Do What Matters

GET MY NEW BOOK: Do What Matters

I’m sick and tired of doing “things.” ”Things” are what happened to me when I was a young Mom on a tight budget. I kept going to WalMart to buy “things.” I bought a little thing here and a little thing there. Then, I had to buy stuff to organize my “things” and take time to clean out my closet and give away lots of those “things.” I just didn’t need them or didn’t want them any more.

[callout]Do What Matters comes out on Friday, July 15. When I release the book, the price will go up. You can preorder now. The book includes the ebook and over 108 of my planning templates from the past 20 years. I'm including both Excel (for full customizability) and PDF (type on them). Order now. [/callout]

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Forgive me if I hop on this bandwagon about “things.” The book Getting Things Done by David Allen is one of the best selling books of all time on time management. And I followed it religiously. Until it almost made me have a breakdown. I couldn’t do all those things I had put on my list. So, I had to sit down and ask myself some hard questions.

I didn't want to do things any more. I wanted to do what matters.


Self management and self motivation are the unstoppable forces of our world. As for me, I choose to finely tune my planning so I do what matters.

Good is the enemy of great. Better is the enemy of best.

Our goal is to slash through all the THINGS and start doing what MATTERS.

This is the never ending journey of the high performing person. Doing what matters in a way that is less about the planning system we use and more about doing.

Secrets from Granny Martin

My Granny Martin is my hero. She accomplished more in her life than most people could in several lifetimes.

Her productivity secret was simple. Each night she listed four things she had to do the next day on the back of an envelope. She always had at least four, sometimes more.

Then, she did them.

Using this simple strategy, Granny Martin built a wildly successful real estate business. She traveled the world. She even didher own taxes until she was in her eighties. Her productivity system worked for her.

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Making my Own Planner

I wanted to be like Granny Martin.
So, as a teenager in the 1980's I designed my first planning page on my Dad's MacIntosh SE. I still have the pages. It had my appointments, to-do list and my menus for the day. I got so much done.

Design pages that work for you in the colors you love and with routines that fit your life on them.

Design pages that work for you in the colors you love and with routines that fit your life on them.

When I went to college, I read books on college success. Then, I made a new, different system. It worked for me again. While leading several large campus organizations, I graduated first in my class.

When My Planning System Broke

After college, I went to work in the telephone business. The first thing my company did was send me to “productivity” training. While I picked up some great tips and strategies, my company bought me a planner.

It was the first planner I hadn’t made myself, and I was told to use it.

“Everyone uses this planner.”

I towed the company line and used the planner. I was successful. But I found myself spending far more time each week organizing the planner itself.  “Planning” became part of my work, which led to less time for actual work. Instead of working, I was planning.

Customizable weekly planning forms. I use these on Saturdays to plan the week ahead.

Customizable weekly planning forms. I use these on Saturdays to plan the week ahead.

Whether I was a stay at home mom, a teacher, or a blogger, I have always been happier when I customize my system. When I used the mass produced systems, there were always little things that just didn’t work for me.

Planners Keep Your Life from Being Flooded

I live in rural south Georgia. We have red clay. When it is dry, the dust flies everywhere. The ground gets dry and cracked.

But when it rains, it pours from the sky faster than ice water out of a bucket!

The rain comes quickly and often with no warning.

Good farmers are prepared. While it is dry, these farmers dig well-designed drainage ditches to direct the water where they want it to flow. When the water comes down in torrents, their lands don’t flood. The water flows in the right direction.

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The Activity of Life Comes in Floods

Life is like that. As a Mom of three, I’ll have times that I’m flooded with activity. Go here. Do this. Fill out this form. Return this one to the school. I can barely keep up. Sometimes I question my sanity and how one person can do it all.

Other times, I find myself struggling to do what matters. If I take the time during slower times to plan and build my system, I’ll be ready when life floods.

Your Planner Should Fit the Flow of Your Life

Your planning system is your drainage ditch. You are directing the flow of your life by designing your routines and workflow. Planners have an incredible impact on your life, your joy, and your productivity. The more personalized your planning system is, the greater the results.

Activities, templates and simple tips to get your planning system working for you.

Activities, templates and simple tips to get your planning system working for you. These are some of the items in the Do What Matters ebook.

In teaching we talk about the “self-running” classroom. Your planner should be “self planning” and just flow.

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As you design your planning system, you are creating your life.

Keep it simple. Keep it straightforward. Get rid of what’s unnecessary. Let it flow in the most fitting way for you.

What is included in the package:

  • 50+ page ebook with exercises to help you design your personal planning system
  • the SMART planning system that is not like anything you've ever seen (most likely ;-)
  • 6 simple choices to design the perfect planning system for you.
  • 17 Daily Planning Templates to customize or print as is
  • 5 Monthly/ Weekly Planning Templates
  • 4 Master Task List Templates
  • 5 Routine tracking templates
  • Bonus templates including: chore index cards, workout index cards, weekly and monthly chore lists for home and school, and so much more! I found all of these templates going back to when my kids were small! 
  • Close to 100 templates (maybe more) to choose from – When I count them all, I'll let you know!!
  • A blank PDF copy of all templates.

I'm so excited to share this with you! I will be posting on Teachers pay Teachers as well. Get your preorder in today if you want a copy!

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I will be planning a webinar sometime next week. Stay tuned!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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