Day planning is crucial for productivity, and sometimes sanity. It’s especially important for military spouses who face extra challenges, such as solo parenting, frequent moves, and all the things that come along with military life. This day planning strategy is sure to bring order and balance into even the most hectic life.
Special note: A new year doesn’t have to start on the first day of January. It can start on a birthday, after moving to a new duty station or house (or after the household goods are somewhat unpacked), when the kids go back to school, or any day that needs a fresh start.
Simply follow some strategic steps to reduce stress and have plenty of time to enjoy with family and friends.
Steps For the Best Day Planning Strategy
1Get clear on your priorities.
To-do lists won’t help accomplish much if they aren’t contributing to the most important parts of life. That means checking a million tasks off a list may result in running around a hamster wheel and always feeling behind. Strategic priorities boost productivity. What is your biggest priority right now? This may be prepping for a move, overcoming a health challenge, achieving a career goal, or anything important to you. What comes second, and third?
2Determine what you need to do to accomplish those goals.
What tasks are required to accomplish your highest priorities? It’s time to do some research if you’re not sure, so your first task would be research. If you already know, great!
3Make a list.
Make a list of all the tasks you plan to complete. Be sure to include an estimate of how long each task will take, and how many times you need to do them. For example, if one of your goals is to learn a language, you may plan to practice for 15 minutes per day.
4Put the list in order.
Rank every task from one all the way down to the last. Make sure your order of tasks is aligned with your priorities. The tasks that lead to the top priorities should be at the top of the list.
5Schedule the most important tasks first.
Schedule your tasks in your calendar, and keep your list handy. Make sure you put your priorities in your calendar first. Don’t just save them for when you have extra time. This means that if your top priority is to spend more quality time with your kids, then game night may be scheduled before social activities and volunteering.
6Include time to recharge.
Keep in mind that it’s not possible for anyone to go, go, go all the time. Even the most squared away, superhero military spouses need to take breaks, and that’s probably the secret to the superhero abilities. What recharges you? This includes fun time, relaxation, and sleep. How much time do you need to recharge, and how often? Make sure to schedule that, too!
7Leave room for the unexpected.
Things come up. Keep some time open every day just in case. This comes in handy on the days that don’t go as planned. Sometimes tasks need to be moved to the next day, or week. That’s okay.
8Evaluate and shift.
The only constant is change, especially for military families. Everything gets written in pencil—or an editable digital format. Schedule time, perhaps weekly or at the end of each day, to reconsider the plan. It doesn’t have to be a long process, maybe 5 minutes to make sure things are going well, or 15 if changes are needed.
That’s all it takes to change the course of each day, and the outcomes of the entire year! Once this becomes a habit it will run smoothly and almost effortlessly. This day planning process may seem time-consuming, but it will save so much time and energy in the long run. Happy New Year, or Happy Fresh Start!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out New Year, New You!