In this guide, I’ll share the tools I use to plan my life and schedule and walk you through the ways I’ve found to most effectively use them. I’m warning you right away: It’s an appealing system for those who view maximizing their time and energy as a fun game. If that’s not you, you’ll likely find this system to be overbearing.
The Life Monthly Planner helps you organize a few areas of your life. It provides tools for defining your routine, tracking your habits, figuring out what areas of your life to focus on, organizing reflection days, prioritizing tasks, planning and reflecting on your weeks, planning and reflecting on your months, and more.
There’s also a lot of value in experimenting every so often to see what works best for you. I tend to change it up monthly to try to figure that out. Plus, your life isn’t static, so you need to adapt accordingly.
Most professionals I know are like I was. Even entrepreneurs have a hard time starting their day in a non-stressful way. It’s a common problem that affects most adults who are in charge of their own schedule.
The maximum number of points is 10. Realistically, in one month, you probably can’t go up by more than two to four points. You can, however, choose to sacrifice one area of your life for another.
It may sound simple at first, and you’ll likely think you won’t need a full day to do it, but you’re wrong if that’s what you think. I often find myself not having enough time to reflect on everything in a single day. When I do a Think Day in my physical journal, I often end up writing 30 pages of notes.
The reason is, we’ve never been taught good systems to plan our lives and schedules. After many years of experimentation with tools like Google Calendar, Trello, Airtable, and Notion, I’ve come up with a system that works. I’ve been using it for two years now and I’ve shared it with others who also had success with it.
The tool we’re going to use is a template I built for you using Notion. I call it the Life Monthly Planner. You can get the free template here. I strongly encourage you to get it to follow along. (Please note that you need a free Notion account to use it.)
This is one of the most important tools and an exercise not many people are doing. Think Day is a day where you do nothing else but reflecting on your life. You can do one when you feel like you need more clarity on your life, or you can do one routinely. I do at least one Think Day per month.
There’s something powerful about writing down at what time you’re going to do each activity. It frees up your mind to think about other, more important things. I don’t memorize my routine — I refer to it daily until it becomes a habit.
The Table of Life tool is based on the popular Wheel of Life. It’s just a more convenient way to do it on the computer while adding notes to each area. Here’s mine for this month as an example:
For example, if your finances are in order and you find yourself not spending enough time with your friends and family, you could reduce your finances by one point and invest it in friends and family instead.
I still remember the time when I was waking up 30 minutes before going to work and rushing my morning so that I’d start work at 9 o’clock sharp. My biggest dream was to find the energy to wake up earlier, take the time to cook breakfast and enjoy it, and then go to work.
The way you use it is by filling it out near the end of the month or at the beginning of the month. You can go in any order you want. I like to start with My Routine and the Table of Life. I then move on to identify my top priorities for the month and fill out my goals. Here’s what this month looks like for me:
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