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I make no secret that I struggle with anxiety and depression.
The constant rising feeling of panic I feel in my worst moments.
Combined with the belief that nothing I do will ever make a difference, so why even bother?
Oh ya, these thought patterns are real.
And can I say, they suck.
You might know what I’m talking about.
Not only do my thoughts make me feel horrible, but they also tamper with productivity, make me snap at my kids and overall make me not a nice person to be around.
When they’re at their worst, I rely on a simple system that I set up in my planner.
Even if you don’t struggle with depression, you may know the feeling of having so much to do and no idea where to start.
Thus, you sit there in a state of stunned panic – worried that if you devote your time to one endeavor, another more worthy task won’t get completed.
Argh! It’s enough to make anyone insane, right?
Here’s how I tackle it and get more stuff done everyday than I did before I discovered the Living Well Planner.
The planner I use to stay organized
Before the Living Well Planner, I owned one Erin Condren planner.
I tried it out, but then found I was never diligent with it.
Plus, why carry around a big, bulky planner when my cell phone fits so easily in my pocket?
But here’s the thing.
I was missing a system. Honestly, I had no clue how I could use a planner.
And if you think that it’s just a place to write in appointments like I did, this is going to change your life.
The Living Well Planner was created by one of my favorite people, Ruth Soukup, founder of Living Well Spending Less and the Elite Blog Academy.
Ruth created a planner based on the way her brain works, how she plans and how she gets so much done.
And she should know, She’s the mom of 2 kids, a New York Times Bestselling author and runs a uber-successful business.
Any way I can copy her methods, I’m going to do it.
The system that keeps me sane
First, many of us fall into the trap of being super busy all the time but never accomplishing our long-term goals.
That book you wanted to write?
The room you wanted to redecorate?
That trip that’s been on your bucket list, forever?
It all gets pushed to the side in favor of the urgent.
When we do that, we are robbing ourselves of the happiness and long-term fulfillment that we crave.
I realize that the times I feel the most resentful of my husband’s “free” time or overwhelmed with all the things are when I’m neglecting my own happiness.
That’s what this planner helps me do.
Here’s how it works.
Every planner starts with a page where you map out your long-term goals for the year. The coolest part of the Living Well Planner is that you don’t need to wait until January to begin.
Each planner arrives undated with stickers – and oh man, do you love stickers as much as I do? You decide which month you want to start.
At the beginning of every month, you review your yearly long-term goals and base your monthly goals on that.
This way I know that my goals are at the forefront of my plans. I’m constantly reminded of them and know that I’m moving forward.
Each week is when the real magic happens.
How I stay productive every week
Ruth also created these sticky notes called the Weekly Wizard.
Every Friday (or honestly, Monday morning), I decide what my focus is for the week.
- I then name the tasks that get me closer to that goal in the A column
- All the tasks I SHOULD do go in the B Column
- And all the tasks that would be NICE to do go in the C column.
Finally, it’s time blocking time.
I look at the entire week and write in the prior commitments that I already have.
Kid dance lessons
Dates set with friends
Then, I plan all the activities in my A column. If it doesn’t work on paper, it doesn’t work.
I always block about 50% more time than I think each task will take. If you’re anything like me and horribly underestimate your time, this will work for you, too.
I draw a box around each with these erasable markers. Each marker is color coordinated with a specific task so that with a quick look I can see how I’m spending a majority of my time.
How to stay organized
Right now, you might feel like your life borders on chaos.
I promise that a planner can help you feel far less stress, more happiness and make you feel more under control – well, as under control as you can be as a mom.
The best thing is if you feel like you suck at this time management thing, there’s a free course that comes along with the Living Well Planner called Crushing it Central.
It guides you step-by-step through conquering time management, setting up your new planner and completely crushing it on your goals.
What to do now
First, go purchase the Living Well Planner.
You’ll love how it’s completely customizable yet not overwhelming.
Plus, they just unveiled a new floral design that you better believe I just bought as well!
As soon as you purchase, you get immediate access to Crushing it Central so you don’t have to wait for your planner to arrive to start organizing your entire life.
Planning as an overwhelmed mom
I admit it. I too fought the planner craze. But, OMG, when I say this planner has changed my life and the way I approach my day, there is no exaggeration.
It keeps me from wallowing in this state of analysis paralysis and actually get stuff done.
And it can do the exact same for you.