Back to basics…the benefits of using a planner

We are entering one of the busiest times of the year for our students and their families. Between academic commitments, extracurriculars and end of the year exams, projects (and SATs for our juniors!), things are well…chaotic. I wanted to share a gentle reminder for the benefits of using a written planner.

Many of our students are experiencing a change in their schedule…transitioning into a new sport, extra rehearsals for holiday performances (in music, theater, dance). In addition, family commitments around the holidays have increased. Writing down everything and I mean everything; (class schedule, homework, music practice, sports practice, dinner at your grandmother’s, community service events, etc.) does several things:

  1. It helps your brain commit events to memory in a different way than typing into an electronic calendar. More on that here
  2. It allows you to visually see all the things that you are expected to do.
  3. It helps to manage your time…for example, “Thursday I have an extra rehearsal so I better get that homework assignment done the night before so I can get to bed on time”.
  4. It holds you accountable; you and only you are responsible for your work. This is such a valuable tool that students carry with them throughout middle school, high school and onto college.
  5. It gives you more time to play and sleep.

I like calendars that have a daily view and monthly view and give you enough space to write all of these things down. As a general rule, picking the same day each week to enter in things on your calendar is key. Sunday nights or Monday nights are a great time to do this, and doing it consistently each week at the same day/time is also really important.

The best part of this practice is that it frees you up so you have more time to play and sleep. Yup, that’s right, this trusty planner gives you the ability to get your work done on time and in a manageable way so you can do more of what you want to do…and it will keep you from those last minute day-of-morning rushes to finish a book report or study for a test.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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