Have you been held hostage by a planner? You know… one of those hardcover diaries that you slip into your handbag and cart around like a proper adult. The kind of planner where you jot down your to-do list, appointments and all manner of important information. Have you ever been held to ransom by one?
Okay, maybe it’s just me?!
I’d seen people using bullet journals, and seemingly magical High Performance planners to sort their lives and get shit done! I wanted to be one of those organised, on-top of shit people, with a healthy balanced lifestyle, ticking things off and getting shit done. So I searched for something that would work for me.
** In steps the Full Focus Planner**
I can’t even tell you where I first saw the planner, but I ordered via the Full Focus website and a new one was going to show up every quarter (no pressure).
In hindsight that should’ve been the moment that I realised that this was no ordinary Warehouse Stationery jobbie – a 3 month planner with a multiple goal and planning pages, tick boxes, weekly previews and weekend optimising pages was more than a slight step up from dated pages and time slots.
Eventually I came home one day to find my magical planner, neatly packaged, full of promise and sitting on my doorstep. There was even information on where I could watch tutorials on how to use the planner. However, in my infinite wisdom, I figured years of religious planner purchasing meant those tutorial clips weren’t for me. Fill it in and “we’re away laughing” right? Because I naively thought buying the planner was enough to hone my inner organised kick-ass goddess …**Spoiler alert** it wasn’t.
Unsurprisingly when I sat down with my coffee, pretty coloured pens and Full Focus planner I was thrown… so many questions, so many decisions, so much I wasn’t ready for. Daily habits? Weekly big 3? Big wins?
**Yes, it turns out I was frightened of a planner, a quarterly planner at that,
I mean it wasn’t even a full 12 months.**
I filled in one page, wasn’t happy with it, so like any good avoider with anxiety, I hid the planner in a drawer. Like that FRIENDS episode where Joey hides The Shining novel in the freezer, I hid the planner so it couldn’t ‘get me‘. Phew!
Unfortunately stashing one quarterly planner doesn’t stop more turning up, I mean I’d already paid for them.
**That was in 2018. Fast forward to July 2020**
I have 4 Full Focus Planners stashed in a piano stool drawer, and have resorted to buying less daunting planners. My Full Focus Planners are unused (in fact 3 are unopened and still sit the packaging they were sent in) ready and waiting. Being undated meant my secret stash of planners could be used whenever… there was still hope.
In reality what threw me, was the fact there were video clips to watch. Video clips immediately had me putting this whole planner situation in the ‘too hard basket‘. So what changed?
Fed up with being over-weight and stuck in some kind work-washing-netflix loop I decided something needed to change. Early in Sheree’s Reclaim Your Radiance program, we were asked to think about our perfect day, and what that looked like from start to finish. While my fictitious perfect day (week, month or year) didn’t include any washing, house work or bills it did contain a lot that I could easily make happen. So why hadn’t I?
Planning and habits that’s why, I hadn’t made those elements of my perfect day a reality because I wasn’t making room for them and they weren’t a part of my regular routine or habit. That’s when I decided to tackle the terrifying planners again. I cleared my desk, got out my pretty pens and watched the first Full Focus clip – 3mins, super helpful and completely painless, in fact I watched most of the clips over several weeks. In total there are 11 clips to watch, breaking down the various sections of the planner, all designed to help you maximise … your day, your week, your month and I guess ultimately your life.
The difference between writing down appointments and committing to goals and habits is obviously what frightened me. I’d never really put much thought into what I specifically wanted or needed, I wasn’t focused, dedicated or consistent. I’d downplay things I wanted to achieve, do or become in order avoid getting caught short when it didn’t come into fruition. I guess I felt a little aimless.
For a while it felt like ‘the moment‘ I needed would suddenly appear and I’d find myself unprepared, sidetracked or busy doing something else.
I’m not going to lie, it takes about a quarter to get into the swing of things with the Full Focus planner, but at the start of October I cracked open my second planner and already I feel more… focused, hence the name I guess. I’ve jotted down my goals, the key motivations behind these goals and my next steps.
I think I might have changed.
I generally like to think of myself as an easy, breezy, free spirit kinda gal but it turns out I’m a free spirit who fucking loves a really good planner with reminders, achievement goal trackers, habit trackers and wee tick boxes. It turns out, what makes things seem less chaotic for me is actually writing them down and allocating time.
Now I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t quite manage to tick every box or fill out everything 100% perfectly all the time… but I am finding that using the planner and setting aside some time each week is really helping in terms of my anxiety. I feel a tad more in control and less blind sided by life…. don’t worry folks there’s still plenty chance for doing random shit on a whim.