Plan With Me – May 2019

May is upon us and with it Spring is coming. We’ve got some mighty travel plans in May, I’ve got a short readathon, and with the weather changing we are planning a couple of outdoor adventures. Since the month is turning out to be a busy one, and since my planning style has ever so slightly changed, I figured I would do a little Plan With Me.

I’ve talked about my own personal planning style before which is using a physical planner. I prefer to be able to write things out and see them in a physical format in front of me, rather than using an electronic calendar or notebook.

I always find it fun to see how others plan out their time, be it monthly or daily, and I find it gives me new ideas to apply to my own planning. The last time I did a planning post, I was using the Day Designer planner that had a monthly and daily layout. I still really like the Day Designer as a system, but I wanted something a little more “freestyle” for my planning. Somewhere that I could just write notes throughout the day without lines and such.

I did a little searching and found the Hobonichi planners. This is a Japanese company and they offer many different styles. The style that I used is the Hobonichi cousin and I have two notebooks, one for January to June and the second from July to December. I like that this planning system is similar to bullet journaling, but I don’t have to fill out any monthly/weekly/daily options.

So, on to my current planning set up…

Here’s the monthly view:

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Within the month I use colored highlighters (Mildliner) to highlight my posting schedule. I use Blue for A Cuppa Cosy and Orange for my other blog, The Cosy Book Shoppe. Then I use various highlighters to indicate when my husband is off of work or will be gone, or if we are planning an adventure. I like the highlighter look as it gives it a bit of a “cleaner” look to my monthly layout. As someone who wants to quickly look at a month and see what is going on on a specific day within seconds, the highlighters have been a lifesaver. Within the highlighted line I will write in black pen (Pentel EnerGel Needle Tip – .3) what specifically the post, or the trip, or the notation is. Below that I’ll write any appts, important dates, or things to note. I use the sidebar to track my reading through the month, and the bottom sections to track travel and spending.

This planner does come with a weekly outlook, which I like to use for meal planning and as a good breakdown for our week. I mark out my days and times and track my walking and daily reading. This gives me a good chance to look at my week, see where my time is going, and fit in any adventures we want to take during the week. I continue my color coordination in my weekly layout as well using the Pigma Micron Pens.

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Then we get to the day layout. This is a day on one page and has a spot for a time breakdown, a small to do list, and a large area to write on. I do a time breakdown, a water/tea tracker, I extend the to do list a couple more boxes, and use the free space to mind map/brain dump throughout my day. I’ve included a glimpse at some of the past days that give a pretty good look at these spaces. Some days are filled up, others are still pretty empty. I don’t always need to use the daily page and some days I’ll use it as a memory device to remind myself of what we did for a later journal entry or blog post (this is very typical when we travel long weekends).

So, that is my planning set up currently! I’ve been really enjoying the Hobonichi and I think it is what I’ll continue on with for the rest of this year and maybe even next year. Do you use a paper planner? How do you plan?

What If You’re Not A Morning Person

You hear it all the time, the most productive people are morning people. You will succeed in life if you are a morning person. Get up earlier, get more done. If you’re not a morning person, here is how to become a morning person (oh Hi- I’m guilty of doing that one too, here’s my post if you want to read it).

I’ve been guilty of being that person too. I PERSONALLY feel that I get more done, feel more together, and just feel better, when I get up early and have an earlier start to my day. Part of this comes from having two very young children, close together in age, that are always exploring and needing attention. Once they are up, and until they go down for naps, most of my attention is on them. I also work and run two blogs, so this means if I want to workout, do my hair and makeup, etc, I have to be up before them doing that. I have found that FOR ME this are essential to my overall well being.

Here’s the thing though, in all of our hurriedness to get everything done, get to the top of the chain the fastest, and to be viewed as a success, we have forgotten that we are not all the same. We are not the same person, we do not share the same interests, we do not work the same way, we do not all thrive under the same instances.

So, I am here to tell you to forget everything that I have ever said about being a morning person. Actually, if we want to be a Morning Person (because you want to try it, or feel like you would be better getting up earlier), then go back and read that blog post and give it a shot. Don’t feel like you have to though because, honestly being a morning person is not a necessity to being successful. Let me repeat: BEING A MORNING PERSON IS NOT A NECESSITY TO BEING SUCCESSFUL.

 Did you catch that? Maybe go re read it? Got it? Ok. Now, let’s talk about what is a necessity to being successful. TIME MANAGEMENT. If you know how to use your time properly and appropriately to be at your most productive, it doesn’t matter what time you get up or what time you go to bed. Time Management is your best friend. It is what allows you to be productive, to feel like you’ve got your “life together” and what allows you to be successful in what you are doing.

I’ve touched on Time Management before…kind of. I don’t have a full post devoted just to Time Management (but stay tuned, it’s coming!), but I’ve talked about Routines (HERE), Priorities and Prioritizing (HERE), as well as my own planning (HERE). However, that being said, I do have a post coming this next month talking all about Time Management and putting my thoughts from those three separate posts into one easy post for you!

 

Household Chores: Weekly Cleaning

It’s the household chores that not many like or want to do, but yet they have to get done. The chores like vacuuming, laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, every day things that need to be done no matter how much we don’t want to do them. On the whole, I am not a huge fan of cleaning, rather I like the results after I clean. I like having a clean, put together, presentable home and I find that our household generally runs better when it is clean. For us, mess leads to stress. Clutter is something we don’t like and when things are up and put away we are a happier family.

When you are tidying and doing regular every day cleaning, I find that the “bigger” things such as vacuuming or dusting or chores that are more “intensive” than just picking up toys and putting dishes away, tend to be put off. It turns into a “It can wait till tomorrow” or “It’s not that bad right now, we can wait another week”. Then those chores that may not have been at the top of the list, tend to become urgent later on. I have found a way to clean that not only works for myself, but allows me to have a clean house 99% of the time and doesn’t make me feel like I am just doing everything.

I figured this routine out by trial and error and a little bit of self reflection. I realized that if I was assigning myself one “chore” a day, such as dusting it was much easier for me to put it off to another day. For some reason in my mind, having one chore (even if it is for the entire house) is easier to put off, rather than having to do all of the chores for one room. In the end I was either missing chores throughout the week, or having to do do everything for the whole house on one day. Neither option was working. So, I came up with a new approach.

Every day (except Saturday and Sunday) I clean a room from top to bottom. For example, on Monday’s I clean the kitchen. I windex the windows, dust everything, clean and sanitize all of the counter spaces (which is something I do every day irregardless), clean the microwave and oven, sweep the floors(which I also do several times throughout the week in the evening) , and clear out our fridge and pantry. These are all tasks that are easily completed within about an hour and when done every week, keep our kitchen and dining area free of clutter and mess.

This routine ensures that I am not only keeping the house clear of dust and dirt, but also that those chores that I was putting off get done. Approaching it in a room by room situation seems to work better for me and helps me keep a more manageable approach to cleaning. Some days I do combine rooms as it is either simpler or not as much to do in each room. For example, I combine both Boy’s rooms and their bathroom, because they are smaller and require a little less attention than say, our Kitchen or Master Bedroom that has more items. I also do a mop of all of the wood and tile floors every other week, and wash blankets, sheets, etc every other week as well.

This is on top of just my standard everyday things that need to be done, such as picking up toys that have become scattered throughout the day, dishes, and just general tidying of our home. I like to wake up with a clean home, so every evening I try to make sure that everything has been picked up, dishwasher has been started, counter tops and kitchen table is clean and the house just has a generally clean state. I find that this allows my mornings to be so much less stressful (I mean who wants to deal with dishes first thing in the morning?!) and I get a much better start to my day. It may seem like a lot to do, but like I said when you look at the chores for each room, it only takes about an hour each day, with some days being less than that, and it seems much easier to say, today I am going to clean our Living Room and then just do it, rather than today I am going to dust and vacuum the entire house. The same chores get completed in the same timeline (each room is dusted, vacuumed, etc once a week), but taking it room by room seems to me to be less daunting.

I do take Saturday’s “off” of my chore cleaning as we are typically out of the house on those days and just enjoying our family time together and Sunday’s are devoted to the never ending chore called Laundry. Overall though, I really like this routine and while I am cleaning I blast some music – in my headphones because…nap time. Dare I say it- cleaning actually becomes enjoyable!

Let’s Talk About Planning!

I am such a pen and paper kinda girl – I always have been. There is something so calming to me about writing down what I need to do, ticking it off when I’ve done it, and just having notes to reference throughout the day. I find it really helps me stay sane when life can be crazy and it lets me keep my tasks and things that I want to accomplish straight.

I’ve had a planner for a long time, but never really found a planner that truly worked for me. I’ve had to just kind of work around what I’ve been using or have a notebook of some sort in addition to my planner. Those are all options, but I’ve been constantly trying to find or try something new.

This past year I have been really interested in consolidating. I really only want to be using one or two notebooks and my journal rather than spreading everything out through a planner, business notebook, journal, and brainstorming papers. I reached a point early this year that I just felt like nothing was really working for me and it started to bother me. I started doing some research.

I’ve known about bullet journaling for quite a long time, but I’ve never really considered it due to time constraints. I wanted to try it out, but felt a little daunted at the fact that I would be creating a planner, calendar and everything by myself from scratch. I didn’t realize that in reality that was the best thing for me.

Over the next few posts about Bullet Journaling I am going to share several things from what I use to create my Bullet Journal, some of my favorite pages, as well as little tips that I have realized as I have gone a long.

If you are curious to get a good overview of Bullet Journaling you can check out Ryder Carroll’s website HERE and see what it is all about. I will say- don’t get overwhelmed by everything that is listed and explained on the site. You don’t have to have a fancy key system or anything like that, but it will give you a good overview of what Bullet Journaling is.