4 Puzzle Pieces for Planning (Executive Function Series #5)

4 Puzzle Pieces for Planning  (Executive Function Series #5)

I am the queen of to-do lists.  I have them on paper, on digital lists, in my head….but they aren’t fully functional for planning! A to-do list is just a list! 


Planning involves strategy, problem solving, time management, time estimation, sequencing and prioritization.  


Planners, which we touched on last week (#4) are awesome...if you use them!  Any tool that you or your student will USE is the right tool!! 


Academic planners don’t always take into account other tugs on time such as appointments, extracurriculars, meetings, family responsibilities, etc.  They are one piece of the puzzle...


Here are four more puzzle pieces that are BOSS for planning:


  • Timers are magical! 

    • Time blocks: set a chunk of time to get work done and focus on that ONE thing.

    • Taking breaks: set a break time  Get up, get a drink, move around, clear your head. 

    • Assess: how long tasks really take? Keep track- this is helpful data. 

    • Keep track of the rabbit holes! Set a timer when you drop into social media and don’t allow yourself to get sucked in! 


  • Set alarms

    • Name the alarms to reflect what you need to do when they go off- “feed dog” 

    • Use alarms for daily routines and reminders such as “check planner for assignments” after school so that homework gets done.


  • Schedules

    • Use Google Calendar: everyone gets a calendar and they interact in different colors for visual clarity of what’s happening in the household

    • Print the weekly calendar to post in a central space


  • Project chunking

    • Start at due date and work backwards

    • Use post it’s, planners, or digital format to break the project into bite sized chunks and schedule them into the calendar


The consistent use of these tools alongside a planner are golden for planning...you’ve got this! 


If digital planning is your jam, check out my Trello course.  It includes video tutorials and templates on boards for homeschool, school, family, recipes, and “my brain” which is my master board.  It comes with a Facebook group for support and future training, as well as the accessibility of 1:1 coaching to personalize your system.  


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