Since I was 15, I have had a growing interest in product
ivity. I was studying my GCSEs, blogging and also reviewing books for big publishing houses- an activity that took up a significant portion of my time. The only way that I could continue to do all of these things well was to figure out my ideal way to organise, where I can plan out my day and maximise my productivity. One of the tools which I have stood by, and have been consistent in my life in the years since then is a diary.
There are many scientific and psychological benefits to using a diary or planner to keep track of your plans. Take a look below at the advantages of using a paper planner to organise your life.
Health Benefits- Mental and Physical
By using your diary to track your physical or mental health (i.e. tracking your diet, exercise, moods, self-care) you can actively keep track of your current state and notice any differences or changes in your mood or physical health. This can also really help when trying to schedule doctor's appointments and recognising potential imbalances in your diet. A habit tracker can help ensure you've taken all your important medication and done some daily exercise to keep you in good shape.
Using a diary can also help with relieving stress- writing down all the things whizzing around in your mind can also be therapeutic, reducing stress and anxiety around the activities going on in your life. Feeling overwhelmed is so common when you are stressed, but scheduling out your time on paper allows you to logically allocate time to all the activities on your plate, and then follow the routine knowing that you have time to achieve all the things that you need to.
You can recognise the patterns
Habit trackers and time-blocking can help to recognise patterns in your life and organising your time. Maybe you'll notice that you struggle to achieve any plans set in the morning, or you are less productive in the evenings after work or school. Having a diary where you record when you are achieving the things on your to-do list can help you to understand your own productivity habits and manage your time to maximise your day.
Less Screen Time
When planning and organising your time on your phone, you expose yourself to screens more often, having to check your phone or laptop often to check your timetable. Sometimes this can also lead to your checking your Instagram feed, or your emails one more time- subsequently creating minutes of unnecessary scrolling. Having a paper planner cuts that out, and also gives your eyes a rest from all the screens.
Schedule Time in for Self-care and Creative Activities
When using a planner to organise your time, you can quickly establish that you might have gaps in your time to finally pursue the creative hobbies which you have longed to do for years. You can pick up that other sewing kit, try that new recipe or find a yoga or swimming class to attend in that time. Some people will even use their planners and diaries as a creative outlet, using it both to schedule their time and to decorate, adding stickers, pictures and other decorative elements.
Easily see your Priorities
By putting all of your plans on paper, you can easily see which are of more priority in your day, and which other tasks can be snuck in between other plans. A quick analysis of your to-do's in the morning can help you to complete all the important tasks in the day and not waste your time on things which are not a top priority.