Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The 7 Minute Life Review

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

As a highly disorganized person, I am always looking for something that will help me to become more organized. Since the Schoolhouse Review Crew hasn't asked me to use and review a personal assistant, I decided to try the next best thing: The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner. This spiral-bound, 270-page daily planner sold by The 7 Minute Life is marketed as more than just a daily planner; the website says I can change my life in just seven minutes a day.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner works under the premise that people typically have an attention span of seven minutes and can only remember seven pieces of information at a time. The planner opens with 14 pages of instruction. You can also watch a 12-minute video to learn how to use it. Now, I don't have a lot of free time. I like my instructions to be concise and simple. Fourteen pages was just a bit too much for me.

We are also asked to perform a self-evaluation of priorities and purpose. I've got to tell you, if I'm looking for organizational aids, I'm not usually interested in evaluating my life purpose or my strengths and my weaknesses. I've taken spiritual gifts assessments. I know these things. I want to organize my life. That's it. I've got three jobs. I homeschool. I have a junior who is dual enrolling but doesn't yet have his license. I have a daughter who helps teach dance classes on Tuesday but has her own classes on Thursday. I assist with youth group on Wednesday nights and have my own Bible study on Thursdays. God is my first priority, then my husband, and then my kids. Though most of what I do revolves around my top three priorities, I still have to work. I enjoy my job immensely, and thankfully I am able to do it in and around all of the other things. So, priorities are in order. I need to organize. At this stage of my life, simplifying isn't really an option. All of the things on my list need to be done. I don't think I'm doing anything that is superfluous. Things that aren't important simply don't get done here.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

The daily progress reports allow you to track your daily contacts—those people you attempt to contact. I can also give myself points for various contact activities. Like I said, I want simple. I don't want to add another thing to do, especially one that has no value for me. In my job, I have two people I contact on a daily basis. In my life, those contacts change on a daily basis—sometimes zero, sometimes a few. There is no rhyme or reason. When I think of someone I need to call, I usually just write the name down on an index card. When I make the call, I throw away the card. I'm not sure why I'd want to keep track of people I tried to call. There is a section for choosing three people to connect with. While connecting with three people every day is a great and wonderful thing, I hate talking on the phone and don't have a lot of time to visit. I email or text as I think about people; most of the time it is just one sentence to let them know I've been thinking about them. 

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

There's a section for appointments—this is a section I use. But I don't use the "What I Spent" section. I've got a checkbook for that. I don't like the unfinished tasks section; it depresses me to see what I haven't finished. Likewise, the question at the bottom makes me feel guilty: "Did I do what I said I would do today?" Let's look at the rest of that green box. I am supposed to write how many hours I sleep, minutes I exercise, minutes I reflect, and minutes I read. Most days I will only have a number in sleep. Some days I'll have some reflection if I count Bible, which can also double for reading, but there are days when they'll be blank. Besides the fact that this gives me something else to have to keep track of, it makes me feel like a failure when I see blanks or low numbers. There is a section on the next page of the daily progress report for thank you notes and one for voice mails. I'm not going to send a thank you card, let alone three, every day, and I have no need for writing down my voice mail messages. They are saved on my phone. 

The last section I haven't mentioned yet is the "What I will do … 5 before 11" section. This is a doable section for me. I am simply supposed to list five simple tasks that can be completed without having to spend an hour each on them, things like organizing a drawer, dusting the bookshelves, cleaning the glass on the French doors, etc. Accomplishing these tasks among the bigger tasks of the day give me a sense of pride.

The 7 Minute Daily Planner is $24.95. Many other products and videos are available on the website.

While many folks have used this and have changed their lives through it, I simply don't have the time for all of the different tasks that are contained within it. I want a planner that just allows me to list my job-specific tasks, times when the kids need to be somewhere, and appointments. The 7 Minute Daily Planner is not for me.

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