Planner peace: one of the elusive entities of the planning world. A state of being that some search for and others don’t believe exists. I suppose it is the mountaintop of each individual planning journey. The place where contentment is found and joy is sparked. (Who knew that planning could be philosophical?) So exactly, what is planner peace? And how might one know when they have found it?
The problem is peace isn’t linear. There isn’t a one size fits all definition and there certainly isn’t a documented path to the peaceful place. The concept itself is convoluted. Some people find peace in their perfectly curated collection and others find comfort in having all the things. Others find peace in tracking their whole life in one book while others need five or more.
Peace takes focus. And in a world that is constantly changing with new products and trends that is no easy task. There is a seemingly endless array of what you can use and how you can use it. It is a challenge not to get lost in the planning world. Especially, when you are first starting out.
I don’t believe the land of planner peace is a finite place. Rather than being a final destination, planner peace exists at several checkpoints along the way. It is ever evolving just like the different stages of life. As your life evolves, your system will likely evolve as well.
Planner peace comes when it is easy to manage your system whether it’s one planner or eight. Every page, ever planner, every accessory has a clear purpose, place and realistic use. And those things provide a noticeable, healthy benefit to your life.
(If planners make you happy, but they’re putting you into debt…that has a negative overall effect. Let’s make sure we’re planning within our means!)
When your planners just make sense in your life, planner peace has been found. They, in a state of peace, do not overwhelm you. It won’t feel like a chore or just another thing to do. You look forward to planning; you look forward to using your planners. In fact, your life doesn’t work without them.
Planner peace means you can be a fan of the hobby; you can keep up with the latest trends and watch all the flip-throughs and unboxings without feeling the need to buy and try ALL the things. You are okay “missing out” because you know what and how things serve a purpose in your planning life. You know the difference between your realistic self and your idealistic, “it’s cute but I’ll never actually use it” self.
However, it’s a journey to get to this place! One that might look a little like this…
- Mile 1: Needs a new planner, adds it to shopping list for the next Target run.
- Mile 2: “When did planners become so pretty? I wonder what other stores have…” Proceeds to walk down the stationary and school supply aisle at every store visited for the next few weeks.
- Mile 3: Begins to take note of brands and decides to do some “research.” (For next year, of course!) Proceeds to fall down the YouTube and Instagram planner rabbit holes.
- Mile 4: Rationalize and BUY ALL THE THINGS!
- Mile 5: Try to convince yourself that you WILL use all the things.
- Mile 6: Admit you’re a TPOT (“That Planner Over There” – coined by @planwithcharms) and revel in it!
- Mile 7: Become overwhelmed by all the things, start calculating how much money you’ve actually spent on all the things and admit that you will NEVER use all the things.
- Mile 8: Ask for forgiveness and start climbing out of the rabbit hole.
Talk about exhilarating and exhausting!
Planning is fun. It is a hobby and a form of self-care for many. But, it’s important not to forget why you started planning in the first place. If any part of why you plan is for functionality and organization, never lose sight of that! Because truthfully, all you need is paper and pen to get that accomplished.
Peace, in planning and in life, is something we 1000% control. I get the desire to “keep up with the Joneses.” But remember, they are INFLUENCERS! You can never keep up with them because your cost is not only retail price (honey, I really hope most of the time you’re waiting for sales and coupons) but your time and energy as well. Meanwhile, most of them are getting a free box of stuff perfectly packaged at their doorstep before you even know that a new product exists. It’s easy to fall in love with things and have all the things when someone else is gifting them to you.
As someone who likes to switch it up, and doesn’t get free shit, being realistic and committing to your choices is a way to plan responsibly. I no longer buy things that I will use someday or if life thing X happens. When I buy something new, I must have a plan for how it will be used in the next three months. I commit to a system for at least one quarter. And if it’s working, “I don’t worry ‘bout a thang” and keep on rolling with it.
Nothing has honed my preferences more or given me more peace.
To plan is to find peace. That’s the fundamental purpose in organizing one’s life. The job of a planner is to work for you. We plan to find order. We plan to excel. We plan for peace of mind. And if you don’t have that, you’re just adding to the chaos.