I’m so excited about the plans I’ve made for the new year. I’ve been aching for the fresh start feeling I get every January. I know it’s just a state of mind and that very little changes when the first of the year arrives, but I still love it. This year I’ve finally found a planner that works for me and I think this might be the final piece of the “get more done” puzzle where my life is concerned.
All week I’ve been working out of my fancy new Erin Condren Life Planner. I can’t tell you how much I love the setup of it. I chose the vertical layout so my days would be divided into three sections.
The top section, I’m using for my early mornings. I list everything I want to have finished before 10 AM in that first section. This usually includes my early writing session with the #5amWritersClub on Twitter, which does not usually have any specific directive. I write what comes out. Sometimes, it’s relevant, sometimes not. Then I have a break for coffee and social media between 7 am and 8 am, while my stepdaughter is getting ready to leave for school. From 8 am to 10 am I work on an assigned area of my writing, usually a rough draft of a new scene or a revision of something that will soon be critiqued with my writing group.
The second section of my day is usually dominated by daily chores, a quick workout (hopefully if I schedule it, I will actually do it.), and then, of course, lunch.
My husband comes home around 2 pm most days, so I try to have section two of my day completed before he arrives. Once he’s home, my productivity takes a significant dive, so I leave 1 pm to 4 pm open as free time. On Fridays, I use this time to work on my sewing projects. Other days, I might play around on the computer, watch television, or read.
The third section of my day usually includes evening meetings with my writers guild, my stepdaughter’s events that we need to attend, and any miscellaneous chores that I couldn’t finish earlier, such as putting away the laundry I washed. It also gives me a chance to watch the occasional Red Wings game.
Every other week I have a meeting with my writers guild that takes place around lunchtime, so on those days, my schedule shifts a bit, but I’ve written up two different hourly schedules, one for most days and one for that day separately so I still have a way to stay on track.
On Saturday, I always give myself a day off of writing. If I find myself needing to write, I’ll write, but I don’t force it. My brain needs a chance to relax too. This is also our usual Dungeons and Dragons night on the weeks my stepdaughter lives with us.
Sunday is my website work day. I write blog posts, check the stats, fix broken links, change my mind repeatedly about my blog theme, etc. This is also the day I set my schedule for next week and I give the kitchen a good healthy deep clean.
I know that having a fancy new planner won’t get the work done for me, but finding one with a style I like makes it that much easier to schedule the things I need to get done in the day. This is my first time using an Erin Condren planner, and I just love it. Do you have a specific type of planner that works well for you? Do you feel you get more done when you use it?