“How Can A Planner Define You? Here’s How.” is part of a three-month writing challenge I’ve been posting on Medium. To view the article, click here. To learn more about this writing challenge, click here.


If you’ve spent any time with me, you know how organized I am. Even though my desk is a bit of a mess, there is some sign of order. What with all the post-it notes with carefully written words on it. 

It’s well maintained, but the fact that there are so many means I go through a lot of paper to jot down stuff.

How Can A Planner Define You_ Here’s How.

This is how I plan my day and also stay organized. You could even call it my planner.

True, a planner isn’t something significant in our lives. For some, it’s a little black book and others its post-it notes. Or perhaps the plan is all in your head.

But the thing is, how we plan and solidify our plans says a lot about who we are.

We can see that by taking a page from John Lennon. Remember that famous quote of his?

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” John Lennon

Lennon was focusing on merry emotions that we experience. He didn’t think about a particular career. Instead, he revolved a plan around an emotion he wanted to feel.

Plans in that sense define who we are as we focus on the type of person we wish to become as opposed to focusing on what career path to take.

As a result, our goals and therefore our plans stem from the emotions that we want to feel. Furthermore, our goals are redefined the more we understand ourselves and know how we want to pursue those emotions or character-defining traits.

A Planner Comes In All Shapes And Sizes

As I’ve suggested, how we plan is entirely up to us. Using notepads, an app, a calendar or something else, can explain a few things about us. 

  • If you use a calendar, do you stick with only events?

  • If you have an app, how often do you check it and use it?

  • Is your desk riddled with pieces of paper?

The frequency in which we use these planners as well as what we put into it determines a lot about ourselves. If you have a calendar and focus solely on events, you may simply be coasting through life with no real plan deep down.

The fact that I am writing out tasks on a daily basis means that not only do I need that to stay organized, the work I do sets the tonne for the day. 

Do I want to rest up and do the bare minimum work? 

Or do I want to push myself and challenge my motivation? 

These tasks can help determine that.

Furthermore, plans can be as detailed as you like.

They can be as simple as writing down tasks for the day or the goals I want to achieve.

But at the same time, you can be meticulous, outlining in detail to give you guidance and direction. 

 A good example is the “My Direction” document that has served me well since its creation. 

There are many distinct perks to creating and consulting one. Here are some steps you can take to build yours.

As you can see, a planner can come in all shapes and sizes. However, depending on the size will determine how powerful and meaningful the planner is.

Planners Depend On You

A failure to plan is a plan to fail. Winston Churchill

A plan is only as dependent on the person who creates and consults it. If you neglect the plan or get distracted, it says a lot about who you are currently.

Of course, you can change. But that depends on you and your dedication to following through with your plan.

You can always change it as we discover more as we progress through our plan. 

We run into obstacles we never imagined or found sources that bring incredible value to our lives we didn’t anticipate. 

Leverage them and tailor your plan around those aspects of your life.

When you have an effective plan, it means you placed some thought and consulted it every now and then. 

Sure a planner can help you in staying organized as well if you are a busy person. 

But a planner can also help you in understanding if you fill it with goals, and why these things truly matter to you.

How you use a planner is entirely up to you and how effective it keeps your life in check depends on how much you use it.

To your growth!

Eric S Burdon


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