When you're looking at the month ahead, you're probably going to start thinking about all the things you have to do. When these thoughts start flooding in, the process of planning your month takes a really quick turn to Overwhelm-Ville. Population, you.
It's not fun when you're overwhelmed. I used to get so overwhelmed that I would just end up "winging it" throughout the month which made things worse. I wasn't organized and I didn't plan ahead, so I would get burnt out easily or stuck at an obstacle.
If this sounds familiar, I want you to know that it can stop today. If you follow this process, you'll be able to plan out the month ahead and have everything organized, so you won't get overwhelmed. It's easy and it's only 4 steps.
When you've got things organized and planned out, your life will run way smoother and you'll be much less likely to get overwhelmed or burn out. In fact, if you plan and schedule correctly, you can totally prevent burnout altogether!
Step One: Reflection
Take a few moments to reflect on last month. What did you achieve? What did you fail to do? What did you learn?
If you need a little more guidance on monthly reflection, read my Monthly Reflection post with a FREE Workbook! It will help you set yourself up to plan the coming month.
Step Two: Important Dates
List out all the important dates (and times) that you have coming up in the next month. This can be appointments, meetings, events, etc. Something important, where you have to be.
Write these dates down in your calendar, put a star beside them or highlight them, so you know they're important. If it's a location you aren't familiar with, write down the address as well.
Step Three: Tasks and Activities
Besides the dates you've already listed, it's time to start thinking about what you need to do next month, as well as what you want to do. Make a chart with 2 columns in your journal or on a blank piece of paper. In one of the columns, list out all the things you need to do next month.
This is not including your day to day like chores unless you're implementing something into your routine. You can refer to your reflection to see what you need to do or what you should improve on.
In the other column, write down what you'd like to do in the coming month.
What would you like to do in your spare time? What's something you've wanted to do for a long time? List out what you want to do in the next thirty days.
Step Four: Prioritize and Plan
Now that you have all your to-dos, it's time to prioritize and plan them. Start by highlighting the most important items in each column.
For each of these items, create a game plan or steps to finish the task or activity. If you need more guidance on planning and prioritizing, read my Goal Setting Post (with a free workbook) to help you plan them out!
Remember that once your goals or to-dos are written down and planned out, it's important to take personal responsibility in actually doing them. If things get overwhelming, schedule in some relaxation time.
I hope this makes the Planning process a little easier, making next month a little less frightening.
Until Next Time