Don't Waste Your Time Planning | Giftie Etcetera: Don't Waste Your Time Planning

Friday, September 4, 2015

Don't Waste Your Time Planning

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Once someone decides to dedicate to using a planner, it is so easy to fall into a trap of planning instead of doing. 

planning, productivity

(Some people might also spend a lot of time looking at planner porn. I'm not accusing you. But if you find yourself always on Pinterest searching "planner layouts" or checking Instagram several times a day...well...maybe check a mirror???)

There are truly some times when you should stop planning and just do something instead.

Skip the Detailed Daily Plan (Sometimes)

If your weekly spread has enough space to write the day's tasks and the tasks and appointments are not overwhelming, don't waste time planning a daily plan.

In the picture above, Friday's space (top right) is full, but just barely. As long as I don't need to add anything, I don't need a daily plan! (Honestly, I rarely need one on weekends.)

Stop Planning as a Form of Procrastination

Don't write down a two minute task that you can do now. Do it.

Don't stop to write "complete essay" right before you draft the essay that is due tomorrow. Draft the essay instead.

Don't write down "cook beans" and then start cooking the beans. Just start cooking the beans.

Set a Regular Time for Planning and Stick to It

Yes, if your best friend calls you to go out to dinner on Saturday, add that to your planner immediately.

But for more serious planning sessions, limit them to a certain time of the day or when you need to clear your head.

If you suddenly find some free time, do something on your task list, read a book, or take a nap! In other words, relax instead of planning.

(Okay, planner porn *might* be my favorite way to relax. Shush! We all have addictions.)


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Anonymous said...

I can't agree this enough. 'Planning' is useless to me if I don't see a whole bunch of checkmarks next to everything I've 'planned'. Pinterest is a big detractor and a lot of the planner layouts I see on IG are so beautifully and perfectly set up that I often wonder if they're just done that way just to post a pretty photo. It makes the ones of mine I post on IG look like a disaster! Planning is the journey. Doing is the goal.

Giftie Etcetera said...

OH! "Planning is the journey. Doing is the goal." Well said, Weekend Wife!

Carla said...

Yesterday was one of those planning, but super productive. Sometimes I just don't have time to write the plan, but it's there. For those days, I write a DONE list. In pink so I get an Insta-smile.

Unknown said...

But but...if I write down the things I'm going to be doing soon, I get to check them off, and that just makes me feel better about myself - ha! I mean, uh, I would never do that xD
I've, thankfully, gotten into the habit of writing out my list for the day the night before. It has saved me so much, well, procrastination of getting things done. When I was doing a mostly weekly plan, I would languish over whether I needed to add more tasks to a day, or if something could be moved around. Now, with just a daily list, it's these things to be done, and anything else is gravy, and (most) things are getting done - instead of me trying to fill up a box on a weekly spread with piddly things.

Mary Wimbley said...

I have been guilty of this before, and it's something I have to watch out for to this day. I have been known to get a little too planner-happy. It's part of the reason I've had a hard time keeping up with the planner habit. I sometimes tend to go from one extreme to the other. Is there such a thing as planner bipolar? lol

Julie S said...

I think I know someone who needs to read this post hehe. She has this awesome color-coded planner, but then doesn't actually do the things written in the planner.

Kathleen said...

Planning is so important but the balance you bring to it is so important too. I would love you to share this on Fridays Blog Booster Party I am visiting from Share the Wealth Sunday.

Tiffani said...

Hee,hee! You totally know me! I am a plannergirl and love looking through IG & addictive. Planner procrastination is something I am working on. I can spend all day making my planner look pretty, but never getting anything done on my to-do lists. Or making pages of to-do lists & then rewriting them because they didn't look pretty enough to go in my planner...ugh!! I'm a work in progress. I love your posts & how you were keeping it real for us, planner addicts. Great post! ;) (Coming over from Small Victories Sunday Linkup)

Suzanne said...

You made me smile... I'm like that: I write stuff down in my planner and then do it immediately so I can check it off. Gee, I love checking off stuff. AND my planner looks good at the end of the day, like "Look at ALL the things you did today thanks to me!" haha.

Well Hello! said...

Planner porn. Hillarious! I'm guilty of planning as a form of procrastination lol. Love your tip setting a time for planning.

Tanya @ Moms Small Victories said...

Shhh, I'm totally addicted to my planner groups on Facebook. That's how I spend my down time. I do TRY to keep my daily planning to a minimum so there's more chance to get things done. I absolutely love the posts you share with us, keep up the great work! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you found some great posts to visit this week!

Unknown said...

I am a planner addict. Big time. I do manage to complete the tasks I have written in it but I love the process of planning and decorating my planner. I actually started a youtube channel all about planning and I post on my blog every Monday with the current spread. I am also guilty of writing down a task I did that I hadn't planned just so I can cross it off :)

Meredith @ The Palette Muse said...

Oh darn, I was hoping you were going to tell me I can give up planning altogether! Oh well, I suppose that in planning, as in most things, moderation is the key. Great article!

Jaime Barfield said...

My planning time is between 7:30 and 8 every morning. Whenever I have one master task (clean) then I do not bother with daily plan. Instead I will look at my master cleaning task list that I keep in planner. And I never plan on the weekends unless I have an appointment or we have planned an outing that day. Even then, I don't spend much time on weekends looking at planner. I save that for Sunday evening with a quick look and then Monday mornings start my planning again

Jamie Oliver (@va_grown) said...

I find it easy to start a planner, but the discipline of it gets away from me a few weeks in. I've gone back to digital. I like paper better, but digital just suits our busy lives better. I still LOVE all the pictures and posts, but deep down I know I'll be a planning failure by week 4, so I don't get sucked in anymore. :)

Thanks for sharing on Simple Sundays!

Unknown said...

I am SO GUILTY of this! Although I am getting better about doing things that would be just as easy to actually do as it is to write them on the list. (But after I do them I write them down anyway just so I can cross them off!! haha!)

Debbie said...

I caught myself just looking at my planner last week. LOL
I wonder how many times I have done it before without realizing it.
That thing is becoming way too cute. Very dangerous.
Lovely post!