The Hidden Secret to an Effective Work Planner | Giftie Etcetera: The Hidden Secret to an Effective Work Planner

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Hidden Secret to an Effective Work Planner

I work to live. 

Oh, I actually enjoy being at the office. You can't deny that all those office supplies make you giddy, too, or you wouldn't be reading this. But none of us go to work solely for the coffee or the office supplies, even if we like our jobs.

We go to work to afford trips to Europe, cute shoes, and nights out at fancy restaurants. Or, if you are more like me, to afford electricity, water, and a roof of some sort. Maybe, if you are lucky and determined, you'll make enough to put a new handbag or planner on your birthday list.

Work is an important part of life and takes up a lot of time, so keeping work pleasant and NOT overwhelming is an important goal.

I'm going to suggest one important tweak to your work planner (that also works for home) to change how you think about productivity planning...




planner, planners, productivity, productivity at work, work planner




Assigned Priority Columns


What? You've never heard of APCs?!? That's because I completely made them up. :) But they actually work with the human brain, so sit back and learn.


Assigned Priority Columns simply means that I work from left to right (in the same direction as I read) and top to bottom (with the bottom right of any page reserved for the least important actions, information, or nonactions).


Left to right tracks your natural reading ability. If I write:

Zebra, boy, kitten, cheddar cheese, Filofax, and soda, all in a row, your eyes get to "zebra" first.

Why not use that to decide what to do when you arrive at the office and open your planner?


If you check out the picture in this post, you can look at how I use my own Assigned Priority Columns to tap into the direction most of us in America use when reading - left to right. 


Productivity tips, planner tips


COLUMN A: Meetings and Must Dos

COLUMN B: Today's Priorities

COLUMN C: This Week's Priorities


COLUMN D: This Month's Priorities

COLUMN E: Yearly Priorities

Note that high priority items, like a meeting I need to attend or due dates, go first. 


TIP: Use open space in Column B for TODAY's planned tasks. Try to reserve it until you get to work!


Very low priorities, like tracking timesheets, expenses, or pending items go to the far lower right, in COLUMNS F and G.

Please don't think you need to set your page up just like mine. The point is not to copy my plan, but to rethink your layout.

Are you forcing yourself to see the Must Dos first?

If not, can you fix that?

Let me know how you plan to work Assigned Priority Columns into your weekly or daily plan!

Now, get back to work! You need a new purse and you know it!


Etcetera.


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3 comments:

Geertrude said...

Well, that's almost exactly how I already use my (only) planner. Mine is smaller (a pocket moleskine), but I have A and B set up like you have (I learned that from you, actually). On the opposite page I have a column for my bookkeeping tasks for the week and next to that a column for weekly household tasks (bookkeeping is more important than househould tasks, so that's why those are on the left).
About half way the page I start listing other tasks to complete this week/month. Important family tasks, work and blog on the left, household on the right.
I've been doing this for over a year now and it works great. The only change I'm considering is switching to a larger size moleskine to have more writing space.

Anna Wegner said...

I do something similar on my daily pages, but never thought about it before. I tend to write the most important things at the top left, then work down with columns left to right. I also color coordinate, so I have quick visual clues about type of tasks. For some reason my brain makes more sense of that than of symbols.

Just Jaime said...

I currently use a work planner just for appointments with clients as there are very few tasks involved. I don't like the idea of putting the client name or where I am meeting them in my personal planner. In personal, I always write it just as work. I like the idea of the columns and hope to work out a system in my personal planner for this. Thanks.