7 reasons top performers use a daily planner

Life is so busy. There’s so much we need to do and even more that we want to do. It’s no surprise you’re looking for that one magical tool to improve your life. I’m here to tell you that tool is your daily planner.

I hear you! How can a simple ‘notebook’ make such a profound difference to the way you think, feel, and act?

Take a look at the seven inspiring reasons a daily planner will boost your positivity, productivity, and performance.

  1. Free up bandwidth

When you’re juggling work, life, commitments, appointments, to-dos, memos, as well as inspired thoughts and dreams your head soon feels full.

So full that you can find your mind feeling foggy and overwhelmed. You’re a high achiever so why do you feel like a scatterbrain who forgets birthdays, races to do things art the last minute, and struggles to remember where you put that important memo?

It’s enough to have you tearing your hair out!

A daily planner helps you get a grip of everything you have going on by creating an external brain.

Instead, of piling on the pressure by trying to remember everything, brain dump into your planner and free up the bandwidth you need to focus on more valuable tasks.

Use your planner to keep track of appointments, deadlines, and to-dos and you can stop wasting time rifling through a ton of sticky notes trying to find the thing you know you write down.

Use your daily planner to increase mental clarity and you’ll be the one who’s always on the ball – instead of the one who’s always dropping it. It’s a quick solution for less stress and more self-esteem.

2. Boost productivity

We all get the same number of minutes each day – so why is it some people are able to have it all while others can struggle to scratch the surface of their to-do list?

Use a daily planner to run your day (rather than allowing the day to run you) and you can create effective, high performance days that move the needle while keeping you out of the weeds.

With a planner, you can work smarter, not harder and get more done in less time. Here’s how:

  • Prioritization: Not all tasks are created equally. Some tasks will deliver a much higher return than others. Use your daily planner to figure out where the leverage lies and you’ll move the needle further and faster.
  • Beat Parkinson’s Law: Ever spent all day on a task that should only have taken an hour? You can blame Parkinson’s Law for that. This law states that tasks will take as long as you give them. With a planner, you can set deadlines to help you complete everything more efficiently. It’s the shortcut to getting more done.
  • Cut procrastination: Distractions are all around us. If we’re not mindful, valuable minutes can disappear – with nothing to show for them. Use your planner to set a schedule for the day and you can keep yourself focused and boost your productivity.

3. Achieve more goals.

With a finite amount of time available everyday, it’s important to spend it wisely. High-achievers are able to keep the day-to-day ticking over while working on goals that take them closer to the life they want.

That’s because the right daily planner is about more than checking off items on your to-do list…

It will also help you take more accountability and ownership over your life by giving you space to mastermind your goals.

So use your planner to schedule the tasks and activities that move the needle.

Instead of squandering time, you’ll be able to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. It’s how a planner can help you achieve your potential and become the person you always wanted to be.

4. Create work-life harmony

When your head is all over the place and you struggle to stay on top of your work tasks, life can feel one-dimensional. But you can change that when you use your daily planner to plan your life instead of just your work.

The life you want is hidden in the white space of your day.

Graduate from to-do lists and instead schedule everything you want to achieve into a dedicated time slot on your daily timeline. With a fixed amount of time to complete a task, you’re more likely to finish it in an efficient timespan – instead of allowing tasks to swallow your day.

Schedule your day in this way and you’ll unlock time gaps, which you can use for all the things you want to do – but struggle to make time for currently.

It’s how your daily planner will help you have it all – business/work success, fulfilling relationships, great health, plenty of self care and ‘me’ time, and as well as space for creative activities and personal development.

5. Nurture positivity

It’s not unusual to feel stretched and stressed. We’re busier than ever. We’re made to feel inadequate by social highlight reels, and we beat ourselves up for falling short of where we want to be.

It’s not a surprise that negativity can take hold and when you feel down on yourself it’s harder to achieve the things you want.

A daily planner can lead to a mindset shift by nurturing positivity.

Firstly, you get a shot of feel-good when you check off a task that’s done. That spark of accomplishment throws fuel on your motivation and helps keep you going.

Incorporate a gratitude practice (like the one you’ll find in the SELF Journal) and you can train your mind to be more positive too.

Spend time highlighting the things in your life that you’re grateful for and you realize how abundant your life is already. It’s a simple, yet powerful practice that can help you feel more optimistic about the road ahead.

6. Build habits

We are the sum of our habits. We become the things that we consistently do.

Get into the habit of intentionally planning your day and you’ll find you’re able to do more with your time and your life.

But why stop there?

Your daily planner can also help you track other habits that are important to you. For example, you can track the amount of water you drink, the number of steps you walk, the number of social posts you write – whatever metrics are important to you, you can track them.

The SELF Journal has a dedicated section for tracking your habits.

Simply write down what you want to do (and how many times a week) and check off each day that you make it happen.

Before long, your daily checks will create a chain until you reach the point where it’s more painful to break the chain than it is to keep on doing the positive habit.

It’s how your planner can help transform your life – one day at a time.

Monitor your progress

When life is busy and you’re juggling a million and one things, it’s easy to lose track of how far you’ve come. Your daily planner provides the reference point that allows you to see how far you’ve moved the needle.

Daily reflection allows you to review your day so you can pull out any lessons learned as well as log your wins. Weekly reflection helps you get a bigger picture of your progress giving you the space and insight to make changes going forward – so you can keep evolving into the person you want to be.

Get the New York Times’ Favorite paper planner

“My favorite paper planner is the Self Journal, which helps you plan your day, write goal-oriented to-do lists, track progress toward long-term goals and more. (My favorite feature is that it forces you to build time for reflection daily and weekly.)” Tim Herrera, founding editor of Smarter Living

There are so many planners to choose from – especially in the digital age.

But to unlock all the benefits a daily planner can offer, opt for a paper planner. You escape the distractions associated with digital and there’s something special about putting your ideas onto the page in your own handwriting.

The SELF Journal was the first paper planner to incorporate daily gratitude with practices scientifically proven to boost your productivity, positivity, and performance.

Use it to plan your day, your week, and your month and mastermind your goals. Trusted by over 170,000 high achievers, it’s your shortcut to the successful life you want.