Have I found planner peace?





So here I am, two years into my official planning journey and I end up with multiple planners. I was the girl calling other girls crazy for having multiple planners. I didn’t see the point in planning in multiple planners. I had no idea why certain information needed its own planner. Now I am one of those crazy people and surprisingly I feel more sane now than I have ever felt in my life. I am finally at the point where I feel like I don’t have to buy another binder or another accessory. I am really fine with what I have.
I also have a confession to make, I didn’t spend over $20 for each of the planners that you see in the picture. I got the two Happy Planners from Michael’s and I got the Webster’s Pages from Jo Ann’s. I used reward coupons and got each of my planners for pennies on the dollar. I also got stickers and accessories for 60% off at Michael’s. So far my planner journey hasn’t broke the bank and I’m proud of that. That makes my husband happy too.
So now it’s time for me to tell you what I use each planner for.
This little guy is my purse-onal planner. It is my planner on the go. I have sections for tracking and journaling. This is my personal planner dedicated just to me and what takes most importance in my life. It includes my routines, medication lists, mood tracker, workout log and Dr. appointment log. I keep a few sheets of grid paper to track what I have to do with my 2 kids. Each child has a small section in this planner. That’s it. I’m only using this planner for me. This is my personal domain.
Webster’s Pages A5 Color Crush 

This gorgeous beauty is my social media planner. I have multiple social media accounts and I want to keep better track of what I’m doing and where. I recently purchased a domain for my blog and I suddenly needed somewhere special to track my blog and my YouTube channel. I was torn because I wanted this one to be my purse-onal planner, but it was too much to carry in my bag. I have a section for each of my social media profiles including my Instagram dedicated to planning. @creatively_dee288 You can find more pictures and layouts there of all of my planners and accessories.

 

Everyday Essentials Classic size Happy Planner
This big guy is my home and family planner it has the gold expansion rings and it is packed with everyone’s schedules, appointments, paydays etc. I also have the Happy Planner Home Planner extension in here. I use this planner for meal planning and household management. I love how customization the Happy Planner is. I can print and punch a million and one inserts or just go to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby and purchase more. This is the planner that also gets the most abuse. It is out on my desk all the time and sometimes my son uses it as a coloring book lol. I also spend a lot of time in this planner because everything else revolves around this planner.
I feel at peace with my planner system as it is right now. Each planner has a purpose. It took me a 30 minutes to set them all up to fit my life and fulfill their purpose. I often felt unhappy with my planning systems in the past because I felt like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. Now that I have had my current system in place for 2 weeks, I feel like I have gotten more done in these two weeks then in all of 2017 combined. It’s amazing how just a small thing can really change your life. I never would have thought that I would be a planner girl let alone a 3 planner girl. I’m impressed with myself, my system and my productivity because of it.
Let me know how your productivity has changed recently and what planner system you use. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for more lifestyle and productivity tips, tricks and most of all results.

10 ways to survive the daily chaos of motherhood

Being a wife and mother is a never-ending job. I’m up early and in bed late. I keep the world spinning, food magically appears from nowhere and I make sure the sun rises and sets daily. I keep the catastrophe at bay and the boogieman and I have cultivated a nice friendship over the years. (metaphorically speaking)

I am at the center of everything in my home and everyone is a priority, except me. As much as I love my kids and my husband, I found that I really lost myself taking care of everyone else. The doctors call this post-partum depression. I think that is the wrong term because what i’m talking about happens to every woman at some point and usually it’s due to being overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities without any depression at all.

Putting everyone and everything before ourselves is our way of coping with the stress and strain of Motherhood. It’s a natural sacrifice that we make that we really shouldn’t. The less we take care of ourselves, the less effective we are at taking care of our children and household. I am guilty of this on so many levels. I have even caught my self neglecting myself for weeks at a time. I am guilty of this. I have dealt with depression and it has drastically gotten better over time. The times that I neglect myself the most are not caused by depression but by a super busy schedule, a sick child and mountains of laundry worse than the Himalayas. I was not sad or emotional when I was neglecting myself. I was trying to get the chaos in order.

Once I caught myself doing this, I got on a mission to improve my world so that this would not happen again. I started getting together a system that helped me to deal with my family, my responsibilities and tasks, as well as myself.

1.) Get a planner 
I know that you have heard this a million times but this is so true. You will have so much on your mind things will get lost in the shuffle. Write them down. Either in an app on your phone, or a paper and pen. I keep a notebook and a planner. I have to write. It gives me the greatest calm and peace to write down not only my tasks for the day but also how I’m feeling. Seeing it on paper can help me to sort out what is just my mind running wild and what is actually happening. Believe me, I have been through the altered reality too many times. Writing things down will clear your mind and get you grounded fast. I have a Happy Planner by Create 365. I decorate and plan in my planner weekly which is a creative outlet for me as well as functional.

Classic Happy Planner: Everyday Essentials

http://www.michaels.com/create-365-the-medium-happy-planner-delicate-garden/10531393.html

2.) Get a plan together 
Once you have your planner in hand, use it. Concentrate on writing down your tasks and to do’s. Prioritize from the most important to the things that can be done later. You will realize, once you make your list, that things are not as overwhelming as they seem. You will gain so much clarity.  I usually do a top 5. After that I do an optional 3. Any more than that and I won’t have room for things that come up all of a sudden. Flexibility is key. Leave room in your schedule for unforeseen events. Give yourself extra time to complete tasks.

3.) Execute
Put your big girl panties on and get to it. You have to focus on what you have in front of you. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is true. You have to tackle what you see first. Then move on to the next. Hit your top priority items on your task list. Challenge yourself to get done at least the first 5 without stopping or getting distracted. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can get done.

4.) Stop multitasking
You shouldn’t multi-task just like you should’t text and drive. It will end badly. If you are cleaning, then clean. If you’re doing laundry then do laundry. You will get tasked completed so much faster if you focus on one thing at a time. You will also have more attention to detail. This means you won’t forget or leave much out.

5.) Schedule everything
Now, let’s get carried away with this one. Some people take this statement literally. When I say schedule everything, I mean make sure to use your time wisely. If you have a block of time in between tasks, this is the perfect time to schedule some down time for yourself. I even schedule showers and baths. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have asked myself if I had taken a shower that day. It may sound ridiculous to some but, it’s absolutely true. Schedule your personal care time too. I even write down my morning and night routines for my skincare. This comes in handy when you get mommy brain and can’t remember anything.

Now, by this time you should at least have a pretty good handle on things. Planning and scheduling should have at least cleared the smoke and let you see things much clearer now. Now that you have a little clarity as far as tasks go the next three will make your life even easier.

6.) Prep ahead of time
My kids clothes and my clothes are laid out ahead of time. Their clothes are organized so that I can grab what I need when I need it. My clothes are organized in the same way. I train my kids to use the same system that I have put in place and explain to them why. They get it. They are also young so their brains are just soaking it all up. This habit took me a while to cultivate and master but my “future self” thanks me all the time. Trust me it’s worth the extra effort.

7.) Get everyone involved
Don’t leave your kids out of the clean up. Get them to help clean up their messes and do laundry whenever possible. Remember, you are raising adults and you want them to be confident and independent. Giving them responsibility and chores little by little instills character. This also gives you a chance to see what they can do and what they can’t. It’s a great learning experience for you and them. You can even make it fun by turning it into a game. Engaging their critical thinking and motor skills which is great for their development. It also lightens the load on you.

8.) Develop a routine
Having a routine is critical. This can make the day go a little smoother but most of all, orderly. An established routine creates order and expectancy. Kids like this because it gives them a sense of security. They know what happens next and what is expected. There is no room left for question. This will also make life easier for you because after the routine is learned, the only thing you have to do is oversee.

9.) Be Consistent
As a mother, tiredness and lack of sleep were my greatest complaint. Establishing the routines talked about earlier has given me a chance to train not only my kids but myself.  I compare it to the metaphor that says “The fish rots from the head.” this is very true. You are the lead person in your household. The group of people you are responsible for respond to you and your leadership. They feed off of your energy. Make sure it is always positive. Being consistent is a positive reinforcement. Even though we don’t feel like it we should for the greater good of our home and family. A little struggle pays off in the end.

10.) Take time to relax and reset
Like I mentioned earlier. I even schedule this time in my planner. I will at least have a day or a few hours to myself to unwind, relax, and reset. You absolutely need to have this time. Whether it be a few minutes or a few hours. Take time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of the ones you love.

How I have been handling my anxiety.

I have been having anxiety for some time now. How I held my anxiety has been a struggle for me. I finally found new ways to handle my anxiety and have come across reasons why my anxiety has become so bad.
My anxiety usually stems from me trying to do too much at once or having just too much on my brain at once. Now that I’m a grown woman and have two children one of which is a 7 month old, I’ve had to find other ways to handle my anxiety and calm myself down.
So recently I’ve been trying to do journaling, I have been using a planner, and I have been doing more blogging to try and overcome what goes on inside of my head. No one can really understand anxiety and it’s really different for everyone who suffers from it. Anxiety is a strange thing it comes from a strange place and not even scientists or Specialists know the really ins-and-outs of anxiety and what causes it. Like I said before my anxiety came from me having too much on my mind or too much on my plate and just being overwhelmed in general. Having another baby really brought on a lot of my anxieties which were only fears from previous pregnancies that didn’t produce a living child. I’ve always been afraid of having another miscarriage and this time when I got pregnant it was a total surprise and it was a little later in life than I would have liked it to be but God had other plans.
So first of all let me talk about my happy planner which I can’t stop talking about. I found a whole planning Community, a whole planning world of people like me who have become passionate about happy planning. I’m calling it happy planning but the truth is it is Glam planning or memory planning. And the roots of happy planning came from scrapbooking where as one person took a planner and used it to document memories and put pictures in so it became a hybrid of planner from day-to-day and a memory Keepsake. So with that being said, you could always keep your happy planners, one for each year or 18 months that you have. It can be kept that long because it is filled with memories.
So the happy planning thing was something that I got into. I enjoyed looking at everyone’s layout and the stickers really got me addicted.  I couldn’t use the happy Planner on its own I had to have stickers, I had to have washi tape, I had to have everything that went along with this happy planner. I must say that being able to dump out what is inside your head onto paper made my anxiety so much better. I was able to plan out my days and my nights. I got more sleep. I was better focused. I had more concentration because I didn’t have so much on my mind that I had to remember. I had the planner to put it in.
So while I was on the happy planner journey, I found a thing called bullet journaling. Now bullet journaling to me was a hybrid of happy planning it, only that bullet journaling was that you would have bulleted points that you would Journal instead of writing a whole paragraph. This became a problem for me because I am a traditional journalist. I like to write out whole paragraphs. So for me the bullet journaling system really didn’t work like how I would see it on Pinterest or how I will see it on YouTube. But the idea of decorating my journal to make it just as pretty and to get creative with it just like I did my planner was awesome.
So with all this being said, this is how I have been handling my anxiety and it’s helped me in a lot of ways. Planning has helped me to get organized and journaling has helped me to dump out all of the things that are in my mind. All of my fears and worries. When you can write it down and see it on paper, you can just about map out what is real and what is only in your mind. I can safely say that most of my anxiety is really just in my mind. So now that I have these two systems of letting out my creativity and unraveling my mind at the same time it’s so much more comforting.
Not knowing what God’s plan is or why I’m here or why I have kids or why he’s given me kids at this point in my life is no longer a question for me. The question is what am I going to do tomorrow? How are we going to enjoy today? What fun memories can we make?
I’m no longer stressed about what what I’m doing or what I’m going to do. I just plan on being happy. I think that’s why happy planning and bullet journaling has just really taken control of my heart. I’ve even got in my kids creative with me to help me put in the stickers and write things down and it’s just awesome.  So happy planning and bullet journaling has helped me to handle my anxiety in a much different way.
So now my life is filled with so much joy, so much comfort. I have more time for my kids because of how I’ve gotten organized. I’m smoking less,drinking less I’m stressing less and I’m enjoying it.
So hopefully this helps someone out there. If you would like to get into Happy planning there is a YouTuber by the name of Heather Kell, kellofaplan. Her videos have helped me tremendously. I watched videos from the happy planner website, all of these things can help and there are people on Instagram whose Instagram is dedicated just to planning. so if you go and look up #happyplanning or #plannergirls or #plannerbabe you will find these people on Instagram. I hope you all have a blessed week and I hope that someone out there loves happy planning as much as I do. If you have a happy planner please don’t be afraid to share what you track in your happy planner or pictures if you like. You can find me on Google+ and on YouTube.
I hope you find your happy.

Productivity

 As humans we are naturally wired to tackle the easy stuff first and then the hard stuff. This behavior usually leaves us looking as if we are not productive. We leave unfinished business at the end of the day and say “Well I’ll finish it tomorrow.” which puts us behind on tomorrow’s tasks because we are still working on “yesterday” which should have been finished so we could focus on “today”.

This is why organization and decluttering are so important to me. I don’t like being surrounded by stuff. I would rather be surrounded by “things”. I know by now you are saying that this girl has lost her mind but I promise there is a difference.

Stuffnoun– miscellaneous, Unspecified objects. These are the things that surround us for no reason and often times have no use. We justify keeping “stuff” with reasons such as sentimental value. Which really means ” I don’t want to or I can’t seem to part with this object even though I know that it is useless

Thingsnoun-any movable possession. The example given in the dictionary is articles of clothes but I’m going a little deeper. Let’s use Knowledge as and example.

Knowledgenoun– the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning.

To me, knowledge is a true possession. No one can take away what you know. You earn knowledge. Either through school or experience. Knowledge is priceless, required, acquired, ever changing and dangerous all at the same time. Knowledge is power and too much of it can lead to madness.

I’m far from madness but, I have just begun to realize my power. Knowing what I know now I can achieve so much more. I can do so much more. I can react and handle things a whole lot better. And every day my knowledge grows. I cultivate it like a rare flower. Watering it daily by making myself learn something new and reading. Yes, reading. You would be astounded by how much information is easily accessible on a multitude of subjects. Anything you want to know about anything is at your fingertips thanks to technology.

With that being said, my organization and planning is all digital. Between my phone my tablet and my computer. I have backups of everything and I’m constantly updating.

Until I started planning and making lists I could not believe the amount of tasks I could get done in a day. It is amazing. I keep myself focused and I am always busy. I keep myself busy and focused on something daily because I am a firm believer in an old saying. “An Idle mind is the devil’s workshop”
I find this to be so true. When you are not focused on something. Demons have a way of creeping into your head and torching your ideas, dreams, goals and visions. And not the type of demons that come from hell and you need a priest to get rid of. I’m talking about the demons that are sometimes overlooked because they seem harmless and are not identified as they truly are. “demons”

  1. Laziness– not wanting to do anything
  2. Procrastination– Oh I’ll do it later, the lie we tell ourselves and things never get done
  3. Writer’s block– The non use of a creative mind (no inspiration)
  4. Sleepiness– not from lack there of but oh I just need a nap that ends up stealing 5 hours of your day,
  5. Excuses– the justification of one or all of the above
All of these things lead to unproductivity. The only way to combat these is planning and sticking to your plan. You even have to plan your leisure time or it too can turn into a demon of unproductivity.
Planning is how I fight this. I suffered with the demon of depression for so many years. But that is a subject for another time. My point is, my depression was accompanied by the demons above and more and because of my long period of doing nothing, focusing on nothing and eating my way around the world. Because of the knowledge I have acquired through the last ten years I know now what was holding me back. 
I have taken back my life by taking back my productivity. I am focused and ready and it all started with a plan and a planner. I’ve stuck with it and it’s really helped to put a lot of things into perspective. There are a few questions I want you to ask yourself as I close.
  1. What am I doing?
  2. Is this productive?
  3. What will I accomplish?
Take the time to ask yourself these questions. Develop a plan and get started towards your goals. You only live once. Make the most of the time you have and do something great.