*IMAGE IS ONLY A GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION OF HOW THE TEMPLATE FUNCTIONS
Whether you’re a mum, university student, or in the workforce, I think it’s fair to say we all know that feeling of being overwhelmed. When I had my daughter I just rolled with the punches, we had no routine, no schedule and we were just taking each day as it came. I soon realised that for us we needed a little structure on what to expect next, because it started to affect her sleep, feeding and both our overall moods. I went through a period were I didn’t know what I was doing in a day, I was being pulled in different directions and some days I felt like superwoman kicking goals and other days I just felt so unproductive and overwhelmed. I needed a solution, a system that was efficient, easy to use and flexible around my little one, as she was my first priority. So that's how I came up with this Yearly Planner Template and ever since implementing it I feel less overwhelmed with managing multiple tasks. Now I am more focussed, more efficient and feel more accomplished.
The template below can be completely customised to suit your own categories. Please note that the width of the template may differ depending on how many columns you have. It’s best to ensure all the columns fit on one page and that the post it notes you purchase also fit within the column.
Download a copy of the template here
What I was previously doing
Originally I was writing the standard to do list, adding things to the end of the list, which didn’t really make much sense as something could be urgent and easily be missed. I would also set up reminders on my phone everyday, but it was actually becoming more stressful than productive. Each and everyday I could feel the pressure mounting, as all these reminders kept going off, with things I needed to get done. However I was just trying to be a mum first and focus on my little one when she needed me. It was difficult, I kept hitting snooze on my tasks and would just set another reminder, hoping to get it done tomorrow causing me to feel more pressured and unaccomplished.
What inspired me to create this kind of template
I then took myself back to my corporate days where running an efficient and organised department was so important as we had limited resources. Part of that method was mapping out (on post it notes) all of our processes to see what steps we were doing and what could be cut out, or done more effectively. I took the same principle and applied it to my home life. I really needed to see all my projects, commitments, tasks, I had on in one place and have the flexibility to adjust it as needed.
Juggling mum life
As mums I think we are constantly juggling everything that life throws at us and often we can become stretched quite thin, quite quickly. Which is completely normal, even some of the most organised people in the world (who may also have assistants, one could dream) go through periods or days like this and that’s just life I guess. Our little monkeys may need us more some days, others not so much and that’s okay.
As a first time mum, each and everyday I’m learning how to do things and try and find ways to do things more efficiently. Another really important factor I learnt was to prioritise what’s really important and focus on what needs to be done first. I often need to remind myself that I’m only one person and I can’t possibly do 100 things in the same day, or at the same time. Although some days I do wish I was an octopus.
So to help me out I created this template and I wish I had done it sooner.
What I love about the template is:
It’s flexible and works around my daughter’s day so I can spend as much QT time with her as I can.
It’s simple and allows me to map out everything and see it at a glance.
I now realise as I have it all mapped out, how much I have on my plate and what’s actually realistic and achievable to take on in a day.
The template also categorises my tasks between high, medium and low so I know what’s a priority and what to focus on next.
My priorities may change tomorrow and something that may not have been a high priority is today and I have the flexibility to move this up the list and see it quickly as it’s on post it notes.
If I know I’m going to have a busy day tomorrow, straight away I can see what tasks I need to focus on first rather than going through an entire checklist to see.
It’s like one big master list and I slowly chip at it which is much more achievable and motivating.
I can jot down all my ideas in one place and feel like it’s not going to get lost and constantly be on my mind.
I don’t need to re-write a whole new list or reschedule reminders everyday.
How I categorised my template
Obviously each person’s template will look a little different according to what you do in a day. But for me I have broken my categories/sub-categories as follows:
WORK: email/call, social media content and blogging ideas
HOME: cook, clean and de-clutter/organise
GENERAL: buy/source and other
I don’t list things that will take me 5 minutes or my regular cleaning routine.
GET STARTED USING THE TEMPLATE:
Once you've customised your template, save it as a PDF
Then print and laminate the template in either A2 or A1 (I just went to Officeworks and got this done). Please note the amount of columns you have may affect the size of your template once printed.
Buy little post it notes depending on your paper size and columns. I used the Post-it Super Sticky Page Markers 50 x 15mm Pastel 5 Pack and purchased these from Officeworks to. I also used the same colour post it notes under the relevant category and that way at a glance I can see how much of each category I have on.
Write out with a thin ballpoint all your tasks, commitments, goals and anything you would like to do.
Then start prioritising between all your tasks and don’t be afraid to move things down the list and question whether it really is a priority or whether you can just park it for the moment.
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Christine THE o.c.d | organise • clean • declutter
Professional Home Organiser