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Last Updated on February 17, 2021

How To Save Time And Achieve More Every Day

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How To Save Time And Achieve More Every Day

How many times have you thought to yourself, “there’s just not enough hours in the day”? If you’re reading this article, chances are—a lot. The goal when doing or investing in most things is to “save time”. While we all could use more time to spend with our families or get more done throughout the day, saving time isn’t necessarily the solution.

Managing your time properly is the solution. Building productive habits and holding value to your time makes is essential if you want to save time and achieve more every day. If you’re struggling to get a grip and find the cycle of lost time to be relentless—with something else to do always in your peripheral—follow along to learn how to save time and work well with what you’ve got.

1. Knowing Your Numbers Will Help You Budget Your Time

It can be a tough pill to swallow when you realize that we all have the same 24 hours each day, right? What it comes down to is the brass tacks—you have got to know exactly where your time goes every day.

You’re aware that you shouldn’t spend more than X amount of money on fast food per month or you might go over budget. But what do you know about your time? You know it takes 20 minutes to get to work every day. But what do you know about how much time you spend on your phone?

Are you aware that the majority of Americans spend over two hours per day, just on social media?[1] If this is you, consider what you could accomplish over those two hours, allowing you to provide yourself with guilt-free scrolling in the evening.

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Recognizing where you’re losing time—and the tasks in your life that are taking unnecessary amounts of time—is key to gaining control of your day. Treat your time like you do your bank account, and you’re ready to save more time.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Evaluate Your Time:

  • How much time do you spend on the internet or social media per day?
  • How much time do you spend watching TV per day?
  • Do you do any tasks that could be done by someone else?
  • What needs more of your time?
  • How much work could you get done without any distractions?

Once you’ve figured out your daily numbers, multiply that by seven and see just how much time you have to work with each week.

2. Getting Organized Will Bring Much Needed Structure

Once you’re clear on where your time goes and how much time you actually have to dedicate to your to-do list, begin to structure your day. Use a process called time blocking. Time blocking is the process of scheduling out your day so you know exactly when you will be doing what.

Plan your days and weeks ahead of time by setting a schedule, and then take time each morning to plan your day. It may seem like waking up and planning your day every day would just add to your time struggle, but it’s been reported that taking less than 15 minutes to plan your day can actually save you two hours throughout the day.[2]

When you take a moment to get intentional with your day and with your time, you will be able to do two things: prioritize and delegate.

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Understanding exactly what needs to happen within your day allows you to see what is the most important, ensuring that it gets done no matter what. Having a plan of action for your day will also help you stay focused and have a clear mindset for how you need to move to accomplish what you want to get done.

Recognizing where your time is not needed is also a pillar of time management. By organizing your day each day, you can see what on your to-do list might be better served by someone else. Let’s face it—at the end of the day, are the dishes and the vacuuming where your time is most useful? Necessary, nonetheless—so then we delegate.

Once you begin to implement these practices, you can then see where developing processes to tackle tasks and save time is essential. Whether it’s chore rotation to share the load or hiring help to come in during Tuesdays, structure and plans are the keys to success and time freedom.

3. Streamline With Help of Delegation and Outsourcing

It’s easy to say, “just get organized!” and you’ll have more time, but this is often where a large part of the struggle lies. Time management is a skill and a practice—no doubt—but it’s totally achievable.

It begins with learning your options. We live in a beautiful world of technology where there is an app for everything. Time management tools exist, you just have to find them and learn them. And maybe technology isn’t your thing—that’s okay, too. You can just as well create your own tools and processes to increase your productivity.

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Once you’ve realized where you can delegate, you then need to figure out how to delegate. Maybe you can’t implement a chore chart, but you can use an app to find a freelance maid who is more than happy to do your dishes at a low cost.

And maybe you don’t want to pay someone to clean your home for a myriad of reasons, but you can schedule the same 10 minutes each day to wash your dishes to avoid an hour-long pile-up. Listen to a podcast on productivity while you do it, and it’s suddenly not squandered time—and perhaps even insightful.

Streamlining your processes will take time, but eventually, your days will be running like a well-oiled machine. If you need help with organization, there are free management tools that allow you to easily line out your days or categorize your to-do list. Having a visual component to your day will help get some of those thoughts out of your head and allow you to track your progress.

Quick Tips for Streamlining Your Day:

  1. Plan your day the night before or in the morning.
  2. Begin to wake up earlier, a little at a time.
  3. Avoid your phone first thing in the morning.
  4. Take care of tasks that are almost done.
  5. Evaluate when you’re most productive time and schedule accordingly.
  6. Create a process for everything.
  • When to plan your meals for the week…
  • Who’s cooking the meals…
  • When you’re going to clean…
  • When you’re going to work out…
  • Who’s taking the kids to school…
  • Morning routine…
  • Evening routine…

As you begin to develop helpful habits and learn to create processes for each part of your life, you’ll begin to see less pile-up of obligations, less time wasted, and more things accomplished throughout your day.

4. Avoid Burnout by Gaining Control of Your Day

The cycle of lost time can be a nasty one—especially if you have kids. It can seem like one wrong step and suddenly, your house is a complete disaster, you have three things to address in the mail, and you’re running late to work or school drop off.

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As this cycle continues, it’s likely that your stress levels are up, and your focus is off from the spin out of things needing your attention. Then, you’re left with decreased productivity, overwhelm, and often hopelessness. This cycle is called burnout. You’ve reached your wit’s end and it seems difficult to even know where to begin to get back on track.

Investing in time management practices and strategies—however imposing on your current schedule they may feel—will actually help you avoid burnout. Gaining control of your time means gaining control of your day, and gaining control of your day means gaining control of your life.

The Bottom Line – You Are in Charge

Sometimes, the hardest things can truly be so simple. As a (sometimes) functioning adult, you likely have the tools right in your mind to evaluate and structure your day. Yes, it can be hard to zoom in when the zoom out is so cluttered, but when you take it a little bit at a time, you’ll realize that you can do this.

Then it’s just a matter of finding what works for you—whether you’re a night planner or a day planner, whether you can afford to stop doing the dishes, and whether you prefer to outline your life digitally or on paper.

More Tips on How to Save Time and Be More Productive

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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Reference

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Agnese Rudzate

Agnese is a next level success strategist.

How To Set Weekly Goals To Change Your Life Why You Should Stop Working Long Hours (And How To Stop It) 5 Best Daily Planner Apps To Boost Your Productivity How To Save Time And Achieve More Every Day

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Last Updated on September 9, 2021

10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

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10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

Productivity planners and journals are tools of a trade. There’s an art to productivity. Just like art is very personal to the artist, productivity is very personal to the person. What works for you may not work for me. This is an important distinction if you really want get more done in less time.

Too many of us dabble in productivity hacks only to move on to the next tool or trend when it didn’t workout for us, missing the lesson of what worked and didn’t work about that tool or trend.

We put the tool on a pedestal and miss the art. It’s worshipping the paint brush rather than the process and act of painting. We miss the art of our own productivity when the tool overshadows the treasure.

As an artist, you have many brushes to choose from. You’re looking for a brush that feels best in your hand. You want a brush that doesn’t distract you from your art but partners with you to create the many things you see in your mind to create. Finding a brush like this may take some experimenting, but when you understand that the role of the brush is to bring life to your vision, it’s easier to find the right brush.

Planners are the same way. You want a productivity journal that supports you in the creation of your vision, not one that bogs you down or steals your energy.

Let’s dive into the 10 best productivity planners and journals to help you get more done in less time.

1. The One Thing Planner

The NY Times best selling book, The One Thing, just released their new planner. If you loved this book, you’ll love this planner.

As the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, has mastered the art of focus. The One Thing planner has its roots in industry changing productivity. If you’re out to put a dent in the universe, this may be the planner for you.

Get the planner here!

2. The Full Life Planner

The Full Life Planner is Lifehacks’ ultimate planning system to get results across all your core life aspects including work, health and relationships. This smart planner is 15 years of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas by top performers.

With the Full Life Planner, you can align your actions to long term milestones every day, week, and month consistently. This will help you to get more done and achieve your goals.

Get the planner here!

3. The Freedom Journal

Creator of one of the most prolific podcasts ever, Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas released his productivity journal in 2016. This hard-cover journal focuses on accomplishing SMART goals in 100 days.

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From their site:

“The Freedom Journal is an accountability partner that won’t let you fail. John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 2000 successful Entrepreneurs and has created a unique step-by-step process that will guide you in SETTING and ACCOMPLISHING your #1 goal in 100 days.”

Get the planner here!

4. Full Focus Planner

Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and host of the podcast “This is Your Life”, also has his own planner called the Full Focus Planner.

From the site:

“Built for a 90-day achievement cycle, the Full Focus Planner® gives you a quarter of a year’s content so you aren’t overwhelmed by planning (and tracking) 12 months at a time.”

This productivity planner includes a place for annual goals, a monthly calendar, quarterly planning, the ideal week, daily pages, a place for rituals, weekly preview and quarterly previews. It also comes with a Quickstart lessons to help you master the use of the planner.

Get the planner here!

5. Passion Planner

They call themselves the #pashfam and think of their planner as a “paper life coach”. Their formats include dated, academic and undated in hardbound journals with assorted colors. With over 600,000 users they have a track record for effective planners.

From the site:

“An appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.”

They have a get-one give-one program. For every Passion Planner that is bought they will donate one to a student or someone in need.

They also provide free PDF downloads of their planners. This is a great way to test drive if their planner is right for you.

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Get the planner here!

6. Desire Map Planners

If you’re looking for a more spiritually oriented planner, Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, created the Desire Map Planners. With Daily planners, Weekly planners and Undated planners you can find the right fit for you.

Behind this planner is the Desire Map Planner Program including 3 workbooks that not only support you in using the planners but guide you in your thought process about your life and intentions you’re using the planner to help you fulfill.

Get the planner here!

7. Franklin Covey Planners

The grandfather of all planners, Franklin Covey, has the most options when it comes to layouts, binders, and accessories. With over 30 years in the productivity planner business, they not only provide a ton of planner layouts, they also have been teaching productivity and planning from the beginning.

From the site:

“Achieve what matters most with innovative, high quality planners and binders tailored to your personal style. Our paper planning system guides you to identify values, create successful habits, and track and achieve your goals.”

Get the planner here!

8. Productivity Planner

From the makers of the best selling journal backed by Tim Ferriss, “The Five Minute Journal”, comes the Productivity Planner.

Combining the Ivy Lee method which made Charles Schwab millions with the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused in the moment, the Productivity Planner is both intelligent and effective.

It allows for six months of planning, 5-day daily pages, weekly planning and weekly review, a prioritized task list, Pomodoro time tracking, and extra space for notes.

From the site:

“Do you often find yourself busy, while more important tasks get procrastinated on? The Productivity Planner helps you prioritize and accomplish the vital few tasks that make your day satisfying. Quality over quantity. Combined with the Pomodoro Technique to help you avoid distractions, the Productivity Planner assists you to get better work done in less time.”

Get the planner here!

9. Self Journal

Endorsed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, the Self Journal takes a 13 week approach and combines Monthly, Weekly and Daily planning to help you stay focused on the things that really matter.

Self Journal includes additional tools to help you produce with their Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, the Sidekick pocket journal to capture your ideas on the go and their SmartMarks bookmarks that act as a notepad while you’re reading.

Get the planner here!

10. Google Calendar

You may already use Google Calendar for appointments, but with a couple tweaks you can use it as a productivity planner.

Productivity assumes we have time to do the work we intend to do. So blocking time on your Google Calendar and designating it as “busy” will prevent others from filling up those spaces on your calendar. Actually using those blocks of time as you intended is up to you.

If you use a booking tool like Schedule Once or Calendly, you can integrate it with your Google Calendar. For maximum productivity and rhythm, I recommend creating a consistent “available” block of time each day for these kinds of appointments.

Google Calendar is free, web based and to the point. If you’re a bottom line person and easily hold your priorities in your head, this may be a good solution for you.

Get the planner here!

Bonus Advice: Integrate the 4 Building Blocks of Productivity

Just as important to productivity planners as the tool are the principles that we create inside of. There are 4 building blocks of productivity, that when embraced, accelerate your energy and results.

The four building blocks of productivity are desire, strategy, focus and rhythm. When you get these right, having a productivity planner or journal provides the structure to keep you on track.

Block #1: Desire

Somehow in the pursuit of all our goals, we accumulate ideas and To-Do’s we’re not actually passionate about and don’t really want to pursue. They sneak their way in and steal our focus from the things that really matter.

Underneath powerful productivity is desire. Not many little desires, but the overarching mother of desires. The desire you feel in your gut, the desire that comes from your soul, not your logic, is what you need to tap into if you want to level up your productivity.

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A productivity planner is just a distraction if you’re not clear on what it’s all for. With desire, however, your productivity planner provides the guide rails to accomplish your intentions.

Block #2: Strategy

Once you’re clear on your overarching desire, you need to organize your steps to get there. Let’s call this “strategy”. Strategy is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. You must first turn over all the pieces to see patterns, colors, connections and find borders.

In business and life, we often start trying to put our “puzzle” together without turning over all the pieces. We put many items on our To-Do lists and clog our planners with things that aren’t important to the bigger picture of our puzzle.

Strategy is about taking the time to brain dump all the things in your head related to your goal and then looking for patterns and priorities. As you turn over these puzzle pieces, you’ll begin to see the more important tasks that take care of the less important tasks or make the less important tasks irrelevant.

In the best selling book, The One Thing, the focusing question they teach is:

“What’s the One thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?”

This is the heart of strategy and organizing what hits your planner and what doesn’t.

Block #3: Focus

With your priorities identified, now you can focus on the One Thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. This is where your productivity planners and journals help you hold the line.

Because you’ve already turned over the puzzle pieces, you aren’t distracted by new shiny objects. If new ideas come along, and they will, you will better see how and where they fit in the big picture of your desire and strategy, allowing you to go back and focus on your One Thing.

Block #4: Rhythm

The final building block of productivity is rhythm. There is a rhythm in life and work that works best for you. When you find this rhythm, time stands still, productivity is easy and your experience of work is joyful.

Some call this flow. As you hone your self-awareness about your ideal rhythm you will find yourself riding flow more often and owning your productivity.

Without these four building blocks of productivity, you’re like a painter with a paintbrush and no idea how to use it to create what’s in your heart to create. But harness these four building blocks and find yourself getting more done in less time.

The Bottom Line

Your life is your art. Everyday you have a chance to create something amazing. By understanding and using the four building blocks of productivity, you will set yourself up for success no matter which planner, or “paintbrush”, you choose to use.

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As you experiment with different planners you will narrow which one is best for you and accelerate your path to putting a dent in the universe.

More Tools to Boost Your Productivity

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

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