My Game-changing Productivity Planner

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Sometimes I wonder if the words mom, business owner and productivity should even be allowed in the same sentence!ย  I have the best intentions of getting so much done and crossing all of the items off my to-do list, but at the end of each day I’m scratching my head wondering where the day went, why I have avocado in my hair and why it looks like the dryer exploded on my dinning room table?!ย  Never mind the fact that I am still trying to catch up on emails from weeks ago! Why does it feel so damn hard these days!?

As a working mother, I have been struggling to find the “balance” between it all and I’ve been digging deep personally to try and find the answer. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, especially after coming back from our first family vacation this past May. Spending an entire week, with only my husband and baby girl really put things into perspective and made me start questioning my abilities. How can I be the best mother and the best business owner at the same time? For me, it seems like it’s either one or the other. The days I feel like a rock star mama are the days I feel like I totally failed with my business. The days I was able to make some great headway at work, I missed the entire day with my little love.

I would love to tell you that I have figured it all out and the answer awaits you wrapped in a bow in the next paragraph.ย  Unfortunately, that is not the case. What I can offer is something that has helped me to be more productive on the days I do set aside to workย  and I want to share it with you.

To grab a copy of the planner, subscribe to the blog on the right hand column of your screen. A downloadable PDF will be emailed to you once you have confirmed your subscription. Print off as many as you like!

IMG_4652This productivity planner is a combination of a few different planners I have come across over time. I took the best parts of each and with the help of my fabulous team member and graphic artist, Hollie, we came up with this. However, this is no regular To-do list! There is a specific way to use the planner to get the very most out of each and every day and leave you feeling like you can take over the world!

The KEY to using this planner effectively is to avoid checking your emails until after you have filled it out. I know it is a bad habit of mine to reach for my phone as soon as I wake up, scroll through my inbox and scan for any urgent messages. DO NOT DO THIS! I promise you that the world will not stop if you wait an hour before your check your inbox.

productivity-planner

Step 1: When you wake up, get outside, get some fresh air and physical activity or meditate. Giving your self some time to focus and clear your head before you start your day is key to effectively filling out your planner and setting intentions for a productive day ahead.

Step 2: Drink a glass of water….or two! Starting your day hydrated is so important! A large percentage of people today are chronically dehydrated and it reaks havoc on all of our body systems and our moods. Plus, you have no idea how satisfying it is to color in those little water glasses at the bottom of the planner as you sip away all day. :)

Step 3: Think of your ‘word of the day’ and write it in the top right corner. This box can be used to set an intention for how your day will go. Often I write the word ‘focus’ or ‘presence’. It’s just there as a gentle reminder each time you look at your planner throughout the day, to keep you centered and on track.

And NO, you still can’t check your email! No peeking….I’ll let you know when.

Step 4: Priorities. This box is for you to unload everything you have in your head. You know that nagging little voice that was keeping you up all last night reminding you of all the things that you must do today! Sometimes I will even go as far as turning the sheet over and letting the list flow onto the back page with other priorities that I need to do, but not necessarily TODAY. It just feels good to write them down to get them off my mind so I don’t forget them later and I am able to fully clear my head.

Step 5: Appointments. Staying on schedule is important, so write down your commitments for the day and set notifications in your phone if you are like me and live off the “alarm” reminders.

Step 6: List your 3 biggest projects and under each, things you need to do to move those projects forward. Be clear and concise, bullet points will do. These can be anything from registering your kids for summer camp or improving your website SEO.

Step 7: People. There are two columns for people. On the left, you will list people you need to reach out to today to get your 3 major projects moving forward. The column on the right is for names of people you are waiting on to get your 3 major projects moving forward.

Now drink another glass of water and get ready for it……

You can NOW check your email, but the key to staying productive is HOW you check your email!

Scan your inbox for names that you have listed on your Right “People” box ( people you are waiting on). Only open and respond to those people first. If you are still waiting to hear from some of those names, send them follow up emails.

Then scan your inbox for any names that are in the Left “People” box. If you don’t see anyone, then go down the list of names you created and start reaching out to them to get your projects moving forward.

After you have addressed or reached out to everyone on your lists, only then can you start moving through the rest of the emails in your inbox. The idea is that you need to put yourself first to stay as productive as possible and keep your projects moving forward. If you start each day by just opening your inbox and going through each email as they come in, you could spend the entire day moving other people’s projects forward and making no progress on your own…leaving you feeling unproductive and frustrated that another day has passed and you still haven’t done what you wanted to do.

I hope you find this productivity planner to be as useful as I have. For even more info on how to use it, follow me on Periscope! I will be doing a LIVE broadcast later today and answering any of your questions. I’d love to see you there! Periscope: @vonbonapparel

If you found this blog post helpful, please share it with your friends on facebook and twitter!

Jen XO

 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments
  • Juliana
    July 10, 2015

    Please email me a PDF ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Ashley
    July 10, 2015

    This is so helpful!! Are you selling these? :) I need more organization in my life! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Jennifer
      July 10, 2015

      Hi Ashley!
      Thank you! I find it really helpful. We are not currently selling them at the moment, but you can subscribe to the blog for your downloadable PDF version.

  • Julia Kristina Mah
    July 10, 2015

    This is SUCH a great little invention Jen! I’m a tried and true old school pen and paper girl and need to see things tangibly right out in front of me, which has made it really hard to feel connected to any kind of electronic calendar or planner.

    I love that your planner gives the benefit of an electronic planner by being clean, clear and organized (another borderline neurotic need of mine), but because it’s on a piece of paper I can place it right where I need to for quick reference all day.

    Great job!

    • Jennifer
      July 10, 2015

      Hi Julia! I am so glad you find it useful! I am the same way, pen and paper all the way. There really is something to be said for crossing things off your to do list….and now coloring in your water glasses! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy!

  • Jenn
    July 13, 2015

    Just signed up for the blog and can’t wait to get this printable! Looks like such a handy tool! Hopefully the start to a productive week!

    • Jennifer
      July 13, 2015

      Hi Jenn! You are going to love it! I hope you start using it ASAP and let me know if it has been useful for you. XO

  • Jenn Best
    July 21, 2015

    LOVE this Jennifer! Thank you for putting it together and sharing it. I too have a beautiful little girl (3.5 months old) and have my own business and am having the same struggle and was just stressing about it. I want to spend all my time with my baby but then have no time for my beautiful business and clients, so then spending time on business and clients takes me away from my baby. But I want to rock both. And I was just thinking I needed something to keep track of my water consumption for health and breastfeeding. So this is perfect and is perfect timing. Lots of love and joy to you and your family.

    • Jennifer
      July 21, 2015

      Hi Jen,
      I am so glad that you love the planner! Congratulations on your new babe too! Being a working mom sure is hard, but so rewarding. I really hope the planner will be able to help you map out a clearer picture of what you are trying to accomplish and support you in achieving that! All the best !XO

  • Emmy
    August 22, 2015

    I need to break out of the – wake up and read email immediately – habit!! I love that you’ve prioritized the People box to scan for emails from. Genius!!

  • Angel
    October 2, 2015

    Just subscribed! Can’t wait to put the planner into good use. Thank you Jennifer!

  • sara
    October 29, 2015

    I JUST saw this! LOVE IT. Could you please send me the pdf? I am subscribed already!

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