Why I Still Have a Paper Planner

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2020

Have you noticed that the world we live in is growing ever more chaotic? Today’s digital information age is overwhelming our minds and sabotaging our productivity. We’re constantly interacting with our devices: being bombarded with noise, alarms, and the minutia of the day. It’s exhausting! With all that is coming at us, it’s hard to figure out which things matter, let alone focus on them!

My simple solution

I need to shut out that noise for a few minutes and focus on the things that make me WANT to get out of bed, even if it's cold and dark out there! I need something to anchor my daily activities to the people, ideas, and values I hold dear—without drifting into areas that waste my time and energy. After all, time is the most valuable currency I have. I'm going to use every second of it daily; why not ensure that I make those seconds meaningful? And I do that by simply using my paper planner.

Don't get me wrong, I still use digital almost exclusively for keeping track of contacts and scheduling time.  But it's what I schedule that requires me to pull out my colored pens and dive into my planner. 

Time is what life is made of

Time truly is the most valuable currency. What you choose to do with your time is critical. Time changes people. Experiences change people. You have the power to choose many of the experiences you’ll have each day!

And it's that accumulation of experiences that we call our life.

Spending Verses Investing

It boils down to this: Are you spending your time, or are you investing it?

An investment pays you back—it rewards your efforts with increasing value over time. When you spend, you simply give your time away for the moment. That’s why it’s so important that you understand how to invest your time.

Having things written down on paper encourages you to invest your time in meaningful ways. Here are a few ways my paper planning has changed my life and could possibly change yours:

  •  Daily Reflection—The best chance you have against this noisy, messy world is to dedicate time to quiet reflection. Unrushed, daily planning with pen and paper allows you time to unwind and focus on the things that truly matter. A friend of mind calls it "centering herself" every morning.
  • Determine What Matters Most To You—You have unique desires and motivations that set you apart from everyone else on the planet. These personal aspirations, values, and motivations originate deep within you and direct your actions. Your planner is the ideal place to list and assess these—and determine how to act upon them. Something about writing them down feels so much more real than typing them.
  • Align Your Actions With Your Values—When you start the day focused on activities that support and strengthen your core values—the people, skills, beliefs, and ideas that you hold most dear-- your confidence will grow. You’ll lay your head on your pillow every night and think "I slayed today!"

When you use your planner to invest your time, you’ll discover that it’s the ultimate game changer in your daily life. You’ll find that it’s easier to:

  • Work toward your most important goals every day
  • Be incredibly productive
  • Become and stay organized
  • Use your time meaningfully
  • Improve your thinking skills and memory
  • Gain daily inner peace
  • Lead a satisfying life

That sounds like a lot, but I am living proof.  I received my first planner free as a student at GMI (now Kettering University).  It was just a weekly planner, broken into the four 12-week terms of the academic year.  But I was hooked.

From there I discovered Franklin Planners which added the elements I am talking about here: thinking about what I value and what I want to accomplish in my life, not just that semester (which, to be honest, was simply passing everything!). I finally had the tools to look at the big picture and not the things that were right in front of my face.


Press The Pause Button

Like any other computer, your mind can become fragmented with all the input you face each day. Remove yourself from the hustle, free your mind to contemplate what matters, and plan daily meaningful actions. As you defragment, sort, and prioritize, you’ll determine what belongs where in your life.

My planner is the one thing that grounds everything that matters to me everyday! That has never been more powerful, relevant, and vital than in this noisy digital world!

Let computers do what computers do best: keeping contact information on people, keeping lists, and scheduling meetings with other people.  

Let your brain bask in the calm space where it is at its best, creating a lifetime of experiences you can look back on and say "Whew!  What a ride!"

The challenge of the week is to pick up your own planner today and start making the ultimate difference in your daily life? Heck, even a spiral bound notebook will do!

Leaving you with this from the lighter side:  I don't like making plans for the day, because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom. 


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