I have a problem with most planners because they are either time based or, in my opinion, glorified to-do lists. Those kinds of planners work for some people so I’m not trying to knock them, but they are useless for me. I just have no use for time based planners because I’m not the type to have tons of appointments and I don’t have children. The other types of planners just seem like busy work to me. Even back in high school I wouldn’t do something if it felt like busy work. I made quite a few teachers mad.
I’m not sure if that is just my problem or if it’s because I’m a creative, but these types of planners just don’t work with my brain. I looked up “productivity for creatives” and fortunately, I came across Productive Flourishing and project based planning. As cliché as it is to say, it was like a light bulb went off. I could be considered a top-down planner with a problem with the down part. I have end goals that I can see, but I have the hardest time reverse engineering them to figure out workable steps to get there. My brain is focused on the end goal. So project based planning clicked.
I started by writing down my goals, big and small. Now, I’m working on breaking down my goals into manageable steps. This is the hard part for me. Meanwhile, I’m using my weekly layout to break down my immediate goals (classes I’m taking, books I’m reading, etc.) and my Top 3 to make sure I keep up with it. I also give myself the freedom to take breaks. When you use a time based planner there seems to be this desire to fill up the time. When it looks empty, we feel like we wasted the day. When the focus is on projects, then we can look back and see the progress.
My planner still needs some work. I don’t have this project based planning thing completely figured out yet, but since I’ve started going down this road I’ve been much more productive. I’m excited to see the results of this direction.