

Easier said than done, coming from a very type A perfectionist. I think it’s easy to get intimidated by all of the professional looking planners out there. We've all seen the ones on Pinterest that look like scrapbooks or maybe you've seen those incredible works of art people do with bullet journals. But, Perfection is paralyzing. After all, planning is pointless if it’s not helping you in a practical way. So, first step get comfortable with the fact that things are getting cancelled so things are going to have to be marked up or crossed out. You might have extra blank space in your planner. And let's face it, not everyone has perfect penmanship. 

2. Be realistic. 

You can write a gorgeous, calligraphy To Do list in your planner that includes things like a 1 hour workout, 7 step skin care routine, a 4 course dinner for your family, and drinking a gallon of water by the end of the day. All while homeschooling your kids and making fresh banana bread. But, unless you are realistically going to accomplish that you are setting yourself up for failure. Are you a failure for not drinking a gallon of water? Of course not, but that’s how it’s going to feel when you can't check it off at the end of the day. 

3. Focus on what you can do.  

Write down realistic goals, and maybe it’s just 1 or 2 things. But make those 1 or 2 things really count. This is something that even if nothing else goes right for the day-at least you did that one thing! 

 If you aren’t sure what your one goal should be, here’s a tip. We all have those big goals, right? Maybe we want to lose some of the quarantine weight we’ve gained. Think about the one thing we can do today do help us reach that. Sure, drinking that gallon of water, or that really long workout would work- but maybe a 20 minute walk is something we can definitely attain and it will help us reach that bigger goal of getting healthier. 

4. Keep your planner out and open. 

I’ve noticed that if I keep my planner folded up in my purse, I’m very unlikely to reach for it. But, if you keep it out somewhere out in the open like on your kitchen counter, you are more likely to refer to it and use it throughout the day. Make sure you keep your pen near by too!

5. Sunday Reset.

My personal favorite tip. Everyone likes to start fresh on Monday right? It’s the perfect day to start over. So take advantage of your Sundays! You just need 15 minutes. Look ahead for the week. Write down your appts., or goals for the week. This is a great time to meal plan too. We’ve been trying to get all the laundry done and the house cleaned up on Sundays. The point of the Sunday reset is to set yourself up for a great week. Remember we want to set ourselves up for success. 

Planning during a pandemic is not a waste of time, in fact it can give you purpose and structure in a time when it feels like those things don't exist. And who doesn't want to come out of Quarantine better than ever?!

Overall, it was a very successful and inspiring workshop! Everyone felt motivated and it was fun to see what planners everyone liked. I was also totally happy to share links to my favorite pens and highlighters! Leave a comment below if you've ever attended a virtual workshop! I'd love to attend more. How have you been doing with planning this year? 


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Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

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