Freedom is in the structure. I didn’t think so when I was in my twenties but now that I am raising kids, running a business and blazing into my forties, yes, biz and life planning brings peace.
There are a bazillion things going on. School pickups, costume days, appointments, stuff to buy, stuff to make, ballet classes, meal plans, groceries, holiday activities, birthday parties. Then there is the business. Schedules for production, schedules for launching, schedules for social media, appointments and calls.
It is so important that my planning system actually supports me. After all that’s what a system is supposed to do.
So here is how I run my show.
I use google calendar to TIME BLOCK my week. This ensures that I have allocated a space in my week for the tasks that are the most important.
You will notice that I start the day early. This is because it is peaceful, the kids are asleep, it’s the coolest time of day here in the tropics and I finish work early at 3pm.
From 9am to 12 midday is product creation time. Making art is the heart of my business and I require three solid uninterrupted hours everyday to do that. This time is vital hence the reason it is labelled non-negotiable. I schedule any other work, admin, appointments or coffee outside of these hours. These are my peak creative hours and they are sacred!
Weekly Planner by “An Organised Life.”
I need a place to write things down, check calendars, break down bigger plans into smaller tasks, keep an eye on the month and make sure that all things are getting done. Enter the paper planner by An Organised Life. Honestly folks, I have used a lot of planners and this one is right up there with the best.
The Signature Planner by An Organised Life features all of my top requirements:
Elegant clean design.
A variety of monthly and yearly calendar spreads.
A week to two pages spread.
Fountain pen friendly paper.
It lays flat when open.
Lots of extra note taking space.
Each week has an additional double page spread just for notes. I absolutely love this feature!
(Artwork by me is available in small and large sizes – learn more)
Yearly Wall Planner
Now comes the big one. I need to see the year at a glance. The whole thing. The big picture.
So I have two A1 size posters that each cover six months. This wall planner was designed for me by a wonderful friend.
For each quarter of the year I try to schedule these important events:
School holidays and important family dates so there’s no conflicts.
Overarching business theme for the month.
Goals for each month and breakdowns of what needs to be done by when.
Planning and Reflection days.
In the busyness of it all it can be so easy to lose sight of what you are working towards. Why are we doing this? Which part of the plan is this? Keeping the wheels turning can be a pretty big deal so all these different methods of biz and life planning are here to help me check in.
It is important to note that nothing is set in stone. If something is not working then I change it. If something does not feel right then I cancel it. We are real people with peak times and low times. We have good weeks and months where everything comes at us all at once. That is how life is. Allow for periods of rest as well as growth.
I am not a slave to the plan, the plan is here to support me!