December is by far the busiest month of the year. For many families, there are holiday parties, school parties, gift buying, and hosting that have to happen. And on top of all these extra holiday-related to-dos are the regular life to-dos such as dentist appointments, paying bills, managing finances, and keeping the home afloat.
If there were ever a month when a person needs a planner, December would be it.
Today I am going to share with you how to set your planner up to help you navigate this busy month ahead.
Setting up Your Daily Planner – The Basics
At the start of every month there are a few things that you should be doing:
1. Your Monthly Calendar
Begin by filling in every important event, appointment, party, and commitment you have this month. Be sure to also include your important financial information such as bill due dates and paydays.
2. Begin Your Brain Dump/Running to-do List
This is the most important thing you can do for yourself every month, but especially this busy December. Take 5-10 minutes and write out every single thing you need to do/want to accomplish this month. Heck, even list out those things you know you won’t accomplish but are taking up precious brain space.
Once you have your list completed, I want you to highlight the most important things you need to accomplish this month. Focus on those first.
3. Write Down Your Important Reminders
If you’re going to a party this month list what you need to bring. Heading to a white elephant gift exchange? Make sure you write out simple reminders for things you need to bring, buy, or make for any event this month.
4. Choose your Personal Growth Focus
This month is packed full of things that will be pulling you in every direction. That makes forgetting about your own mental and physical health easy to do. This neglect of ourselves is one of the easiest ways to burn out this holiday season.
I recommend choosing 2-4 habits that you will focus on that will keep your health and wellness a priority this month. These can include: drinking water before coffee and soda, working out each day, getting a full night of sleep, and taking time each day for yourself.
Setting Up Your Planner – Holiday Specifics
There are so many additional things that you need to tend to when it comes to December. Here are a few ways you can keep track of what you’re doing and what needs to be done.
1. Create a List of Cards to Send
If you send out holiday cards, start the month off well by making a list of everyone you want to send a holiday card. Make it a priority to have these completed and in the mail by the end of the week. This will allow plenty of time for them to arrive to your people.
Related: Simplifying the Holidays
2. Keep Track of Gifts to Buy
Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, the mailman… the list of folks to buy gifts for can feel like it grows each day. Giving gifts can be a great way to warm your heart and bring joy not only to others but also yourself BUT if you’re not keeping track it can get out of hand. Take some time to make a list of everyone you want to buy for if you haven’t already. Set a budget for each person and as you shop make note of what you bought. Use this list to keep track of who to buy for and when you need to have it purchased and wrapped.
3. Party Plans
Whether you’re hosting a party or simply attending, knowing what you need to do ahead of time is the best way to make sure you are prepared and ready. If you are hosting an event use your Well Planned Holiday’s printable to organize everything from your guest list to your menu to your entertainment and your decor. Use this information to create a shopping list and give yourself at least one week to get your supplies in order.
More Tips for Setting UP Your Daily Planner
1. Keep Holiday Tools Handy
Tools like those that are found in the Well Planned Holidays Printable Pack are great ways to organize your holiday parties, gift buying, and all things related to Christmas celebrations. But these tools will do you no good if they’re not where you need them when you need them.
Take some time to pull out the printables that are the most helpful for you and secure them into your planner. You can simply tape or staple them into the back or on an unused note page.
2. Check-in With Your Planner Daily
Busy months like December require that we are staying on top of our schedules and our to-dos. Work into your morning routine 5 minutes to review the day ahead and make sure that you are ready to go.
3. Setup Your Planner for the Next Day the Night Before
Along with the tip above, I recommend setting up your planner the night before with your top-3 focus points for the day, reminders, and meal plan.
If you are looking for tools to make each month easier and more organized, stop by Well Planned Paper to shop for the latest planning tools!
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