The system that I use on the first page of my planner gets a lot of credit for that routine in the midst of chaos.
On the first page of my planner, right under a clear page protector, I've created a checklist of sorts that hits all the most important aspects of day-to-day living.
Your life might need different important things on your day-to-day set-up.
Perhaps you are a single, neat apartment dweller whose housecleaning consists of a picking up after yourself and a quick wipe down of whichever room you are in occasionally. But your weekday job might require you to enter a timesheet daily or clear off your desk at the end of the day.
Maybe you don't struggle with depression. Instead, you are tracking blood pressure or weight and need a place to do that every day.
The key to a great first page of your planner is to think about things that are important to address on a daily basis and set-up the very first page of your planner to reflect those day-to-day demands on your attention.
Consider your top three or four priorities and make a list of those goals. Since these are the things you plan to work toward achieving every day, they merit the first page of your planner.
Once you've decided on what you plan to work on every day, start to determine the steps that truly need to happen daily and any things that just have to happen often or routinely, but are still critical enough to list.
In my case, for example, taking medicine daily is one of my steps in reaching my health goals. I'm so routine about taking my nighttime meds, but I am horrible about taking my morning meds. So taking morning meds go on the first page of my planner.
Let me show you again the image of my personal first page.
I don't know a better way to teach you how to organize this other than to show you an example of the final product - my own first page - and explain why I set it up like I did.
A. The Minimums
First, I schedule those minimum tasks that make the world continue smoothly for me.
Meds go first, followed by quick housekeeping tasks.
B. 15 Minute Quick Clean
I have a schedule for each week of tasks that I aim to perform. I used to keep the schedule elsewhere, but I never looked at it.
Can we say speed-cleaning whenever a friend popped by to visit?
Oh, and ants!!!
So I put it right here in my face. Sometimes, that 15 minutes is better spent in a more important place. If so, instead of an X, I put a dot.
That way, I have some sense of how often I am cleaning for real.
C. Health and Welfare
Self-care is so important. I track the things that help me cope, like working out or blogging, on the chart.
I like to examine if self-care is slacking and causing bad moods.
I had a complicated system for tracking moods, but a filled-in square, an X, and a dot make it visually easy to track.
(My moods in this example were very dark. It's because of the flooding. I think most of Louisiana feel the same this month.)
E. Xs and Os
As I've said above, except for mood (which gets a , X, or dot), I used an X for done and a dot for sort of done. Sort of done might mean that I took my meds, but late, or I did housework, but not what was on the list.
Your first page, of course, does not need to look like mine. Each person will have a different list that evolves with use and lessons learned.
I figure mine is in a pretty good place right now, though, since it got me through Louisiana's crisis without losing my sanity.
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