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133. Choosing "The Perfect Planner"

Updated: Mar 7

Sincerely, Future You - Life Coach Jessica McKinley Uyeno

Planner season is around the corner and you know what that means... it's time to choose the perfect planner. But guess what? There's no such thing. In this episode of Sincerely, Future You, I go over planning tips, time savers, and my own "perfect planner".

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Jessica McKinley 0:00

I know that some of you are listening and you're resisting right off the bat. But don't fast forward till the part where I show you my planner because I can promise you it will not work. Since developing Happyning Sessions, I've gone through about four or five different types of planners, and they all worked just fine. And not because they were all this perfect type of planner, because it's not the planner doing the work. It's my brain. So we're going to talk about four things that you can do with your brain right now. And use whatever planner you currently have Welcome to sincerely future you a podcast that helps ambitious women like you make decisions today with the future you in mind Hello, hamsters Welcome back me. I don't know if everyone listening knows this but all of the minisodes you've been listening to have been pre recorded they were pre recorded before my maternity leave. I'm an open book so I think I told you guys that before i i left but now I'm back and I have a daughter. So fun. I have so much to update you guys on I don't even know where to begin. But let's start with my daughter. Welcome to the world Marica Rose Mari she is as angelic as I could have imagined more. Not only is she so cut For photos, please head over to my Instagram at what's happening WGS? But really, she is just so well behaved. Not that babies are bad, but my son was so challenging. You guys heard me talk about this on the podcast. I didn't sleep. I was really curious what kind of new time management techniques I was gonna have to come up with when I had a newborn that I assumed was going to be just crazy and unmanageable and she is not that she is just she sleeps 10 hours you guys maybe more some days. It's really a delight and I am so excited to give you all the updates of motherhood it's just really been it's been lovely this time around I feel so much closer to my partner Mark and all of this he's so great right now he's got Mari over in his office. He's keeping her entertained while we're recording this and my son started kindergarten. It's crazy mama to but it feels just so great. And I think so much of that has come from me deciding in advance how I wanted it to be but of course some of it is you do you get what you get and Mari is an angel so I am not. I am not claiming that I did anything to make her sleep these 10 hours she just does scrape it's so good didn't even have to sleep dream. I know for those of you listening that didn't have that experience you want to punch me in the face but also I had the worst sleeping baby with Calvin for like over a year he only slept an hour and a half stretches. So I can I can revel in this and I'm gonna Okay updates on the business. So we are got through eight weeks of maternity leave, the hamsters are wrapping up, the March round is wrapping up and we had a fire call yesterday with everyone. Now that I'm back from maternity leave, just kind of getting crunch time down for the last week is our last call in that round. And we did a lot of zooming out and zooming in. And we had some really great results. So I will be having people come on and give you their experience on the podcast upcoming I can't wait to just collect testimonials and share with you guys all the kick ass results that they've been getting over there. And then our next round of happening sessions, which, again, if you're a brand new listener happening sessions is my group coaching program where it's all women, business owners, and we specifically help you with your time, your money and your emotions. So as we know, those are some of the trickiest parts of being a business owner. Most of you guys, you are starting to get your footing or you're a master and an expert in your industry. So that's not necessarily what you need help with. We work more on when you hit a snag or something unexpected happens or you're trying to goal set, but you feel like as you scale, you're starting to scale your problems. We ground level handle all of it. And they've been doing that so we have that next round. And that is starting September 28. It was already sold. But you know, I guess when you're listening to this, it just started two days ago. However, if you're listening and you're like, shoot, I missed it, don't worry, because our next enrollment is going to be in early November. Stay tuned for all of the specific details about the dates of that. But in the meantime, just get over on the waitlist so that you can not miss that enrollment that it's November enrollment for the March 2023. Class. So like I said, you're not going to want to miss this because if you miss this enrollment, you are not going to be able to come in and get these kickass results and work with us until next September. What. So like I said, make sure that you are getting your ish together. All right. So those are the updates on the business, people really just continued to crush it during maternity leave with all the guests coaches, they had a great experience. But now I'm back and I'm ready to be doing more coaching myself. So updates on the podcast is now we're back to full length episodes. But I got a lot of feedback that you guys love these minisodes. So maybe we'll test it out. Maybe we'll go to two episodes. I'm not sure I haven't decided yet. But I always love to hear your feedback. If you really like those short form episodes, please let me know you can leave a review or you can DM me on Instagram. At what's happening W Jess or you can of course email me at Jessica at what's So, we are ready and raring it's September, which means to my main demographic, which is like women who are 25 to 50 ish. It's synonymous with planter season, and pumpkin spice latte season, they. But it's one of the most common questions I receive this time of year, right started the school year for those of you who are moms or just in the routine of being a student, yourself or most of your life, you are used to having this like fresh start feeling that you're craving. And people ask me all the time, what planner do you use? What planner should I use? And no one ever loves my answer, which is planners don't make you organized? She has a terrible question, no doubt. But after I explain why it's the wrong question, I'm gonna give you some things that I do look for in my own planner at the end of this episode, with clean thoughts about why I specifically like those things in my planner, and the things that really don't matter. But I do like anyway. So that you can kind of decide what does matter what doesn't matter. So yes, hold on for that at the end. But do not skip and fast forward. Because the point of this episode is why hipster scheduling works and why a planner has nothing to do with that. Okay, have you ever got a target and gotten sucked into the planner aisle and thought, oh, omg this is what I need. Like, you just pick up this planter. And it's beautiful. And it's colorful. It's got all these like inspirational posts on it. And you have an instant dopamine hit, you're like judging put it in the cart. I always think about this about how funny it is that people just every September the same way. In January, people think New Year's resolutions is going to suddenly make them stick to a goal and goal setting and be good at that. It's the same thing with organization and scheduling people think the perfect planner is going to make them want to do it. It's just comical, but yet every year, people get sucked into this with the marketing. And recently I saw Dr. Sasha Hines who I follow on Instagram. She's also a life coach and she posted a hilarious reel about this pointing out all the different things that we get distracted by when we're like in September in this season of organization right mentally and just in the industry it were marketed that we should have all of these extra tools in order to feel organized, right? She's like scented markers. Oh my god inspirational quotes. No, that is not what does it you guys, the kind of organized that you guys come to me craving. It's not just in the results. You're not really telling me okay, I want to just get all of these things done. Yes, of course you do. But what I hear when you tell me that you want to be organized, what I hear in the question, what planner should I use is actually If I want to feel organized, it's the feeling part. You want to feel organized in control, calm, convicted, certain, sure of yourself and self trusting that it's going to get done. Be aware of whatever specific emotion it is for you that you're seeking right now. Because when you know the emotion, you can test it and you can figure out what thought is going to create that emotion for you. Because a different thought might make me feel calm when I'm approaching my week, versus a different thought might make me feel disciplined, right? And so which What are you craving, and what emotion is going to inspire you, for lack of a better word to take the action that you need to take to create the results you want to create. But really, it is here, it's all about the feelings. Yes, business is not personal, but it is emotional. And the good news is, you don't have to spend 9095. To feel that way. You just need more useful thoughts. So we're gonna go through it today, I know that some of you are listening and you're resisting right off the bat. But don't fast forward till the part where I show you my planner, because I can promise you it will not work. Since developing happening sessions, I've gone through about four or five different types of planners, and they all worked just fine. And not because they were all this perfect type of planner, because it's not the planner doing the work. It's my brain. So we're going to talk about four things that you can do with your brain right now. And use whatever planner you currently have. And then at the end if you want to buy a fun pretty planner anyway you can delightful I do now, but I'm looking up, I save some of my planners that are pretty or that I ordered that were custom. And they all had kind of different features to them. And it's it's funny that we we seek the perfect planner, because that's that's flawed thinking to begin with. So if you're set on having the best end of 2022 ever, here is the checklist I recommend going through before you go plan are shopping, numero uno, decide the following. Things don't have to go according to plan for me to be organized. That breaks people's brains a little bit in the beginning. But a plan is a resource. A plan is a reference point for where you're going. But when you inevitably come up against a change, or an obstacle or an urgent priority or an interruption, your brain is going to want to waste time arguing with it. It's going to go back to this thought error that if things don't go according to plan, and if I get interrupted, I can't be organized. And that's the opposite is true. Okay, saying things like Oh, I'm always interrupted, I can never get anything done. Most of the time, things like that the time that we spend whining about that actually consumes more minutes, collectively throughout the day or the week than the interruption itself. So make sure before you buy your planner before you sit down the September or even just today to write out your schedule. Remember that the schedule itself is not what's required to make you organized organized is a feeling that comes from deciding that you are organized that comes from making some other decisions that we're going to talk about right here. So number two, is write it all down. Make sure that when you're scheduling, I talked about this in length and happening sessions when we're discussing apps or scheduling, but you need to include all of the things that you're doing, including eating peeing transition times breaks a phone call with your mom, specially in the beginning. Now I just have specific lengths for transition times and I know that during that transition time, for example, I'm going to pee check on Mari and, you know grab a glass of water for example. And I know that 15 minutes is a perfect amount of time for that. So don't have to write out every three minutes like what I'm doing. But in the beginning, notice anywhere that it's not working you want to be more and more specific especially for the things that are for you and that aren't client facing or customer facing because that will lead to that burnout that I see a lot of you guys indulging in which is is putting yourself last and feeling like, well, I have to do all this other business things. Treat your whole life like it's a priority. So if you're skipping lunch, and you're just saying I don't have time, it's because you haven't decided to carve out that time within your day, you haven't decided to prioritize it. So put all of that on there anything that you want to do, or you know, you'll make time for put it on the schedule. Number three is drop the all or nothing thinking about your schedule. So this rule is for my perfectionist out there, your brain is going to tell you that the point of your schedule is for everything to work perfectly. Otherwise, what's the point? That's what I'll hear some of you guys say, and it blows my mind that is not organization. Remember, organization is about your thoughts. So we just need to rewire the way that you think about your day that's written in your planner. For me, I like the thought. This is simply a process for organizing my thoughts. That's what I think about scheduling. It's a process for organizing thoughts, and establishing and honoring what my priorities are, whether it's for the day, or whether it's in general zoomed out for my whole life. It's a priority that I have amazing relationships. So I schedule my relationships into my day and my week, and I am not worried so much. If so if my mom says, Oh, actually, sorry, I can't talk right now. And it was on my schedule. I'm like, okay, perfect, freed up time. And then I'll make sure later to put it on a calendar, but I'll let her know. Okay, if you can't talk, just letting you know, I won't be available until 6pm. And then, great. We'll, we'll chat then. So as long as you are holding those boundaries, you can be very free with your schedule. Okay. So organization is about your thoughts. I also love the thought, the perfect order is not the goal. I like to think about scheduling as Tetris, the goal of scheduling is to achieve 100% of the results that you set out to achieve the actions of when you are doing the things matters, the least, and how long you take to do the things, certain tasks are going to take you, you know, a specific amount of time. But most tasks I find, if you're focused on the result, you can get your brain to act more efficiently within a smaller amount of time. If you are willing to test it out and to play it as if it's a game, really, then scheduling becomes fun. Like I said, scheduling is like playing a game of Tetris to figure out what order is going to create those results, the best. And sometimes I find out that the schedule that I set out in the first place really was like overscheduling, it was giving me an hour to do something that I ended up banging out in 20 minutes. Really fun. Okay, so remember, finally, another thought for this all or nothing thinking if you're stuck in it is that your schedule was written by the U of yesterday, there are some things that the you have today understands that she just doesn't understand. Simply show up and let go of the perfect so that you can pivot quickly and effectively and get it done. Number four is never abandon the schedule. So I needed to put this as its own separate thing, because those of you who think of scheduling as this, like big, huge thing that will lead to being organized. It's like you need to be a whole different person. No, you don't need to be a whole different person. You just need to think a little differently, which I guess in some ways changes who you are. But you can practice believing something new starting now. It's not that hard. You just decide, okay, this is the new thought I'm going to think. So. When I'm saying never abandon the schedule, I'm talking to the people who are in current all or nothing and are saying I am going to give up because what is the point of scheduling out a whole day, and then going and then I hear some people use the phrase, oh, my day just completely blew up, or my day went to shit, I got nothing on my schedule. I got to nothing on my schedule. It's a very unproductive way to talk about your time. You did do something, you still had those 24 hours. So whether you're 24 hours, you shifted the priority to taking care of your child who was sick unexpectedly when they woke up. That's how I phrase I just say like I owe a change of plans, my child was sick. So that is the new priority if you have to shift a deadline, honor the fact and tell yourself the truth that the deadline is not as important as my child's health, if that's the truth, if the things are equally important, use your CEO brain and get in there and create an alternate solution, right? So it's not all or nothing, it's not, I either have to take care of my sick kid, or I have to get this done the a number of times that that's happened to me where either I have to shift the deadline, or I have to shift around other things on my schedule the next day, or I stay up a little late, or I have, you know, a friend, I throw up a post on my Instagram, Hey, who wants to come over and hang out? I mean, not when they're sick. But if it's like the are suddenly, you know, their daycare can't take them that day. And COVID It was crazy. It was like, okay, the teacher got exposed. So we can't have you come in for five days. I would be like, who wants to come and hang out with my cute kid for a little bit? And people would volunteer, like, I don't have the excuse. I don't tolerate the excuse of like, I don't have family nearby. Neither do I, right? My parents live in Miami. So if you have kids, just watch your brain with the excuses about the all or nothing like if this doesn't work out, I need to drop everything or I cannot schedule scheduling doesn't work for me. I promise you guys, an imperfect every day is always more effective in the long run for creating results than no plan. So I'm looking at you moms. And I'm not this is me not shaming you. This is me, encouraging you, you can do it, it does work for moms, it does work for you, you just need to decide that it doesn't have to look perfect in order for it to work. The same way. When I was a fitness coach, I always had people telling me, Well, I might work out God is gonna get interrupted, I'm not gonna be able to finish the whole 30 minute workout, so just didn't do it. I'm like, just show up and get as much done as you can, even if it's 10 minutes, showing up is the point, let it be imperfect, and you will find yourself getting better and better and improving. And even still, now I've been doing this for years, I've created hundreds of 1000s of dollars with this process. And also I've I've gained back so much control and organization, in terms of feelings in my body. So if you want those two things, the good news that I'm telling you is that you don't need your circumstances to change. You don't need things to be more perfect. You don't need your husband to get on board, or your kids to stop interrupting you. I mean, yes, set some boundaries, tell them when the doors closed, mommy means business but but what we're talking about here really is that you don't need things to go perfectly according to plan in order for you to decide to show up with your CEO brain and take back control by thinking that all I have to do is show up and get as much done as possible and then reassess. Go back to that rule number one, where we talk about your plan being a reference point, so you can go back look at it. We again, we show you exactly how to do this in Hopster scheduling, but were you are re-putting things back on your to be scheduled lists and rescheduling them. And you can do that very quickly without having an entire existential crisis or like maybe this just isn't gonna work for me. No, I'm here for you. I'm here to tell you that it will work for you. So stick with it. All right. So finally, I did promise you guys that I would tell you a little bit about the calendar and the planner that I use and why. So here are just the very basic things that I look for in my planner. Number one is luxurious amounts of space in my planner. So actually, I'm just going to really quickly for those of you who are watching on YouTube, I'm gonna grab it on my desk right here. One second. I know you're like what you're gonna get up from the podcast while you're recording. Yes, because I want you guys to see this if you do. Now, I was away so for those of you watching this normally it's fully filled in, but I was on maternity leave. So this is I'm just getting back into it. But this is the planner that I use. It's a planner that I got at Staples. It's an at a glance daily planner. Right. This is last year so I have another one coming. But yes, I like luxurious amounts of space. I don't like all those fillers and the quotes and the side space for notes and all of those things. I just like all of it to be my whole day take up the whole page. And I like a big planner to write, I think this is a, an a half by 11, whatever a, a printer paper is, it's pretty big. And so I look for that because I don't like I feel like the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. And I like to think about my time as luxurious amounts of space that I have to get everything done. And I like the visual to reflect that. So subconsciously, I'm always telling myself that there's lots of space, right, and there's plenty of time. Okay, then, the second thing I require in my planners, and I recommend for my scheduling process that I teach is having every 15 minutes blocked out. Now you can do this yourself, which I used to do myself when I was just writing it out. So don't feel like you have to spend a certain amount of money. This planner, you know, planners totally vary in price. But I would say it's middle to odd, the more expensive planners and you do not have to have this exact planner, you just write out your 15 minutes. But if I see it, I like in this one does have 7am until 9pm, every 15 minutes, there's a line for it, which I love. And it really works for my schedule. I like the dates written out already, just because I don't like to spend the time I work or I have something that I'm scheduling almost every single day because I schedule my personal life as well, which I recommend. And so I just like all the dates to be written out for me so that I don't have to waste my time writing them out myself. And then I like a physical planner. But this part is the part that I always say is not required at all, I'm just telling you why I like it is because I like to close my computer when I'm not working at. So that's not for everyone. Some people like to just have it come up on their phone, it's easier for them, if they're looking at their phone anyway for work or their computer. And, or they don't like to carry on around a book, I work from home. So it's easy for me to just always reference my planner. I also do have a digital calendar for my sessions so that it's user friendly for my clients. And so that we can both get notifications about the sessions coming up. But I write in my sessions time into my full calendar on my planner, because I schedule out everything, make sure that those of you who are listening to this episode, really important that you're not just scheduling the work of in the business, but you're scheduling time to work on the business as well. You're scheduling your the whole the whole of your life so that it doesn't feel like when you're looking at your planner, you're looking at the hard parts, right? Or you're just looking at the easy parts, we want to be looking at all of it. So it feels delightful to look at our planner. And if it doesn't, you want to check that what am I not including what that I should add to make looking at my planner feel more delightful. So of course, we're still navigating a motherhood here. So if you can hear my daughter crying, I don't know how well this mic picks that up, but she's in the other room. So we're gonna wrap this up. I'm so glad to be back you guys and I cannot wait for the next round of happening sessions. Please, if you're new, come connect with me over on Instagram and get on the email list. We're going to be sending out all sorts of new goodies. I'm going to be doing some fun live webinars for free coming up. So and I do also have some live events if you're local to New York that I'm going to be doing as well. But you gotta get in the room where everything happens which is happening sessions so get on the waitlist right now. A link is in the show notes and I will see you guys next week. Happy Pumpkin Spice Latte season. Bye.

Jessica McKinley 29:05

Hey Happysters. If you want to learn more about today's topic, head over to what's forward slash podcast. That's w-h-a-t-s-h-a-p-p-y-n-i-n-g dot com slash podcast . If you're a business owner, and you're resonating with what we talked about here, what are you even doing come hang out with me over where the party's at on Instagram at what's happyning w Jess. Again that's happy. H-a-p-p-y-i-n-g and book a discovery call to see if coaching is your next best step.

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