Hello my friends, I hope you're doing well. Do you ever feel unfocused? Sometimes there are so many things going on in our lives that it is hard to focus on one thing. And if you keep going on feeling unfocused, it can make you feel confused. It can make you feel just tired and just not knowing which direction to go into. In this video, I'm going to talk about ways you can use your planner to feel more focused. I'm going to give you some tips and I'm going to show you examples and my planner on how I use it to stay focused.
Hello, my friend. If you are new here, my name is Tonya and I make videos on functional planning. If being more organized and productive is something that interests you, I invite you to join our community. Here we leave comments underneath the videos and answer each other's questions that we have about planners. To join us here is easy, just simply hit the like and subscribe button.
Tip number one actually has nothing to do with planners. Tip number one is to start your day right. And by this, I mean starting your day with a few minutes of silence. There's a reason why you hear about some people starting their day with meditation, or some people start their day with reading a Bible verse or some people are more nature focused where they go and sit out on their back porch with a cup of coffee, and just enjoy nature for a few minutes before starting their day. Starting your day by calming your mind is an important step and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The same goes true for eating. If you start your day eating mindfully, you'll notice that the rest of your day seems to go better and you're able to eat healthier throughout the day. However, if you start your day with a sweet treat like a doughnut, then the rest of your day can be filled with eating unhealthy snacks and making unhealthy choices.
Now some of you watching this video may have young children or a young baby and it's hard to get that few minutes of quiet time to yourself. And that's certainly understandable. With people like yourself, you may have to get creative with finding a quiet time to start your day. Like for example, you may decide to get up a few minutes earlier before everyone else in the household gets up so you can have a few minutes to yourself.
Tip number two for remaining focus is to do a Brain Dump. So, what is a Brain Dump? A Brain Dump is when you write out everything you have in your head on paper. So let me show you an example of a Brain Dump I did. By the way, do you like this binder? This is called the Tiffany; it is a crock binder. This is a Tonya Plans Binder sold at TonyaPlans.com and there is a pocket on the outside. It has a strap closure, there's a zipper, there's a pocket for organization, and there are several card slot holders. Another section to put papers and receipts, you have a see-through pocket here. And in the back, there are additional pockets and a binder comes with a beautiful flyleaf with a pin loop and also additional card slots on the back. There's a pin loop in the front and a pin loop in the back. It has seven rings so it fits Franklin Planner Classic inserts. And also available is the smaller compact size that fits the compact inserts as well as personal size inserts. And you can save money at Tonyaplans.com using the discount promo code “TONYAPLANS10.”
So, here's an example of a Brain Dump that I did. Now Brain Dumps are not pretty, don't worry about writing needs, I wouldn't even necessarily worry about where you write it, you can write it in a separate notebook if you want, no one's going to see this for you. So, Brain Dump is everything in your head written out on paper. For example, I wrote here that I need to prepare for a wedding coming up. Your Brain Dump can also have things in it that you are worried about, maybe there's something going on that you need to put more thought into. And you need to think through how you are going to solve that problem. All of that goes in the Brain Dump section. I love doing Brain Dumps, and I just use dashes the bullet mind. You can use little periods to do bullet marks or however you like to list things. But just everything in your head, get out on paper, anything that you're worried about, anything that's coming up, anything that you need to do anything that you need to buy, everything goes in your Brain Dump.
Now, I recommend doing this every so often, because although we may use planners, sometimes you still have a need to do these Brain Dumps. I personally do a Brain Dump about once every two months, because sometimes when you put items that you want to do directly in your planner, there's a pressure to put it on the right date and on the right page and prioritize it. That's not the purpose of a Brain Dump. The purpose of a Brain Dump is to get everything out of your head, so that you can stand back and take a look at everything you have going on in one place.
You know what the biggest advantage of doing a Brain Dump is? I think Brain Dumps make me a better person. And I say this because I feel that as women sometimes and maybe this sometimes happens to men, that our brains go in this endless cycle and we think about the same things over and over again. So, what happens is, a lot of times women will get on the phone with their friends, and they're yapping about everything that's going on in their life. I don't have a lot of friends, so, my husband unfortunately gets the brunt of all of my thoughts. So, when I do Brain Dumps, and journaling, it makes me a better wife, because then I'm not going to him with my petty thoughts because I've already dumped them out on paper. I can be a better listener to other people, because I've already freed my mind of those petty things that are bothering me. That way I can use my friends and family for things that are big, things that really need to bounce off other people, if that makes sense.
So, in this example of my Brain Dump, I wrote that I have a wedding coming up. Now I'm just attending the wedding. But still, there's a lot of things that go into going to the wedding for me, I got to think about what am I going to wear to the wedding. Does it still fit? I got to think about how am I going to fix my hair. I also wrote down notes about the teenagers in my home. My nephew who lives with me, I recently got a call from the school principal that he brought his earphones to school, and they're prohibited. I've already talked to him about it. But I want to put a little more thought into how I'm going to address this issue. I don't have the full solution for this yet. I'm not sure how I'm going to continue to deal with this yet. Because in my mind it is not just about him bringing something to school that was prohibited. It's more about him not following directions or being defiant. So, I want to put a little more thought into handling that. I wrote that here because it's dancing around in my head, I'll also put down that I need to send someone a sympathy card, I don't want to forget to do that. I have a note here to remind myself to watch a church service online. I have a note here to write out a script for my next YouTube video. I need to update my work log and also start to write a little shopping list of some things that I know I need to get, and so on and so forth. But that is an example of a Brain Dump now.
And the third tip for using your planner to remain focused is that now that you've put those items from your Brain Dump in your planner, now it's time to prioritize them.
Now, here's an example of how I prioritize things on this particular day. A lot of times I get this question on my social media and that question is “Sometimes it feels like I have so many things to do. I don't even know what I should do.” First, everything seems important. So, what the person is really asking is how do I prioritize what to do first time is limited. So, you have to do those things that are most important in the Franklin Covey world, we call those big rocks, those things that are most important is what you do.
First, here's what I think when it comes to prioritizing what you need to do. First, I think that what you need to do first should align with your values. So, for example, I value family. So, if I have anything on my list that has to do with family, that gets to letter A, in the Franklin planner system, you have a column where you can prioritize items. Honestly, sometimes I use this column and sometimes I don't, it depends on what I have going on. If I have a lot of things going on and I'm feeling unfocused, I can use this system to help me determine what to do first, in my opinion, what should come first is what is most aligned with your values. Let me give you an example. One of my values is family. So, if there is anything on my list that has to do with family that gets the letter A. So, you can prioritize things with the letters A, of course, a being the most important thing you want to do that day, you can also prioritize things with the other alphabets like B and C. So, if there's anything on my list that has to do with family that gets the letter A. So, for example, here I have the email my nephew's history teacher. I have custody of my nephew, he lives with us, this has to do with family. So, it gets a letter A, my family comes first. So, if there are any work items on this list, guess what? It doesn't get the letter A because my family comes first.
The way I see it. And I'm sure that this may be controversial to some people. But this is how I see it when it comes to doing family items and work items. I put family first not only because I value family, but because I feel that in the grand scheme of things as an employee, the reality is and as important as I think I am to my company, and as much important work as I do for my company. In the grand scheme of things. I am replaceable. I am replaceable as an employee. So, if I quit or if I get fired from my job, honestly, they can post the job and replace me with someone else. Now I would like to think that wouldn't be easy to do. But the reality is, as an employee, someone else could do the work that I'm doing and doing things for my family is not as replaceable to me. My son and daughter will only get one mother and that's me. So, I put that on the top of my priorities.
So, as I was saying, you can prioritize the items that you want to do what alphabet A, B and most important and you can use B and C. And then from there you can just place numbers beside what you want to do first. So, for example, you'll see here I have two letter B's. So, I just put numbers next to the letters. And that is the order in which I plan to do the item.
Now another thing I recommend, don't get too caught up on the numbers and the order in which you do things. They're all things that you have to do. So, if you want, you can just put letters down and no numbers and just as you finish them, you know, check them off as being completed.
So those are my three tips for using your planner to feel more focused. In conclusion the main point I'm trying to make is that sometimes we're going to feel unfocused. And a paper planner is a tool that can be used to help you feel more focus. And most importantly, it's a self-help tool. It's a tool that we don't need a therapist or we don't need our girlfriend to talk to about all the things we got to do. Using a planner helps us remain more focused and do it independently.
I hope you found these tips helpful. What tips do you have for remaining focused? I would love to hear about it in the comments. I love talking to you guys. Please don't forget to like this video. This is Tonya, helping you feel more organized, so this can be your best year yet.