Unleashing the Ease and the Power of Planning

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unleashing the ease and the power of planning


It all started when Jess Massey, owner and founder of Hustle Sanely, couldn’t find a daily planner that kept her organized. “I couldn’t find a productivity framework that supported my mental health and personal relationships while pursuing my goals,” Jess said. So that’s when she created her own digital planner that ultimately created a business centered around productivity without the hustle-culture mindset. In this episode, I sit down with Jess and discuss unleashing the ease and the power of planning.

Unleashing the Ease and the Power of Planning

Graduate Student to Productivity Guru

Jess didn’t plan to be a productivity guru. In 2018, she was in graduate school studying to become a speech-language pathologist. She was also juggling three jobs and newly married. “During this time, I was trying to figure out how to show up well in all areas of my life, but it wasn’t working and I felt like a shell of myself,” Jess said. “I wasn’t prioritizing my mental health or personal relationships. I was letting everything other than my goals fall to the wayside.”

At that point, Jess was determined to find a lifestyle that met her where she was at. But found it difficult to find a productivity framework that wasn’t centered around men and not just centered around reaching goals. After a little trial and error, Jess took it upon herself to create her own digital planner. She started sharing it on Instagram, and people starting asking her if they could buy it.

Accidentally Starting a Business

By September 2018, Jess opened an Etsy shop to start selling the digital planners. The sales were going so well that by January 2019, she dropped out of graduate school and found herself starting a business that became Hustle Sanely. “I had a choice to make to between school and this,” Jess said. “Because not only were people buying the planner, but were asking how they could use it like I was and time management strategies I was using.”

Once she had more time to focus on the business, she was then able to launch courses and start her podcast.

The Power of Planning with Hustle Sanely Planners

The Hustle Sanely planners now come in paper form. There are thousands of planners available on the market. But many would say they never use them for the entire year. “I get messages from people using our planner saying they finally use their planner for the whole year,” Jess said. “I think it’s because the Hustle Sanely planner doesn’t leave you feeling that you’re not doing enough. These planners are not only emphasizing your goals, but also your mental health and personal relationships.”

The Hustle Sanely planners focus on the five keys of Hustle Sanely. They include:

  • Get your mindset right.
  • Get clear on your vision.
  • Define your priorities.
  • Create your routines and schedule.
  • Implement Hustle Sanely Five every day. 
    • Complete your focus three (needle-moving tasks each day)
    • Move for 30 minutes
    • Tidy for 15 minutes
    • Say or do one kind thing for yourself
    • Say or do one kind thing for someone else

It’s less about the go-go-go productivity and more about creating a whole, well-rounded, wellness-based productivity lifestyle.

Unleashing the Ease with Your Focus Three

Jess often uses the phrase, “Our schedules and routines are tools, not chains.” She’s discovered that when we create things that can be sustainable, that’s when we can be consistent with them. And when we’re consistent, that’s when we’re able to make change happen.

Your daily to-do list shouldn’t have more than seven things on it, and should include your focus three. And the other four things are the would-be-nice-to-get-done things but you’re not stressing about them. 

Deciding on what your focus three should be in a day goes back to the Hustle Sanely five keys – specifically getting clear on your vision and defining your priorities.

In her courses, Jess teaches on the different types of to-do lists. She says you should have three different ones – a personal, professional and catch-all task list. Our daily to-do list should be short and sweet, so it doesn’t overwhelm us and really give our time and energy to tasks that need to be done.

The catch-all task list is where we put the random things that pop into our head like scheduling an oil change. You don’t need to get that done on a specific day. But it’s on a catch-all task list that’s available when you’re planning out your week. Then, you can refer to your catch-all tasks and see if they align with a specific day’s to-do list.

Prioritizing Your Health 

Prioritizing our health and relationships can be tough in a busy life of pursuing goals. But Jess teaches women to schedule these things first. So when you’re looking at your weekly schedule, Jess asks women to schedule in things like date night, rest or visiting family first. Then, you go in and fill in around those things. If you don’t schedule those in, they’re not going to happen. It feels weird and robotic to schedule things like that, but those important things actually happen when you schedule them in and aren’t left to chance.

To listen to more of my interview with Jess about unleashing the ease and the power of planning, hit play now!

Connect with Jess: Website | Instagram

For more time management strategies, you’ll love this post HERE.


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I'm Amanda,
your new get-a-grip friend.

I'm a Southern girl with big-city sensibilities. You likely won't hear me saying "ya'll" but I do believe in Southern Hospitality. Most days I've got a baby on my hip and a quickly melting iced coffee in hand. I believe in building the life you want, one actionable step at a time. 

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