Armed with an obsessive love of color-coding and all things related to organization, I’m on a mission to help you maximize efficiency in your business and life so you can spend time on what matters most to you.
Equally right and left-brained, I’m that unique business owner who can think like a creative, but act like an administrator. This blog is where you’ll see me bring that dual-brained magic to life, taking the left-brain side of life and breaking it down for your right-brained self.
For four years now, I’ve used two different products that have made an incredible difference in the intentionality of my life.
I was introduced to both of these incredible products for the first time in 2014 and started using them in 2015 and I’m not joking when I say I don’t know what my life would be like without them.
Photo courtesy of Twirl Boutique
The combination of the Simplified Planner and Powersheets has helped me make incredible progress in planning my day and moving forward on both small and big goals in my life, and today I’m sharing how you can combine these two incredible products to do the same in your own life!
If you’re not familiar with either product, they can seem quite similar, but the reality is, the Simplified Planner and Powersheets are actually two very different products with the same general goal — a simplified, intentional life.
The Simplified Planner was the first of these two products to enter my life and for good reason — I’ve always been a paper planner girl and that’s what the Simplified Planner is, a daily (or weekly) planner that helps you plan out and schedule all the various aspects of your day-to-day life.
The heart behind it is much deeper, but in practical terms, it functions like any other planner you might buy from another designer or office supply store, giving you space to write out your schedule, to dos, and notes on a daily or weekly basis and giving you monthly spreads as well.
Because life is lived in the day-to-day, my Simplified Planner goes with me pretty much everywhere and I would be lost without it. I refer to it multiple times a day when I’m working and pull that out, instead of my phone, when I’m making plans with someone.
Much to the surprise of many, the Powersheets are not a monthly, weekly, or daily, planner.
They’re an intentional, goal-planning workbook that causes you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of your life and your year, assess where you are now and where you want to be, and translate that into annual goals with monthly, weekly, and daily goals action items.
Rather than barreling through life at breakneck speed, as we so often do today, the Powersheets help you ask the question “what kind of life do I really want to live?” and make intentional progress toward that.
Because the Powersheets look at the big picture, they allow you to take a step back and make a plan, and because the Simplified Planner looks at the day-to-day, it allows you to take the plan you’ve created and actually implement it in your weeks and days.
But how exactly do you combine the two for maximum effectiveness and progress toward your goals?
Your prep work at the beginning of the year will take longer (I follow the recommendation of the Cultivate What Matters team and spread it out over a few days), and your monthly prep will likely only take about 30 minutes each month, but you still need to schedule a time to do it!
Once a month we get together, talk through how our goals for the previous month have gone, what we accomplished, changes we want to make, and things we want to continue. It takes a little longer than if I did the prep by myself, but it’s great to talk through my goals with someone else each month! Plus, it helps keep me accountable to making progress!
As you progress throughout the month, make note of potential goals for the next month.
You can, of course, do this in a random notebook or piece of paper, but since I always have my Simplified Planner with me, this is a great place to do it.
If I think of a big goal or major to do that needs to happen the next month (or possibly even a couple months in advance), I write it down in the notes section of my monthly spread and when I start my prep for the month, I can check there to make sure I don’t forget anything.
The bread and butter of the Powersheets is the Tending List, which is where you write out your daily, weekly, and monthly goals and action items.
Take those 30 minutes or so, do the couple pages of monthly prep work, take those potential goals from your Simplified Planner and combine them with other ideas to create your action plan for the next month.
When it comes to tracking your daily goals, everyone has their preferences. You can use a reminders app, keep your Tending List somewhere you see it every day, or write them onto a post-it note that sticks in your Simplified Planner and “follows” you from day to day.
But for knocking out your weekly and monthly goals, I’ve found the best way to keep track of them, just like the prep day, is to schedule it.
For weekly goals, picking a regular day of the week you want to complete them is great because it helps you get into a routine, but if that’s not possible, sit down for five minutes at the start of each week and schedule when those goals will happen over the next seven days.
For monthly goals, there are typically two types — goals that will take time and need to be completed throughout the month and goals that are a “one and done” sort of deal. If it’s a one-and-done goal, schedule the date it’s going to happen. If it’s a progressive goal that will take time, schedule the desired completion date along with potential benchmarks to complete by certain times.
Adding them to a planner you see every single day reduces the chance of you coming back to your Tending List at the end of the month without having made any progress on some big goals because you just forgot about them!
Once you’ve done all that… repeat!
Are you a Powersheets or Simplified Planner user? How do you combine the two to make progress on your goals?
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