Planner fails happen because we have failed to clearly identify our personal goals in relation to our expectation of the planner's potential.
It's not the planner's fault you had high expectation of it! You set up these lofty ideals and then forgot to tell your planner how you were intending to set it up. Womp. Womp. Planner fail ensues. The best and quickest way out of planner fail that DOES NOT require more insert purchases is to assign your vision and intention to your planner and set it up with the end goal in mind.
Say you want to keep better track of where you are spending your time during the work week and you forgot that that's what you wanted to see as a result at the end of the week because SQUIRREL! Ideally, you will have noticed on day 2 that your tracking is not going as planned because you have failed to plan. However, if you are like me and you realized your tracking is nowhere to be found an hour before the end of the work week, proceed to the following steps:
1. IMMEDIATELY, go to the next week and pick the end date (the following Friday).
2. Write in BIG, BOLD letters: Congratulations! Tracking achieved!
3. Close your eyes and think how you will feel, yes feel, when you know you have a full week's data at your greedy little finger tips and sit with that feeling for a solid 10 seconds.
4. Open your eyes and create a tracker, tick box, hyperdex, checklist, slot for every single day working back to the day you are starting on.
5. Close planner and feel MUCH BETTER about the fact that your tracking system is now in place.
6. Refer to planner the following day and NOTICE how your end result is there WINKING at ya, helping you succeed.
Once you have your vision aligned with your planner, execution should be a lot simpler to remember and you have now set yourself up for success.
Challenge yourself with little goals like this to help you learn how to identify and prioritize your values so your planner can become a reflection of who you are and how you are evolving throughout the year.
Planners are more than appointment keepers. They are a living, breathing record of how you are navigating your life and the medium you choose initially may not be the ideal set up for how your brain thinks. If you catch yourself failing to plan, you may have just discovered a system that does not work for you. Don't give up. Keep trying until you get to a point where your planner becomes your assistant. You can name it Jeeves.