In Episode 028 of The Plan Podcast we’re talking about work and wellness – two things that often seem to be entirely at odds – and my secret for finding the perfect balance between them. You’ve probably guessed it, but my secret weapon is The Daily Page.
If you aren’t familiar with The Daily Page, here’s a crash course: it is a one-page design meant to encompass all aspects of your day in one place. The main goal of the design is to help you align your work and your wellness so that they aren’t at odds with each other, but instead are side-by-side. It has space for your Top 3 Goals of the day, your to-do list, your daily schedule, hydration tracking, medication or supplement reminders, meal planning, space for notes, ideas, shopping lists and more.
It was originally something I created for myself, with no real intent to sell it, but over the years I’ve produced it in various formats. I don’t think I ever quite imagined that it would evolve into my best-selling product and a focal point of my business and brand. That my Etsy Shop would eventually complete more than 12,000 sales and be ranked among the top 1% of shops in the world, or that a product I created would have a 5-figure launch. and the more I’ve learned about productivity, wellness, and just the way our brains and bodies work — the more I’ve come to understand why The Daily Page works so well not just for me, but for thousands of others, as well.
Even if you aren’t using one of my designs, this might help you understand why you love planners or journaling or it might inspire you to find – or design – the perfect daily planner for you.
The first thing is work/life balance. Our society, particularly American society, does a pretty bad job at helping us balance our work life and our personal life, especially when it comes to our health and making health a priority on a daily basis. Which is KEY. Being healthy isn’t about doing healthy things once in a while, or having dry Januarys or 3-months of strict dieting. Lifelong wellness is about incorporating healthy practices into your life every day….and for most of us that is all about finding balance with your work. The Daily Page helps overcome this by having you organize your work and wellness in the same place so that you are conscious of and prioritizing both of them equally throughout your day. Obviously it benefits us to be healthier, but it’s also worth noting that when we feel good, we can do good work. So prioritizing these two things side by side makes so much sense.
The next is habit building, and it was through learning more about a method called Habit Stacking that I really started to understand that one of the superpowers of The Daily Page is the fact that it kind of forces you to put work tasks and projects right next to things like brushing your teeth, making the bed, walking the dog, cooking lunch — all these very established, everyday tasks that you’ve been doing for years. I have an entire podcast, episode number 026, all about Habit Stacking, what it is, and how to do it. But basically it takes advantage of the neuron pathways in our brain to place new habits that you want to form along the same neuron pathway as tasks that are already habitual for you. For example, if you want to journal for 5 minutes every morning, instead of just saying “My goal is to journal for 5 mintues every morning” you’d say “I’m going to start the coffee (which is a habit you probably already perform every day without much trouble) and while the coffee is brewing I will journal for 5 minutes. This connects the new habit to a well-formed old one, so that your brain is able to place, remember, and recall this habit more easily. The Daily Page really does tap into this same method and helps you become more productive, develop new routines, and establish healthy practices without it really taking that much additional effort on your part. It’s like the greatest life hack of all time and The Daily Page makes it super easy to take advantage of this natural human tendency.
Up next is hydration, and we all know this is something I could talk about all day! But, one of the biggest changes I experienced when I started improving my health was finally being properly hydrated. Did you know that it can take up to two weeks of proper hydration — so that means waking up every day, properly hydrating your body with fluid and nutritious food, and repeating that every day for at least two weeks before you might actually start to feel ALL the benefits? More than 75% of American Adults are living with chronic mild dehydration, so I think it’s easy to assume that if the majority of us are living chronically dehydrated, it’s unlikely that many of us have been able to maintain consistent enough hydration that we have ever felt what it’s like to be truly hydrated to the point where you start to see the benefits not just physically — but mentally. Because honestly, that is where the magic really happens.
It turns out that the water inside plants — so the water inside of an apple, or tomato, for example — is full of fiber and electrolytes and minerals that make it even more hydrating and an even better conductor for this messaging system. It truly is just one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever learned about and The Daily Page helps increase your productivity by making sure you are optimally hydrated through both water and food.
Those are the 3 main things I wanted to focus on: the way The Daily Page helps you find work/life balance, how it utilizes habit stacking to help you easily develop new routines, and how it uses proper hydration to make you more productive. But there are some other fun superpowers of the page, too!
Such as the power of writing things down, and the fact that writing something down makes us 40% more likely to actually achieve it. I think it’s a big reason why a lot of productivity or task management apps and services tend to lose our attention or feel really overwhelming. Because when things are typed or kept online, we tend to feel less connected and responsible for them because they lack the hand/brain connection.
Or that filling out the page the night before can help you reduce stress and anxiety and get better sleep, and how good sleep further increases your health and ability to think and work.
Or the importance of identifying your Top 3 Goals for the day. Although that has become very trendy in recent years, it has always been a vital part of The Daily Page design and we know that no matter how long our to-do list is, we’ll perform best if we identify the three tasks that will make the biggest impact or move the needs the most, and work to complete those first.
We could also look at human instinct and our desire to create records and documentation. By nature, most of us tend to really enjoy seeing a written record of what we need to do and what we accomplished. It’s almost like that sense of achievement we feel when we put a little checkmark in a checkbox is encoded in our DNA. Humans love to feel productive and accomplished
I could easily go on and on about The Daily Page and what’s it’s done for me, and I know that so many of you have your own examples and reasons why the page works well for you, and that is yet another magical aspect of it, that although it is one standard layout, it is so customizable to what each of us need. You can have a favorite list making app, or productivity method, or fitness program, or a great morning routine. But at the end of the day it’s all kind of meaningless if it’s not consistent. The Daily Page is what brings all of those good practices together in one place.
Take 20% off your entire order in my Etsy Shop with code EPISODE29 at checkout.
Blog post: How to Use Habit Tracking Boxes
Blog post: Which Daily Page Version is Right For You?
Podcast Episode 006: How I Plan and Organize My Day
Podcast Episode Episode 029: (will be out on February 20th!) to learn about Optimum Hydration or check out the book Quench.
Today’s featured brand was Rothy’s shoes — which you already know I love! When you purchase your first pair through this link you’ll get $20 off + free shipping. Enjoy!
The ultimate guide for clearing the clutter, defining your personal style, and dressing your best with less.
Learn the basics of proper hydration, learn how to eat your water, and explore 20+ of my favorite recipes.
Thinking of creating your own customized planner? This eBook will walk you through the entire process.