So there I was, at my local Parisian office & school supplies store, standing in front of shelves fully packed with organizers refills of all styles and shapes, while holding on tight to my gorgeous plush deep-green leather refillable planner that was gifted to me by my dad for my 18th birthday. Last century. It came together with a matching notepad embossed in golden letters with a short poem that he wrote. For me.
I’ll get incinerated with these 2 treasures, I cherish them so much.
Back to my point.
There I was, standing before shelves of planners, diaries and refills for 2020 and I just got fed up with the lack of vision induced by those planners (pun intended).
You see, I happen to share my life with a very busy lawyer who’s recently turned to the magical world of great organization in order to spare his sanity and scrape a few extra minutes every day for himself for things such as guitar practice. Yes, I hang out with the cool lawyers. He’s recently been testing the work of organizational-master Michael Hyatt with his best seller book Free To Focus (dont j’ai déniché la toute récente version française Enfin Libéré du Surmenage) and has started using Hyatt’s Full Focus Planners.
I would have just ignored it (adoring wife-style) but my absolute business-crush Amy Porterfield being an avid user of said planners herself, I thought I’d pay attention to what the man had to say about his newly organized life. He showed me a few Full Focus Planners implementation videos (they even show you how to make the planner lay flat. I mean… that’s commitment to customer experience taken to a whole new level …).
Turns out that the whole process seems super engaging and dare I say, brilliantly helpful.
And just when I thought that my planning process was already pretty fantastic, I gave it a little extra oomph for 2020 using my usual planner (no need to purchase anything any here) + incorporating tips from the masters:
How I manage my 2020 calendar 101:
I use my iPhone Cal for my days’ general planning. It is merely data entering with an aim to assist with the logistics of my external meetings (professional appointments, sport classes, lunches and dinners…)
I use a A2 format wall calendar that gives me a snapshot of the year ahead and its grand themes. It’s displayed on my office wall behind a curtain so I only see it when I chose to. I don’t need added pressure in my life! The goal here is not to set firm deadlines, but to allocate large portions of time to big chapters in my business. I revisit it quarterly. I’m busy structuring the one for 2020 and will prepare it on Friday late afternoon. I’ll make a little video if you guys are interested.
Aforementioned vintage planner with refillable inserts. That’s where I pencil in all elements (professional and private) and plan my days in detail.
The holy mass of my planning takes place every Friday late afternoon, as I’m about to switch off my desktop before switching on the weekend mode & mood. I search for my 2-3 XL orange Post-its (at that time on Fridays, my desk is usually a mess) + take 1 fresh XL green Post-it and prepare a basic to do list for the upcoming week. I jot down work, personal and family tasks. 1 brain 1 list.
Then on Sunday evening, before indulging in some John Oliver, I sit down with my monster Post-It, my leather planner from another century and get to it: all the tasks have to fit in the week. Time is allocated. Balanced days are created. Intentions for specific goals are set. Some slots towards the end of the week are left empty because your know, life happens, and perfect planning gets thrown out of the window and you need to get scrappy.
I then revisit it on Wednesday over my solo lunch / solo coffee break. And I have a star rating system when I’ve performed perfectly (joking. I don’t. But now I’m thinking I really should. I respond well to rewards. And shiny things).
How about you ? Any planning tips you wish to share? Be generous and share it on the FB group I’ve created for my business community (click here).
And how about you try and implement the following steps:
- Set clear goals for the year
- Break it down into quarterly goals + catch up
- Break it down one step further into manageable daily tasks
- Add a weekly catchup session so as not to lose focus
- And commit to this new system!
With next year around the corner about to bring an exciting mix of book writing, consulting missions, speaking & coaching engagements, I’d better get super organized if I want to somewhat preserve my quality of life (and no, nobody has a 2-hour lunch break with an entrecote and a full bottle of Bordeaux in Paris any longer. I also don’t know anyone who works 35 hours a week. Not that you asked, but I thought I’d kill the fantasy while I had a chance!).
Thanks for your time. Thanks for your trust.
Until next time,