Get Your Life Back When Planning Your Wedding

It’s a new year and a fresh start.  If you are anything like me, you are being pulled a million different directions by a million different tasks.  It’s hard to balance work, spending time with your significant other, household responsibilities, time with friends, exercise and somewhere in all of that still getting some sleep.  Now on top of that, you are planning a wedding!

This post will discuss resources I have been utilizing to make the most of my time and how they can help get you through your daily life, plan your big day and still have a few moments of fun.  The best way to approach planning is to break it into smaller pieces instead of looking at it as an overwhelming task.  It always reminds me of a White Stripes song called Little Acorn.  The song begins with the story of Janet who watched a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter.  “One at a time he would take them to the nest.  She thought, ‘If that squirrel can take care of himself with the harsh winter coming on, so can I.’

Once I broke my problems into small pieces, I was able to carry them just like those acorns, one at a time.” 

Here is my favorite guide to building your wedding one acorn at a time from Wedding Wire.  Step one, sign up for Wedding Wire and download their checklist, you will not be disappointed.  It is a free service with a lot of resources at your fingertips and a wonderfully comprehensive step-by-step planning tool.   

I decided that I needed to make some changes in a big way.  I needed to make myself a priority so I would be calmer, more relaxed and more organized to help others.  It’s been two weeks and I can truly say I feel way less stressed and by doing less I have been getting even more done!  Sounds crazy I know, but here are the changes I’ve made.  How they have helped me and how you can make time for everything and plan the perfect wedding.

One of the first things I did was purchase the Productivity Planner off of Amazon.  This was the hardest to wrap my head around, but this has made the biggest change in my life.  This planner follows what is called the Pomodoro Method.  In fact, I am using this method right now to write this post.  It essentially teaches you time management in four ways.

1.  You do not give yourself more than 3-5 tasks a day.  You order these from highest priority down.
2.  You may not move on to a task until you finish the task that precedes it.  (This is where I needed the most help, I tend to jump around which really is not productive).
3.  You work in 25-minute uninterrupted increments with 5 minute reward times at the end.  (This means NO distractions.  No social media, no phone, no barking dogs, etc…)
4.  You estimate how long, or how many Pomodoros, each task will take and then record how many it actually takes after execution. 

Number 4 is what surprised me the most.  Tasks I was dreading and putting off, tasks I thought were going to take me 4 hours took me 25 minutes when I focused and removed distractions!  I also enjoy the encouraging quotes at the top of each page to start my days off with instant motivation.  :) 

The second thing I did to get organized was made myself a weekly schedule.  I built mine into Numbers where I could check off the day as I go and personalized each day.  Here is an example of a typical Friday for me:

I made a column for myself and my husband that we could each check off.  I have found this especially helpful because when I do get off track it is easy to open this and remind myself of what I should be doing.  There is also a little extra time built in during lunch if I sleep a little later that day or, like today, had a midday meeting.  Set yourself up for success by being realistic about your limitations.

The last organizational tool I have been using is the Productive App offered by Apple for the iPhone.  

This app is cool because it allows you to categorize your tasks, which it refers to as habits.  You can choose from presets, or create your own.  You pick the days, the frequency and whether it repeats and then the app sends you reminders when these “habits” should be done.  You can track your progress, write notes about how you felt that day and receive awards for consecutively completing habits.  I like that they refer to everything as a habit because really the goal is to make a lifestyle change.

Life is hectic and creating your dream wedding on top of it is a whole lot to manage.  Hopefully, these tips that have helped me will help you to plan your perfect day and have time left over for the people and things you love.  Happy planning and we will see you on the other side of the lens :)

Ryan Purcell

Art Director. Minimalist.  Entrepreneur.  Media Creator.  Dependent on Grammar Check.  Just trying to be a decent human.