Tuesday, September 16, 2014

7 Minute Life: The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner {A Review}

The 7 Minute Life sent me The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner ($24.95) for adults and highly motivated (or those who want to be motivated) teens to review.

What is The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner?
The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner is a 272 page 7.3" by 8.5" daily spiral planner, but it is more than a planner too. It is a tool designed to help you improve time management, boost daily productivity, and organize your entire life. There are components to help you determine your priorities and values and then focus on them. 

You can check out videos (start here and then here) and read the getting started section to learn more.

Allyson Lewis developed 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner and says her mission is to help others share hope through community..."Sharing Hope to the 7th Power."

How is it Different?
The planner starts with an introduction and a flow chart explaining each type of page and how the 6 steps to the 7 Minute Life work. You then spend "7 minutes a day" reflecting on what you love about life, writing down your personal strengths and gifts, and creating 90-day goals to motivate and inspire you to create a written daily plan of action.

A key difference is the daily section called 5 before 11. It is a list of 5 high value activities to focus on each day.

The planner is set up in 90 day quarters so that a long enough period of time has passed to allow you to see if your plan is working and your goals are being met.

The main goal is to help you prioritize, organize, and simplify by building a workable blueprint.

There are pages for 
  • prioritizing your values with priorities listed to rank
  • discovering your purpose, what you love, action purpose words
  • ultimate life goal
  • page for strengths: love to do at work, strengths, highest value activities, rewarded by
  • Goal lists: life, financial, work (90 day), and personal (90 day)
  • unfinished tasks: work and home
  • mental clutter
  • home repair
  • grocery list
  • connections: personal, business
  • annual calendar
  • annual projects and tasks
  • 90 day calendar worksheets
  • monthly calendar
  • meeting planner
  • daily progress report
  • monthly progress report
  • exercise progress report
  • notes

What I Did to Make it Work for Me
I started by completing the initial sections. After I narrowed down my top 10 values and priorities. I wrote out what each of those things looks like to me and questions I can ask myself at the end of the day. When I was finished, I found 8 would suit me.

1) Relationships~loving God, loving others, serving with the view of love, God's love...Have I spent time with God loving him and others?
2) Friendship~with my husband: love, closeness, time, drawing out the best of us, seeking God together...Have I tried to bring the best to my husband?
3) Closeness~with family: working together, serving together, growing together, finding ways to be together...Have I been close together with my children?
4) Joy~playing, singing, creating, smiling, talking, using hands, having fun together...Have I sought joy?
5) Peace~calm, less clutter, efficient, clean, happy, breathing deeply, standing firm...Have I breathed peace in and out?
6) Health~good food, clean house, non-toxic, being fit as a family, fresh air...Have I contributed to our health?
7) Learning~being together, building character, immersed, actively taking in new things, growing in Christ, enjoying days...Have we learned with enjoyment and with a will?
8) Wisdom~discernment in money matters, vision in stewardship, wise time management...Have I made wise choices?

One of the first things I changed was the 5 before 11. In the season, I am in right now those 5 would all look the same. Nurse the baby, make breakfast, give out school work, have family time, and nurse the baby. So I changed it to 5 in 11. I would write down 5 things I could do in 11 minutes.  With a babe, preschooler and two homeschooling, I have very short snatches of time to myself that aren't already given to school. This section is perfect for those things I can do in just a few minutes. I add things as I notice them. If one day is full, I add them to the next.  Things like...clean the stove drawer, make the grocery list, organize my posts log, dig out fall jackets, tape Wheel crawling, clean the bathroom counter. 

Next I changed the "What I spent " section. I don't spend money. I know that sounds silly, but I very rarely make purchases. Poppa does the grocery shopping and generally fills the gas tanks. And I'm definitely not spending money daily. I changed this section to time wasters. What have I spend time on today that wasted precious time? I'm actually shooting for nothing on these lines. :)

I used the "Daily Contacts" section for school tasks that I need to do myself. And the blank space for things I want to do online. "Appointments" became Our Schedule.

"The Voice Mail" and "Thank you Note" sections, I dedicated to listing the people that God has laid on my heart and what I am to do for them...pray, send a card, call, text, email, etc. AND what I am thankful for each day. So that they line up with my ranked priorities.

What's Changed for Me
The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner has helped me to develop secondary goals and gave me focus on what is most important to me. I especially like the picture that shows how to completely simplify, so I'm only doing the things that are important to me.

I try to keep this imagine in my head when I'm working on something that doesn't line up. It gives me a clearer focus.

I would really love a weekly progress report. There are daily and monthly reports, but since we work in a way that we have a completion of a week's work at a time, I need a weekly overview to put it all into focus. 

There are a number of completely free tools that you can try out. 

10% of net profits provide water, food, education, and animals to people in need.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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