Sunday, January 31

Planning, Week

Sometime last month (about the time I found out about Traveler's Notebooks) I had a revelation.

If I made my own inserts, I could start the week any day I damn well wanted to.

A photo posted by Koren M. (@cybermathwitch) on

This was followed quickly by the realization that part of my planning troubles were inextricably related to the combination of 80% of my chores, tasks, and creative projects happening on the weekends and the "established" systems either splitting the weekend right down the middle, or basically "back-loading" all my to-do list into the very end of the week.

It's no wonder I felt rushed, stressed, and ineffectual.

Okay, that sounds like a stretch, right?  How can the arrangement of boxes on a piece of paper cause all that?  The days are still happening at the same time, after all.

Well, yes, but.

Here's how things were typically going:

  • Plan to plan on Saturday morning.  Attempt to do the weekly review/plan for the upcoming week (assuming a Sunday start) even though most of the personal creative projects and housework/errands I'd slated for the week I was finishing up hadn't been done yet, as they were on Saturday's to-do list.
  • Make a to-do list for the day (Saturday) *and* next Saturday (subject to change), and try to make one on Sunday based on my best (hopeful) guess of what I'd get done still yet on Saturday afternoon.
  • Realize there was a family dinner scheduled for the late afternoon/evening and have to move all of last week's tasks to Sunday anyway.
  • Push Sunday's "next week's" tasks to the following Saturday.
  • Plan to do the planning on Sunday morning (the start of the week, right?) - but get stressed out and anxious because I didn't get a solid picture of Sunday's to-do list until half the morning was already over.
  • Get overwhelmed, inevitably focus on the wrong tasks, and let several necessary things slip through the cracks.
  • And then have to go to the grocery store.

In either scenario, I also spent all week looking at a huge task list of things that I wasn't in a position to do anything about until the very end of the week, which went beyond frustrating right into demoralizing.

As I was making some daily pages to try out in my new planner, though, I had the sudden, light-bulb-choirs-of-angels-singing realization that, if I was designing the damn things anyway, I could start them whenever I wanted.  Further more, if I started on *Saturday*, then I'd get that 80% of my to-do list done and checked off before the work-week began.

Which made coming home and restricting myself to nothing but knitting, reading, or coloring before bed (because I am a. not good for much else after work, and b. will not go to bed at a reasonable hour if I get sucked into doing anything too analytical) feel less like I was putting things off or slacking or worthless and more like I was taking the well-deserved break it was actually supposed to be.

And the sooner I go to bed at night, the more likely I am to actually get up early enough in the morning to use the one or two precious hours of time when I'm still mentally on top of things to get some of my stuff done before I go to the Place That Pays Me So I Can Pay the Bills.


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