Thanks to the diary, it will be easier for you to remember important appointments and tasks, personal affairs and deadlines. However, it can be difficult to get into the habit of using your daily planner, making notes on it regularly, and taking it with you. Fortunately, there are ways to make the task easier, and you will quickly and discreetly develop a new habit.
Method 1 of 2: Materials Required
Step 1. Think about what you need a diary for
There are many different types of diaries, designed for different tasks and designed for people of different characters. There are simple diaries with regular lined pages and diaries with special sections for different tasks. Think about what you will be using the planner for and how you will use it. It is important to reflect on the questions below, as the planner is likely to be your primary planning tool. If you keep several diaries at the same time, you will get confused and not be able to plan everything properly. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need a section for phone numbers?
- Will I be using the diary primarily to keep track of appointments?
- Do I want the diary to last more than a year?
- Do I want to replace my planner with another scheduling tool (for example, task lists)?
- Do I need a simple or complex planner with many different sections and functions?
- How big should the diary be? (For example, small so that it is convenient to carry around, or large so that records from meetings can fit there.)
- Do I want the planner to have space for weekdays only, or will I primarily use it to plan my weekends?
Step 2. Buy a planner that suits your goals
Diaries are sold in a wide variety of places: office supply stores, office supply stores, newsstands, and the Internet. Prices are also very different. Of course, the type of the diary matters, but it is more important to pay attention to the organization of the space and the sections in it. Find a planner that suits you and your goals.
Step 3. Assess the appearance of the diary
Despite the fact that the main thing in the diary is its functionality, it will be easier for you to accustom yourself to it if it is pleasing to the eye. There are simple diaries in a regular leather cover, and there are also bright and fanciful ones with a lot of drawings and complex patterns. Choose a planner that matches your workspace.
Pay attention to the design of the diary, not only outside, but also inside. Someone likes pages not in a cage, but in a ruler, someone prefers symmetry, others like more original ways of organizing the place. Perhaps you have a preference for fonts. The diary should be pleasing to the eye outside and inside - this way you will quickly accustom yourself to use it regularly
Step 4. Prepare pens and pencils
Your diary will be useless if you can't write anything into it. Place plenty of sharpened pencils and pens where you will use your day planner most often. For example:
- in a work bag or briefcase;
- in a small women's bag;
- on the desktop at work;
- on your desktop at home;
- near your landline phone.
- If you keep losing pencils or pens, keep a separate pen inside your day planner. Some diaries have a special place for the pen.
Method 2 of 2: How to Use Your Planner Effectively
Step 1. Promise yourself to use the planner every day
Serious people are usually more likely to keep their promises. Habits are hard to change, but making a commitment to doing one thing differently can help you develop a new habit.
Remember that you will get into a good habit faster by focusing on one thing at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself with new tasks. For starters, just focus on keeping a day planner
Step 2. Talk to a friend about your desire to use the planner
It is easier for a person to get used to new things if his friends and relatives know about his decision and support him. Talk to a friend or colleague about your desire. Perhaps your friend also wants to acquire such a new good habit. Remind each other to make notes in the diary.
Step 3. Keep your planner in the same place at work and at home
Use your daily planner as your only calendar. If you use two planners at once, it will soon become more difficult for you to keep track of your affairs. This can be tricky as you will need to write something down in your planner both at work and at home. To keep the planner always at hand, set aside a separate place for it at work and a separate place at home. Never leave the planner in other places. Consistency is important in forming a habit.
- At home, you can store your planner on a table with a landline phone, in your work bag or briefcase, or next to your mobile phone and car keys.
- At work, keep your planner on your desk, in the middle drawer of your desk, next to your landline phone, or in your briefcase.
Step 4. Write yourself reminders so that you don't forget to take your diary with you to work and home
At first, you may forget to take your planner with you home or to work. To prevent this from happening, leave reminders for yourself in prominent places at home and at work. Scientists have found that sticky note reminders are one of the most effective ways to instill a new habit. Leave sticky notes labeled “Take Diary” in visible places. For example:
- on a laptop;
- on the desktop;
- near the phone;
- on the door;
- on the kitchen table;
- on the bathroom mirror.
- When you get used to taking your diary with you, remove the sheets.
Step 5. Transfer the information to the diary
Having bought a diary, you will need to enter a lot of information into it. You probably have already scheduled appointments, you have work tasks and just information that is not recorded anywhere. Set aside an hour or two to transfer all of the unsystematic information into your planner. This will allow you to save all data correctly. It will also allow you to plan your time and future tasks more efficiently. Enter the following information into your diary:
- contact details of friends, relatives, colleagues and clients;
- working meetings;
- Timetable of classes;
- deadlines for the delivery of work or training projects;
- shift schedule (if you work on a shift schedule);
- appointments to doctors;
- birthdays of loved ones;
- special work events;
- special personal events;
- important dates related to your hobbies and other activities (for example, dates of rehearsals or courses).
Step 6. Check your diary every morning
Before heading to work, see what appointments, events, and tasks are scheduled for the near future. Consider whether you need to add things to your schedule, delete them from it, or reschedule. Plan your day in the morning so you don't waste time at work.
Step 7. Review your diary every day before leaving work
Check your diary again before you leave. Make sure you do everything you have planned for the day. Consider if you need to add anything else to your planner for the next week. Always check your planner before leaving home to make sure you are not missing out on anything.
Step 8. Use positive reinforcement to keep you motivated
Treat your planner as a positive thing, not a burden. Use your planner as a means of rewarding yourself for completing tasks. Soon, you will be striving to complete some tasks at least to enjoy crossing an item off your to-do list. So that motivation does not disappear:
- Cross out all completed assignments and past appointments immediately. If you feel sad, look at how many things you've crossed out already, and feel proud of everything you've done.
- Reward yourself for doing a certain amount of things. Give yourself something nice for every 5 tasks crossed out. For example, when you have achieved your goal, buy yourself a coffee or take a walk. This will motivate you to use the planner and strive to complete assignments.
- Go through your diary while doing something enjoyable. Try not to take it as a duty. Try to see your daily planner as a productivity tool. In order for the diary to evoke not negative, but positive emotions in you, look through it in the morning and in the evening, doing something pleasant. Have a cup of aromatic coffee, eat a chocolate bar, or listen to your favorite song. Soon, your brain will begin to associate the planner with positive emotions.
- Reward yourself for each week that you manage to use your planner correctly. When you first start using your day planner, you may lack the motivation to work with it every day. For every week that you remember to take it home and to work, as well as take notes in it, do something nice for yourself: buy ice cream, go to the movies, meet friends. After a few weeks, regular use of the planner will become a habit.
- Record positive things in your diary, as well as serious tasks. Reminding yourself of not only unpleasant things (a visit to the dentist), but also your favorite things (lunch with a friend) will make it easier for you to form a new habit.
Step 9. Continue to keep records in your diary as needed
In the morning and evening, bring in all new tasks, appointments, plans and deadlines. Write down new information in your diary as new tasks appear. Writing down what's important will make it easier for you to manage your time, and you won't feel like you're struggling with something. Having written down the task, you will not need to keep it in your head, and this will save you from doubts and worries.
If you feel that you have taken on too much tasks, move some of the tasks to a separate list and deal with them gradually, in a relaxed manner. In order not to demotivate yourself, do not start working on tasks that you cannot complete during the working day
Step 10. Be patient
It can take 2 months or more to form a new habit. Until the habit is ingrained in you, you will sometimes forget to take your day planner to work or include an important meeting in it. Be patient and don't be too hard on yourself. Remember that it takes time to establish a habit, and periodic breakdowns cannot affect its formation.
It can be helpful to have a plan in case you forget your planner at work or at home. For example, write down new tasks on sticky notes and bring them home to add to your planner later. If the tasks are important or if we are talking about a deadline for completing a task, use special online applications that will send you reminders. Thanks to this, you will not forget about an important date, even if you leave the planner at home
- Treat your planner not as a duty, but as a rewarding activity. It will be easier for you to keep track of events in your life, and just a few minutes that you spend on keeping records will save you many hours in the future.
- The most important thing in habit formation is consistency as well as a positive attitude. Stick to a new routine, think about how the planner is making your life better, and reward yourself if necessary if it will increase your motivation.
- Choose a planner that suits your taste and schedule. It should contain all the necessary sections that will allow you to keep track of your affairs.