Introducing Zeitgeber Planners: DIY Printables to Help You Optimize Your Day

zeitgeber-daily-planner-pages-optimize-your-dayLike almost every paper-based planner I know, I’ve gone through different kinds of planner inserts. Daily, weekly, store-bought, etc. One of the challenges I’ve faced is 1) I like 24-hour daily planners, but 2) seeing all the 24 hours makes my brain think that all those hours are fair game. I call this the myth of the 24-hour day.

I ended up creating my own system, and I’ve decided to make it available for others to use.

Introducing the Zeitgeber Planner…

The Zeitgeber Planner

Zeitgeber, you say, what’s that? The word comes from the German words zeit (“time”) and geber (“giver”), and can be loosely translated as “synchronizer.” As defined on, a zeitgeber is:

an environmental cue, as the length of daylight or the degree of temperature, that helps to regulate the cycles of an organism’s biological clock

The Zeitgeber Planner is a planning system that helps me optimize the way I manage my time, by synchronizing my daily rhythms with my body’s natural 24-hour clock. It combines project-based planning with a visual planning tool. read more…

The Myth of the 24-Hour Day

24-hour-clock-300pxNo one has 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Yes, there are 24 hours in a day, and there are 7 days in a week. But the concept of 24/7 full-time availability is just that, a concept, a myth.

No one has all the hours of every day available to do with as he or she pleases. Our bodies need regular periods of rest. In order to function optimally, we need to sleep sometime in those 24 hours.

Of course, a person can stay awake for longer than a day. But at some point, he will experience “progressive and significant deficits in concentration, motivation, perception and other higher mental processes.” At some point, he’ll need to catch up on that missing sleep.

So why do some planner pages show the full 24 hours of the day? And why do I like those pages? (I suspect I’m not the only one.)

I admit I like the flexibility of the 24-hour daily planner. I like to think that, if I had to do something at any hour – even at 3 a.m. – my planner page could do its job of recording that hour.

However, I’ve been wondering if being able to see “the full day” is tricking me into believing the myth of the 24-hour more…

‘Project Master Plan’ Printable – Free Download

project-master-planAs I promised in my previous post and video, I’m making my Project Master Plan printable available for download. This planner page is the first tool I use for project-based planning.

If you’re a subscriber to the blog, you already have a copy. ;) If you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s your chance to get this free printable.

The Project Master Plan

In a nutshell, here’s what the Project Master Plan is all about:

read more…

Video: Project-Based Planning

I thought I’d show you how I do project-based planning. Project-based planning is a complement to traditional schedule-based planning systems. This video features the process I use to plan projects over the long term and also monthly and weekly.

In this video, you’ll see the planner pages I use to manage the time I allocate for projects. These pages have, in full or in part, the following:

  • Project Master Plan
  • Monthly Project Plotter
  • Weekly Project Plotter

As I mentioned in the video, I will make these pages available for download here on my blog. So, if haven’t subscribed yet, this is the perfect time to do so. :)