On What I Keep In My Planners

I am a lover of quiet spaces, organized life, and neutral colors . I like organizers, and shelves, clean surfaces, blank walls, and a place to rest without noise. I once told the man I was marrying that I would be quite happy to live in a cabin in the woods, or on a private beach. He didn’t like that idea. He loves people. He thrives in crowds of dozens that all love him. I do not.

I need my space. I need the quiet to think, and breathe, and work. This week was not quiet. It is fair week, and we have a large fair. I was there 6 times. It was exhausting. I’m still trying to recover.

I’m also prep for school to start, businesses to take off, a return to my health plan, and I can’t seem to write. My mind isn’t clear. I have a lot going on and while I’ve tried not to take too much on, I always do.

So I’ve been working in my daily planner, meal planner, and school planner to get life put back in order. Yes, I have a lot of planners. It keeps my life going in the right direction. For many years I just ran without thought of the next day or the next week. I can no longer do that. I have a daughter that needs consistency. I need the consistency!

So here are the things that I plan out in advance to keep my days from becoming too overwhelming. Take what you might help you, and leave the rest.

Meals : I try to have a loose plan for the week. It helps with keeping my diet on track, but it also cuts down time trying to figure out what to make, and time at the store. It saves money too. I can go in with my list, and not walk out with a lot of extras. I have the same thing for breakfast almost every morning, and I try to have leftovers or something simple, like a salad for lunch. My dinner plans are almost always a meat and veggie. Easy, healthy, and quick.

Workouts : I plan what workout I am going to do on each day. I have a program that I have been doing for several months that rotates 8 different workouts. This makes it easy to just write it down and do it. I also keep one shorter workout in reserve, and if I have a day where I know I cannot do a longer one I sub it out.

Appointments: Of course these go in my planner. I have worked hard though at making all of our appointments in the afternoons. I also try to keep the same appointments on the same day of the week. That leaves the mornings open for work, and school. It can be hard at times to get them all scheduled but if you keep your boundaries firm, it can be done!

School : I home school my 11 year old daughter. In past years we have fit school in around appointments, and errands. This year I have been blocking off times that she will do school, and we will not be available during those times. This was another reason I moved all of her appointments to afternoons. It will be different, and hopefully helpful to both of us.

Cleaning my house : Living such a busy life means that we could easily make a mess running in and out of our home, and that needs cleaned up at some point. As I have said, I like a clean home. It makes me feel so much more at peace. So two days a week we schedule cleaning, and everything gets cleaned. It helps so much that we have been taking a minimalist approach to our home, it is so much quicker to clean!

Errands : Aldi, walmart, cvs, library, and bank are all weekly trips for us. I try to keep those trips to a minimum, and on the same days. This helps us in knowing what to expect from our day. We know that Tuesday is library day, and Thursday is groceries. It reduces spending if I am not running to the store every other day.

Showers : I understand that in most people’s world this doesn’t need scheduled. I am the kind of person that will get busy and forget. My daughter has sensory processing disorder, and she hates the shower. So I schedule them. It seems to help us stay on top of them if we know exactly when showers are coming.

Work : I have 4 jobs. I write, and attempt to learn about writing. It is my goal to eventually be published and paid for my writing, but in the mean time I still consider it one of my jobs. I probably wouldn’t be as diligent about it if I didn’t. I knit, and with an online business and several local shops carrying my creations I have to stay on top of both the knitting, and the online work. I also network in the community for this business. It all gets scheduled, the work, the meetings, the online side of things. I have a soup and baked goods business in my home. I started this as a way to help pay my bills when I first became single again. I have continued to keep this business going because it is one of my more successful endeavors. Lastly, I occasionally assemble car parts in my home for a local factory. It is not consistent work, but it helps greatly when there is work available. I also like the monotony of this work. It doesn’t require me to think very hard, and can sometimes be a great time to check out mentally, or watch a movie while I work. All of these things require time. Scheduling is a must, or I would never get it all done.

Fun/Extras : Football games, art camp, coffee dates, movie days, dinners out, and rest days all get put into my schedule. I am prone to forgetting these things if I don’t write them down. So they go in the books too.

I like planners that are structured, but still give me the freedom to change things. I cannot get used to using an electronic calendar. I need good old pen and paper. Something simple with plenty of room to make lists. I usually hunt around until I find one on sale somewhere. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just functional. My life goes into these planners, and the result of that is being able to function better. I don’t know if you use a planner, an app, a document, or if you write your life on the back of your Target receipts, but I would recommend considering if scheduling any of these areas would be helpful to you.

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