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Let your calendar do the work

Here's how

I usually use this space to talk about what’s on my mind. I guess this counts.

I am pleased to announce the debut of a planner designed with Nurse Practitioner students in mind. I wish I had a clever name for it, but I don’t - at this point, I’m just calling it the NP Student Planner. (At least it gets the point across, right?)

By now, you’ve heard the story of how I started wearing a watch when I was 8 years old. That’s where my interest in time started, but my reliance on a planner didn’t start until later. I started using a planner - a hard copy, pen and paper planner - in 2007 or 2008. And I haven’t looked back.

Having all of the large and small things that I need to remember in one place makes a huge difference for my efficiency; that initial commitment to writing it down is the end of the line. Instead of having to remember things, or track down post its or little slips of paper with important information on them, I dump the info into my planner, and then refer to the planner frequently throughout the day.

I let the planner do the thinking for me.

It frees up mental space, which I then devote to better uses of my time. Trying to remember things on a to do list, or the status of a project, or the date for the dog’s vet visit - that exhausts me. It drains my bandwidth, and leaves me that much less able to tackle the bigger things on my desk.

Having all of these fragments of information in a planner gives me the bandwidth to do bigger thinking. The thinking that comes with diagnosis and the clinical encounter. The deep thinking that comes with education (you may recall I started a Master in Public Health program the week after I finished NP school - time management was a must as a new grad NP who was still in school). The problem solving that is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur.

I keep my planners, and I like to look back at them as mementos of specific periods of time in my life. It’s interesting to me to see what was a priority in, say, 2012. I like seeing how much I was able to get done, and to see how far I have come.

Long story short: I recommend planners.

You can buy mine, you can buy someone else’s, you can use a slip of paper or an app on your phone. Try them all, if that’s your thing. But find what works best for you and stick with it. Outsource all the drudgery of remembering stupid little things to the planner, and move into your zone of genius by letting the planner do the work. Check it frequently to make sure that it’s doing the job for you, and once you have a system that works for you - LET IT WORK.

You have better things to do than to remember finicky details.

Take care,

originally published on February 17, 2023


Speaking of writing things down . . . I’d go with #5 or #7

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