How I Beat Decision Fatigue

I’m so excited to share more about how Powersheets has impacted my day to day and weekly routines. If you missed yesterdays post on the 2018 Powersheets and what I’ve surprised myself by accomplishing this year, make sure to jump back and check it out!So this past Sunday as I took my regular time to prep for the week ahead, I had a realization- this is taking a lot less time than it used to! I think part of that is due to one major change since I first wrote about using my planner and Powersheets together (although it is still a very helpful post you can read HERE)  The time I have started to save during my weekly planning session is even more impressive when I think of how much time I save daily since I now rarely experience the decis

These are next year’s editions of my dayplanner and my powersheets goal planner— bring on all the gold foil gorgeousness!

ion fatigue I battled so often before.

I have a confession to make, for all my unbridled enthusiasm I’ve shared about using Powersheets, I was nervous when I ordered them last year. I wasn’t sure if it was the right time since I was expecting my second baby in January and remembered how exhausting those newborn days can be. I had a lot of negative self talk telling myself I might be wasting money and maybe I should wait to start tackling goals. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that negative voice because I believe that really crazy, difficult time was made infinitely more manageable by narrowing my focus and picking just a few things to work on day by day, month by month.

When I look back at my February goals, I can see how things that seemed so simple I wondered why I’d even bothered writing them down added up to success and healing. My daily goals included “Hydrate” and “find 15 minutes of ‘me time'” and “Cherish nursing baby, pump, take vitamins” They paved the way to bigger goals without burning out or rushing back into things before I was ready (or before my family was ready… even if I might have been…)

I know most of my readers don’t have newborns (though a number of you do! Congrats friends! Can’t believe how many new babies I got to meet this past month!) but maybe you have something else that is draining you physically or mentally. Maybe you hesitate from setting goals or dread even planning week to week because it sounds so exhausting. For me, using Powersheets has allowed me to “batch” my time and set up decisions about my time and energy so I don’t face decision fatigue and brain drain on a day to day basis (well… I may still have some brain drain, but that’s life with a toddler I think…)
So one of the really brilliant components of using Powersheets instead of traditional goal setting is that the prep work at the beginning helps uncover some core goals to work on throughout the year, but it also has pages asking about your passions and what fires you up or recharges you. You write it all down so that in times where you feel too tired to remember or too emotionally overwhelmed to process what could draw you out of the hard time, you have it right there to flip back to. The prep work helps set up the year as a whole, and it does require some time investment, but then it pays back by being a resource for the whole year. PowerSheets are about progress, not perfection. They don’t help you make it all happen, they help you make the RIGHT things happen.

I’ve shared several of my monthly goal setting posts on this blog, but putting aside 30-ish minutes each month to do Powersheets prep for the next month helps me put all the uninterrupted thought energy into one compact section of time, so that when I do weekly planning it’s just a matter of reconciling the running to-do list I keep in my planner with the tending list in my Powersheets and then I have my plan for the week! Let me break this down in a little more detail for you:

My running to do list is kept in my planner. If you’ve read Sean Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people, you may remember his chart about things that are Urgent (must get done soon) vs. things that are Important (what really matters in the long run. Some things may be both urgent and important or neither urgent nor important, but many fall in one category or the other and we can have trouble identifying those sometimes. My to-do list has the URGENT, time sensitive stuff, some of which is important, some of which is not. My power sheets has my IMPORTANT stuff, some of which may not seem so urgent. Here are some examples:
*URGENT AND IMPORTANT: Home repairs that are essential for day to day health and safety like getting the a/c or water heater fixed. Registering for events that are important to me. Laundry so my children and I aren’t naked (especially this year when I only have so many nursing tops to use on a day to day basis… looking forward to expanding my wardrobe choices again next year!)
*URGENT BUT NOT IMPORTANT: for me this includes Special events that we’d like to attend but aren’t a core family tradition, the switching cable providers offer that expires the end of this month, social media contests I may want to enter, lots of other things that are personally not important to me but may be important to you- that’s part of what the Powersheets helps you decide.
*IMPORTANT BUT NOT URGENT: this is the stuff that often ends up on my tending list. Goals like exercising or budgeting are classic examples of this. You can literally start either of those any time you want, day or night. Because of this they are easy to put off or fall behind the urgent, deadline sensitive things, but these things are so important for long term growth.

A few of my favorite things… coffee, zinnias and marigolds from the garden, and some good goals…

And now we get to the change I’ve made in my weekly planning process: I’ve realized that I don’t want to lose those important things and I don’t want to rack my brain each week deciding how to spend my time, so I make my tending list once a month with daily, weekly, and monthly goals and then input those baby steps into my planner FIRST. I even highlight those things with special colors and stickers. Why? Because the urgent and important stuff will necessarily find their way into my time. So that can come second. AND because this helps me decide which of the urgent things really are important or not. Whatever I’m most ok with letting the clock run out on are the things that are either least important or not a possibility for me at this time with the resources I have. That includes leaving some space for rescheduling the important things if necessary instead of cramming in and over scheduling every minute of the day. I used to feel a lot of guilt about whatever didn’t get done, but I’ve realized this year that guilt is what was really driving my decision fatigue and wasting a whole lot of my time and energy. Now that Powersheets have helped me prioritize with confidence, I have more time to tackle what is truly important.
I hope this method can be helpful for you whether you are a new or seasoned Powersheets user, or just someone looking for a new way to approach planning and goals! The 2018 collection is out now and can be purchased HERE and if you are looking for a fun way to use your Powersheets together with your planner, you may want to check out the stickerbook or the accessories bundle HERE!
If you have any questions about my method of planning or about my experience with Powersheets I’d be happy to try and answer them. It’s been such a joy to cheer people on to reach their goals as I share my own.


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