I have loved the Erin Condren LifePlanner for years. The horizontal layout has been my favorite since it’s launch. I did also give the hourly layout a chance back when it was first released. I wanted to love it but I just couldn’t make it work for me. Given I was an entrepreneur who worked from home and didn’t have a lot of fixed time appointments the hourly breakdown just didn’t seem practical at all for my needs. I needed more flexibility. The thing is that flexibility also resulted in my not optimally managing my time. I’m sure many of you know how easy it is to get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media or even getting wrapped up in tasks that keep you busy but aren’t really a priority.
That is where time blocking has come in. Deciding what in my life is really important. Determining what activities are really moving me towards my big picture goals and ensuring I’m focusing an adequate amount of time on them each day. Also making sure I’m focusing on the right tasks at the times of day that are most conducive to success. If I know my most alert and productive time is in the mid to late morning, for example, that is the time I want to dedicate to the tasks that matter most. The things like checking and responding to emails etc. that don’t require my utmost attention and creativity can be “scheduled” during my least productive times of the day.
This shift to focus on time blocking for prioritizing my day has given me a new found love for the hourly format of the Erin Condren Life Planner. It doesn’t matter that I don’t function on the kind of schedule that is heavy on time-specific appointments and meetings. The hourly format allows me to easily time block my schedule and, of course, still slide in those time-specific appointments in seamlessly as well.
Time blocking all starts with taking some time to plan out all the things that you want or need to accomplish in a day or week and then start breaking it down into what type of activity that is. Do your best at trying to estimate how much time is really necessary to complete those tasks and also figure out how much time you WANT to dedicate to things in your life that don’t have specific outcome goals. Once you’ve figured this out (it will get easier with time once you start to put this into practice and get a more realistic picture of how it operates in your life) you can allocate your time blocks throughout your day and week. The key is to not be too specific with the tasks within each time block. They are more designed around overall goals than specific individual tasks. For projects that require more individual tasks and steps you will break that down elsewhere. As long as you have time blocked each day to work on Project X the actual tasks you are completing in that time don’t need to be specified. As long as each day you are making progress towards the goal of completion. For example, I wouldn’t create time blocks for writing specific blog posts, planning Facebook live videos, and creating free content for my private Facebook group all separately. That is too confusing and creates pressure to figure out exact time allocations for tasks. Instead, I simply create a time block for Content Creation. Then I am free to still let inspiration take the reigns as to how that content creation will flow during that time and not feel boxed into a particular activity. It gives the ability to still follow inspired action while still being more dedicated in how my time is spent. Be sure to block out some time for rest and play as well. You know you aren’t going to be productive 100% of the day. Scheduling breaks will ensure you are more productive during the time you are choosing to be focused on work.
The 2018/2019 Erin Condren LifePlanner ($55 USD) includes all of the fabulous features you love:
There are new 12 Month Customizable LifePlanners available for order in the following options:
Yes, you read that right! If you want to upgrade from a 12 month calendar to 18 months it’s only and extra 5 bucks!
I love how customizable these are. Not only can you change out the covers on your planner but the covers themselves can be personalized with names, initials, and phrases. I have quite the arsenal of planner covers I’ve amassed over the years that I can change to suit my moods. You can also choose from the standard platinum coil or upgrade for $10 to a black, gold (shown), or rose gold coil. Many of the covers also coordinate with various metallic accents.
Here is my Horizontal Planner with the rose gold coil and In Bloom Succulents Rose Gold personalized cover. LOVE! I personalized it with one of my favorite Rumi quotes rather than my name. Get creative!
There are also many new and returning accessories to make your planning, back to school, and day to day life run more smoothly and with style.
Personalized Planning Notepad ($10 USD)
This weekly planning notepad is genius. This can be used so many ways. Planning out your work life, meals, lesson plans, you name it! This pad can be personalized as well (the one shown has not been).
Tabbed Sticky Notes ($6 USD)
These three sticky notepads have tabs so they can easily grab your attention sticking out of your planner for various reminders etc.
Calligraphy Stencil Sheet ($4 USD)
Add some flair to your LifePlanner, gift cards etc. with this calligraphy stencil. This is a life saver for me because my handwriting is terrible!
Magnetic Page Marker Set ($5 USD)
I love magnetic bookmarks and these two are just freaking adorable!
Adhesive Patches ($8 USD)
Available in a variety of styles these adhesive patches can be stuck on your LifePlanner, clothes, or whatever else you feels needs a little touch of EC flair.
Stylish Storage Box ($12 USD)
This sturdy cardboard box with magnetic closure is great for storing stickers, stationery, note cards, envelopes and address labels, and anything else you can think of. You can even get Dividers for your storage box!
Designer Flash Cards ($10 USD)
These are 3″ x 5″ flash cards with extra flair! They come with a laminated front and back cover and a ring to store them on. You can use the Erin Condren Wet Erase Markers to label your cards. Refill cards are available for purchase as well.
Snap-In Wellness Dashboard ($6 USD)
Snap this into your LifePlanner and use wet erase markers to track your eating, activity, sleep habits, water intake and other wellness related things to stay on top of your health. The back features BMI and Target Heart Rate charts.
Planny Pack ($20 USD)
I love the Planny Pack! This faux leather zippered pouch holds your pens, stickers, and other accessories and has a (glittery!) strap on the back so you can attach it to your LifePlanner cover to keep all your planning necessities close at hand. It is really well crafted and comes in a variety of fun colours and patterns.
I can’t recommend Erin Condren highly enough. The products are excellent quality and I love that so many of their products can be personalized. The colors, prints, and inspiring quotes that are featured in their products really speak to me style and my heart.
Are you an Erin Condren fan? What are your favorite products and prints?
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