Weekly Planning: November 2-8, 2020

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Weekly Planning November 2-8, 2020 in my large Passion Planner, adorned with Capitol Chic Designs Weekly Spread stickers in pink by Bikurgurl
Image by Bikurgurl

Weekly Planning: November 2-8, 2020

I am still loving these weekly sticker kits from Capitol Chic Designs * These gorgeous stickers in my large Passion Planner are perfection!

The whole week is so easy to lay out in time blocks with beauty and style. I have a lot of empty blocks this week just waiting to hold comments or notes for the week. I intentionally held extra space – cause, Election 2020.

My homeschooler, the Free Spirit, requesting we move lessons to the afternoons is working okay . . . I’m using the mornings this week to decimate my word count for my NaNoWriMo 2020 novel I’m writing this month. Do you NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and I’ve written raw text most years since 2012 – and taught or mentored students in the Youth Writing Program many years. I’m not requiring it of my own homeschoolers this year, so I’ve joined NaNoSeattle to have an adult writing community – Yay!

This week I’m cleaning up Halloween AND considering putting up our Christmas tree. That lovely thing could be up until spring for some extra light during our darkest months – just sayin.

Big plans for you this week? A little Christmas/Holiday Cheer?

FYI: The Classic Passion Planner is a clean slate – Here’s where I began . . .

Image by Bikurgurl

How I Organize My Weekly Planner:

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 & 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 completing nothing.

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 with a few key changes:

  • NaNoWriMo Begans November 1 Annually and Write-Ins are all over my calendar
  • Election 2020 – a nail biter – Holy Cow {adding margin here}
  • Going to bed early to get up early for long blocks of writing time after coffee and a few chores
  • Flipping Homeschool Lessons to after lunch is still evolving

As always:

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 {though are getting bumped to afternoons with my participation in NaNoWriMo!}, 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, and am giving myself grace to link it with strength training three times per week. I just feel better when I spend time taking care of myself.

Next, I drop in the rocks. The rocks are the most important and/or time sensitive items. For me, these are the appointments or out-of-house plans we have. Field trips, dentist & doctor appointments, and family nights all get dropped in once my top three daily are dropped in the planner.

I dropped my water tracker to each day in my Passion Planner Daily calendar. I’ve gone back to using my Passion Planner Daily to walk me through the day – setting goals and intentions like daily pills, drinking 8 glasses of water, and my gamechanger goals. My Top 3 {Morning Pages, Yoga, Meditation} are dropped in each day as I refocus over about 2 cups of black French Press coffee in the mornings. I’m not ready to give up caffeine, even on my intermittent fasting days, but I have cut back and added more hot tea as the weather continues to cool this autumn. I am a work in progress.

Progress not Perfection.

Last week my Free Spirit asked to switch his homeschool lessons in the afternoons. Still a work in progress, we’re working out the kinks and it does help me get my writing finished in the mornings. I am able to do a little exercise, a few chores, and checking on my social media. I have a feeling I’ll be glued to the media more this week than usual because of the Presidential – and other elections – on the ballot Tuesday, November 3, 2020. As such, I’ve moved my daily line on weekdays again from 3pm to 12:30 pm. The 3pm line was my ‘line in the sand’ for finishing our homeschool day together. The 12:30pm line is the opening of our day together. My son and I to gather for lunch at the table and begin lessons together. I’m giving him more work to do on his own, but either way we’ll be finished by about 4-4:30 whether we’ve finished or not because we’ll both need a break. I have Poetry Tea Time tentatively scheduled for Wednesday this week – we usually drop this in on Tuesdays, but I’ll need some grace with the election. My husband is staying home Wednesday as we expect the Presidential Election not to be decided on Tuesday.

I then have an hour or two of margin around 4pm. Margin is key in my days. It’s my transition time, or buffer, from the mornings to 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, just a break, want to take a walk, read, or have downtime – this is what the margin time is for. I also can start planning and preparing dinner in this time. Margin is really essential 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 all the other things I’m doing in the day knowing I have time to take a breath or catch up.

I plan our home education 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, still deserves it’s own post. However, I have 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 sledding 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, and my husband had started recovering, 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, our 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. Working blocks are then dropped in on 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. Capitol Chic Designs weekly sticker packs have the fun “weekend” sticker; I added it this week to the evening hours of the weekend. Otherwise I attend my weekly church service online Sunday mornings, which has been dropped in with my appointments at the beginning of the weekly planning process. This only leaves the remainder of the weekend to plan. 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 meal planning for us to use it most weeks for our “eat out” night. In this way, I can focus on the work I want to do and know someone else will be preparing our dinners. This weekend I have a few write-ins, or online gatherings to write in the company of other NaNoWriMo writers, as I plow through my word count for my 2020 novel into the afternoon.

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 with random thoughts, ideas, and sketches 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-me-sane, spread. I’m now using the Passion Planner Weekly spread to highlight my rhythm for the week – not all the details.

On the bottom, left hand side this week, I have lots of space for writing in notes, thoughts, or just margin. On the bottom, right hand side, I have my daily dinner plans, weekly highlights, and more margin. The dinner plan stays the same most weeks and is easy to follow, but as I said before: I’m flexible with what we make on any said day.

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 focusing on ‘The Best is Yet to Come’. 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. I keep my individual plans for our homeschool in a separate planner and keep a journal for my Morning Pages. Morning Pages are a practice laid out by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artists Way. I write my 3 pages in the mornings in my Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook with my favorite 0.3 Pentel Energel Pen in black ink.

It all starts with a plan.

What are your plans this week?


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