We are all considered to play to our strengths. I do many things quite well- not that I am bragging about it, I was just born this way. Or at least that’s what I would like to think… lol
This year I realised how important it is to allow myself to discover things. If I am drawn to them, effortlessly, when doing so time is of no concern, then it means I am enjoying it.
This is how it has been for me with planning and organising. Nowadays my sister says that this has grown to be an obsession.
I could always see what the day has in store for me, and this with no planning, no goals, nada. Wake up, work, eat, sleep, rest, repeat. And I can frankly admit I was not enjoying that period of my life. I was spending awfully long, dreading hours at work, had no hobbies, no interests, I was mostly either stressed or bored: two yucky places to be in.
I was half way into that job and I knew I was unhappy. But I guess it had primarily nothing to do with the work itself, rather than the fact I couldn’t manage my time well enough to have life out of the workplace! After all, the main reason I moved to Basel was because there was a multitude of Flamenco classes I could choose from, and numerous other cultural events I could go to after work. Yet, I seemed to find no time for them.
It eventually hit me on a Friday afternoon at around 17 o’ clock. I remember it was December, one of those holy days. My colleague had just closed the office door. I heard him saying “Goodbye, happy holidays!” in the background of my inner dialogue. Work was piling up but I thought “I can either stay here and finish before it piles up, or I can just go home and reconsider what and how I have been doing things.” For the first time during then, I decided to put me first, go home and figure out what I want to do; basically, reflect and in doing so master a plan that could get me as soon as possible out of the stress and the boredom and get me to a place of peace, balance, fun, growth and inspiration.
And so I did.
2017 has been more productive and fuller of happier moments because of this. I could make time to find a better job, I had time to take up Flamenco and Salsa classes, and even study for a life coaching diploma. Now 2018 is going to be even grander! Through life coaching I allowed myself to immerse even more to escalating my own personal development. My study buddies, the NMC, and my coach with Anthony Robbins (Cristina Donadio– adore you hon!) have helped me figure out what my values and goals are, where I am, where I want to go, what actions I need to take and where my strengths lie. This was truly a revolutionary time. By raising my awareness to all these attributes, I now know where I am, what I want and where I wish to go. Life is effortless, more fun and more energetic!
One of my weaknesses, however, has been time management. You see, I am rather an ultrasocial person. I feed on the energy from people. I did not know that. I used to push energy by being in the office and finishing up administrative things, wasting my time, feeling tired and alone. Now, I pull energy from people and the administrative things can be done faster and easier.
In order to keep me on track and balance time and people management I have decided, late last year, to invest in a planner. I have used online scheduling apps, like Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Cozi, TimeTree, but I needed to write things down. By doing so, I knew that I was more likely to stick to the plan. So I decided, to do my research. My research is still ongoing (and it has been 7 months already!). I could not find something that can satisfy my needs. My expectations from the ULTIMATE planner had been so high, I couldn’t find the ONE.
I can see the advantages and disadvantages of every planner. I have tried the free version of the Passion Planner but it was too much black and white, too formal for me. One of my first values is fun and this planner was not resonating with me.
Previous to that, I had tried creating my own planner based on what I could find from the InnerGuide. I liked the format but felt that there was tiny space, and creating a planner every month on my own was not an attractive solution on the long run. Oh, and trust me! I tried ordering it, but hit a wall because it could not be delivered to Switzerland. And, sorry I am not sorry but this girl does not like using PayPal.
You may say, “Create your own, start a bullet journal!” Again, no time for this… At least, at the moment.
I had heard of Erin Condren (EC) planners, looked up some videos on YouTube and I could immediately resonate with the design and the stickers. It was all about making planning and organising FUN! Even before purchasing it, I knew that it would definitely need some upgrading. So, once it had arrived- took approximately two weeks- I knew the pros, and it was time to add my plugins! 😀 My mom was witness to the set-up, she can confess to all my excitement! And every time I am planning the week, I hear her words ringing in my head: “I have never seen you like this, you are acting like a little kid!” Guess what?! That’s the feeling I want to have when planning! Goal achieved!
Below, I have taken some pictures of my EC. I decided to combine the EC design with the beautiful insights from Passion Planner (quotes, habit tracker, space of infinite possibility, water tracker, personal & work to-do list), take my three yearly goals from my coaching, add some life planning tips from the Law of Attraction Planner, Passion Planner and InnerGuide, insert some gratitude ideas from the Happy planner, have work and personal life all in one (as advised by life-coaches and LinkedIn learning videos), bring in some light and vision with stickers, washi tape, my scrapbooking, origami, hand lettering and watercolor skills and… The meal planner, emotional tracker and gratitude planner are at the back pocket of the planner- and they fit perfectly!
Plan! Fun! Done! Voila!
Unfinished monthly goal view: Plugin from my own InnerGuide, and Passion Planner inserts
Monthly (Feb/18) goal view: Plugin from my own InnerGuide Planner creation
Monthly view (Feb/18)
Weekly view (V-day week)
Plugin from Passion Planner (habit tracker)
Gadgets: HP sprocket, ZINK photo paper, polaroid picture frames, Caran d’ Ache pen, scissors, glue, pencil sharpener
Gadgets: washi tape, sticky notepad (EC), StylizedSticky™ corner pockets (EC, Supracolor Soft water colors (Caran d’Ache), color pencils
Gadgets: stickers (box made by moi)
Idea 1: Job application tracker
Idea 2: money saver or weight off tracker
Idea 3&4: books of the year, washi collection
I hope this blog has inspired you to think of how a planner can help improve your life, get organised and yet spare some time to be spontaneous. Go for it, be creative, craft and upgrade it to your taste and remember… live life to the fullest!
On to you!
Are you just as fascinated as I am with planning? Do you have a planner? If yes, got any extra tips or ideas? If not, are you open to trying planning out? Below, I am linking the planners I have tried and some that have tempted me to try out, have a look!
Now, I can see how girly the EC planner might be. Do you guys have any planner options for men- like Benjamin? Do you think that spontaneous people have a plan (consciously or unconsciously)?
On a last note, I cannot tone enough how important life coaching was to me. Find out your values, your vision, your goals, where you are, where you want to go and how you are going to get there. If I peeked your interest, do not hesitate, contact me to discover more!