Weekly Planning: October 12-18, 2020

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Weekly Planning: October 12-18, 2020

I am loving these weekly sticker kits from Capitol Chic Designs 🖤

The whole week is so easy to lay out in time blocks with beauty and style.

I scored a handful of these at my local Michaels Store earlier this month. They were on clearance for $1.97 per 160 piece kit and I’m going back for more! I see the stickers are also on sale online, just not at the great discount I purchased them for in-store {though totally worth it!}.

I didn’t think I’d want a coordinated layout until I had one, and let me tell you: it makes my Passion Planner really my one place to store all of the things I’m doing – from homeschooling, to Inktober, to meal planning, and writing. I even started a new habit this week with strength training!

These gorgeous stickers in my large Passion Planner are perfection!

How I Organize My Planners:

Passion Planner makes it easy for me to see my week as a whole and use a rhythm to carry my flow from my days to my weeks. The planner itself starts with a vertical layout with half hour increments in the day timer. This is perfect for me not only in pandemic, but while being quarantined at home. I find I need time to wrap up, then transition to different activities and work items – not to mention snacks, bio breaks, and seeing the family all at home.

What I’ve implemented with my block planning is to focus blocks of time for specific activities I’m doing. This is my regular, weekly flow – and I’m far from perfectly following it – but in theory, the more I set the intention to implement the plan, the more often I’m able to follow through on that intention. It’s been a bit of trial and error, but once we knew we were quarantining for the long haul in Seattle, we started being more intentional on how we spent our time.

It’s easy for me to get distracted, wrapped up in a book, a television series, scrolling social media {I love Instagram and Twitter}, and writing in my journal, but I found I wasn’t feeling particularly productive. I’d start stories, poems, blog posts, but get sucked into the abyss of not completing anything.

That feels awful.

So I started jotting down in my Passion Planner Daily how I spent my days and worked off of a loose, block plan in my Passion Planner weekly. I start with my Monthly Overview – which isn’t nearly as pretty – but it allows me the grace and space to get all the on-off and regular commitments down on paper, which allows me to drop them into my weeks for weekly planning.

How I Organized this Spread:

I organized this spread similarly to the way I organized my spread from last week. My flow is to start with the important items on my week. For me, I am committed to my top 3 personal self-care practices daily: Morning Pages, Meditation, and Yoga. I’m in the routine of doing my morning pages daily, and meditation daily is something I tackled this summer {if only for 5 minutes a day, it’s totally worth it – but I feel better if I can do a few 10-15 minutes of sitting per day}. Yoga I love to do, but have not been faithful about doing daily. I do get some stretches in, but actually going through a flow every day is what I’m trying to work into my morning routine. Until I do, or maybe even after I have made this a routine, I’ll likely list it on my daily top three. I just feel better when I spend time taking care of myself.

Next, I drop in the rocks. These are the appointments or out-of-house plans we have. Field trips, dentist and doctor appointments, and family nights all get dropped in once my top three daily are dropped in the planner.

Third, or concurrently, I add a water tracker to each day. I actually track this in my Passion Planner Daily calendar, but again: it’s about setting the intention and rhythm for my days. Drinking 8 glasses of water daily is something I added to my top three daily routine this summer and I’m feeling much healthier, certainly more hydrated, than when I was resorting to a quick shot of sugar with fruit juice or a nicking one of my Bibliophile‘s root beers. I find it’s much easier for me to stick to drinking water throughout the day if I add some citrus, like lemon or lime, wedges to it in the morning – then refill from our filtering pitcher throughout the day.

I’m still drinking 2 cups of black French Press coffee in the mornings, so don’t think I’m at my pinnacle of health. Yet. I’m a work in progress.

The next thing I lay on my page is the line around 3pm. I find that by 3pm, my Free Spirit and I are finished with lessons. Even if we’ve not finished what I’ve planned, we’re finished working together and take a break. You will see, right after our proverbial ‘line in the sand’, I have an hour or two of margin. Margin is key in my days. It’s my buffer in the mornings and in the afternoons. If my son and I are schooling and want to continue with our day together, I already have time built in for that. If I need to run an errand, need a break, want to take a walk, read, or have downtime – this is what this margin time is for. I also can start planning dinner or preparing it in this time. It’s really for all those things I need to do, or want to do, and it’s built into my daily rhythm. I know it’s there so I can focus on the time I have.

With the line on my weekdays at 3pm, barring appointments or field trips, I lay my homeschool lesson time before the line. It’s only on the calendar with the beautiful stickers from noon to 3pm, but we start our homeschool time together shortly after breakfast most days. We read together, discuss or watch movies and books we’re reading, we write, and sometimes we even game a bit together. My homeschool planning is an entirely different type of planning I tweak ongoing, but really nail down in annually in July. That planner and the way I plan our homeschool year deserves it’s own post, though I have posted brief outlines of my annual planning here.

With my weekday mornings and early afternoons blocked and planned, I then move on to the evenings. Early in quarantine, when my husband was recovering from his accident, we had very few constraints with our teens online. We were focused on getting through the days as best we could. Once the quarantine really set in, I wanted to have more predictability in our evenings – including predictability with spending time together as a family. I wanted 5 family nights a week, the boys wanted 2, so we compromised on 3 family nights per week. As I stated above, these I’ve already dropped on my calendar for after dinners on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights. What I then block out are the other 4 evenings a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday with block stickers.

With my days filled, or nearly filled, with stickers, I move on to my weekend. I start with the days already having the top three, and the Capitol Chic Designs weekly sticker packs have the fun “weekend” sticker I added this week to the top of the stack. I attend my church service online Sunday mornings, but that’s been dropped in with my appointments at the beginning of the process, and I have the rest of the days to fill in. Sundays I’ve begun to extend my time behind my computer by taking classes, planning my week or our homeschool, and catching up with office, paper, and electronic organization. It’s also been productive to use this time to update my blog and blog posts. We have family night Sunday nights, and have been using it most weeks for our “eat out” night, so I don’t even have to plan dinner {though this week, we’re eating out Friday Night, so I’ll be cooking chili or soup}.

This leaves Saturday. It just so happens that most Saturdays are odds-and-ends days. Extra errands, projects with my husband, spur-of-the-moment spontaneity {or as much as one can get while quarantined during a global pandemic} happens here. Last weekend was the first weekend with my new desk, so I spent time organizing, and reorganizing, my supplies and where I wanted everything to be. I’m still working through that, and may work more on that Saturday, but I may not. So I’ve just filled this day with open boxes and will fill in details when they become clear. What makes this easier are the lists of projects, blog posts, writing exercises, and training I keep in my writing journal. If I have free time, and don’t need that aforementioned margin, I check my lists and see what I feel inspired {or need} to do.

In the Personal and Work “to-do” , as well as the Space of Infinite Possibility, sections, I used to fill those to overflowing before I started using my Passion Planner daily. Now I have space to spread out all those appointments to make, checklists to complete, and daily exercises in a larger, easier to keep sane, spread. Now I’m using this space to highlight what I’m doing in the week. On the left hand side this week, I have my morning and evening flow, and fun stickers just because {though I do plan on writing in highlights as they happen – which will likely be tomorrow when my older son takes the PSAT, the Fire Pit Night, and the weekend}. On the right hand side this week, I have my list of Inktober prompts daily, my daily dinner plans, and my workout plan. Having the Inktober prompts available by week allows me to marinate on them instead of rushing to come up with a fun idea I can execute. The dinner plan stays the same most weeks and is easy to follow, but as I said before: this week we’ll be eating out Friday night, not Sunday night, and I’ve noted that in the menu plan. Finally, this week’s sticker pack had a M-F workout plan. I am barely back to working out regularly, but know I need to add strength training to my routine. I only want to add one new thing at a time, and now is the time to add something new! My cardio is just walking, which I’ve been less inclined to do with the return of the rain, but it is the time of year I go back to wanting to bike again.

The last stickers I’ve not discussed are on the top, far left side of the spread. These are the ‘Week’s Focus’ and ‘Good Things that Happened’ boxes. I actually really liked these the way they were, but since I do have a brilliant weekly sticker pack, and extra stickers, I started jazzing up this space too! I put my weekly focus in the top; this week is Preptober for NaNoWriMo. I’ve also added affirmations to my days, as well as texting my parents daily, and have trackers for those as well. I don’t think I’ll forget, but it is nice to see all the things I’m doing weekly in one spot.

And that’s it!

This is a process I’ve worked and honed for years and works well for me now. I don’t have trouble changing the process, or the plans, as life changes – well, not too much. The transition last fall of my oldest son leaving our homeschool was a huge transition and it’s taken me most of the year to acclimate to the change. I’m so thankful to have had the change happen, and it’s so very good for him to have moved out of our homeschool, but like any change, there is a time of transition. It has been such a great learning experience for us all and I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life . . .

And it starts with a plan.

What are your plans this week?

@Bikurgurl_watermark

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