You can easily plan your month with a calendar, a pen, and a plan.
I’ve found it to be one of the easiest ways to be less stressed and more organized for the entire month.
Now granted, this doesn’t mean that I’m always on the ball every single day.
Sometimes certain tasks get moved around done on Wednesday instead of Monday as intended, but in the end the important thing is that it gets done, isn’t it?
It’s impossible to stay neat and tidy and totally on schedule every single day of the week let alone month. Because, even though it’s already 2020, life still happens.
The secret is having an overall plan that you can glance at every morning without having to organize it every day because you already took the time to do that in the beginning.
When you have a template for how you want your month to go, even if you miss, you’ll land closer to your target.
And sometimes that’s the BEST you can do.
Now, how can you use your calendar at the beginning of each month and work backwards to make sure you make it as productive as possible?
Here’s a look at one way to go about scheduling your days, weeks, and ultimately month, no matter who you are or what you’re trying to achieve.
Use a two printable calendar (free download)
To start, I’ve created a personal calendar you can download and print out instantly to help you get all your days in order and figure out what the tasks are for each week.
It’s two pages designed to help you see the big picture better.
It’s standard letter sized and you can print out a couple pages and stick them into your DIY printable planner.
Figure out your end goal and go from there
Really planning your month backwards is a simple concept and pretty self explanatory.
But it always helps to have the pretty tools to help you get there! So don’t forget to download the two page template to get you started on the right foot each month.
The first thing you want to do is find out what your main end goal will be.
Of course, that depends on what big project (or projects) you want to tackle for the month.
For example most of mine revolve around growing the blog and creating pretty printable for my audience. So one end goal for me might be ‘complete a 100 page printable planner bundle for the shop.’
And then I’d write that end goal on the 30th or the 31st of each month.
THEN I would go backwards and figure out what steps it would take to get there. Would I have to create 3-4 pages a day to get to 100 completed pages by the end of the month? See what I mean?
I’d write that in as part of one of the things to get done for the day each day of the week until it was finished. I could then always go back and add all the other things I knew for sure I needed to get done on certain days, like pay off credit card bill for the month, weekly book club meeting, etc.
Break down the big task into four major parts
Once you’ve figure out your end goal, you want to break it down into four major parts.
For example, if my plan to finish creating a 100 page printable planner is that it’ll have four sections (the home planning section, the finances section, the notes and journaling section, and a fitness section) then I would designate each week to working on those sections.
Obviously my example of an end goal is pretty cookie cutter and simplified.
But this is just to give you an idea of how to break down a bigger goal.
Take each part and break it down into 7 days
Whew! Ok now you’re on to breaking down the four main parts into daily tasks.
That’s why I’ve included a daily/weekly breakdown page in your free printable PDF’s so it’s easier to visualize each week.
This is where you get into the nitty gritty of things. Going into detail on how you want your day to go, and what time you want/need to do what things.
This part is always fun, because you get to see how slowly, each day, your main goal starts coming together day after day.
Add in the extra appointments, meetings, and morning habits
This part happens AFTER you’ve broken down and scheduled your most important tasks of the day. They are the smaller tasks that are still significant and need to get done on their designated dates.
For example, gym three times a week might be something you’ll need to add to your calendar, or designate a time slot within a given day to make sure your bills and credit cards are paid and up to date.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a person who can dive in head first to just about anything.
I need to be able to ease into it and get going first before fully focusing and losing myself in what I’m doing.
Kind of like when you stepped into the pool as a kid and the water was felt freezing cold at first, but after wading in some you finally took the full plunger and it felt great!
That’s how I like to think of starting projects and business goals too.
So allow yourself to start small. That way you motivate yourself to stick with your schedule each day.
Because what good does sitting down at the beginning of each month to plan your schedule do if you won’t follow through with it?
Schedule in an extra day to make up where you need extra work
Oh, and here’s a bonus added tip if you’re wanting to stay on top of things.
I ALWAYS allow myself an extra day or two of catch up for something that might take longer than it seems. Or for tasks that you had to put off for later for whatever reason.
It’s a great habit to create when you’re looking at your month in big picture form.
Also, as you’re scribbling out your monthly calendar, don’t be afraid to print out a few pages to arrange and rearrange it until it fits what you’re looking for. I always like to keep the page within easy access, so I’ll move it to the front of my binder so I can quickly get to it in the mornings and get to it.
Are there any other calendar hacks you know of that are worth mentioning? Let me know in the comments.
The beauty of it all is…
That you literally get to see your project come to life and get pieced together day after day of completing your tasks on autopilot.
On autopilot? Yes! Because by now, you’ve already taken the time to deconstruct your BIG MAIN GOAL into smaller weekly and daily sections. So by the end of the month you’ve ended with a pretty productive one.
And you get to pat yourself in the back for being so productive and focused.
Remember, the focus is never perfection, but constant smart progress.
How’d you like the printables? Did they help you get organized?