Planner Review Planners

planner update: one month in

August 8, 2012

keeping tabs

there is a lot to keep track of right now.  this is not to say that MY LIFE IS OH SO BUSY AND CRAZY AGHH@#(*@#!  really, it’s actually pretty average, as lives go.  i work normal hours, take care of just one rather chill baby, and attempt to care for myself too.
however, my job is a bit more freelance right now than during my residency days. as in:  it is up to me to structure each day as i see fit, and make the best use of my working hours.  i spend my work time in three places:  my office*, clinic, and the lab.  in addition, there are things in lab which make the days quite different; sometimes i have to go in early to do an experiment, and on others i’m just sitting around writing or reading papers**.  i also have a number of required conferences to attend [and presentations to prepare for myself], plus i’m working at sticking to a better study schedule this year.
in addition to all of this variety, i’m still new at the whole mom thing.  it takes up a lot of my mental energy to remember to do things like buy diapers, and my normal routines have been disrupted to some extent [though i’m gradually building new ones].  therefore, it helps me to dump thoughts like ‘deposit checks’ onto paper when i have them, because otherwise they might sit on my desk for the next few months untouched.  it’s also essential to make sure that josh’s call schedule and mine don’t overlap, for obvious reasons.
finally, over the years i’ve gotten into the habits of planning out my weekly dinner plans and workout aspirations on paper.  and now i’ve added one more ‘tracking’ item:  PUMPING.  yeah, i can tell you exactly how much i pumped [and what annabel drank] on july 17.  maybe it doesn’t really matter, but this list helps me to:
a) spot trends
b) feel better when i start freaking out a near-daily basis about my supply.  
c) enjoy a little burst of accomplishment each day when i get to record the totals [IF it’s above what a. took in, of course.]
SO!  i ask a lot of my paper companion.  thus far, i am happy to say that the little custom bound for anything book has delivered.  here are some shots of how i use this little tool:
monthly pages:  mostly for our call schedules.  nothing terribly exciting.
weekly pages:  anything that alters my schedule [something important in lab that has to start early; required conferences, clinic, etc] goes in the day’s space.  i wasn’t sure there would be enough room in this little book, but as it turns out my time-specific commitments are fairly minimal.
blurred on purpose because no one needs all these details 🙂

homemade column on each weekly page:
to do / workouts / dinner.  i cannot start a new week until these spaces are filled out!

lined pages:  study list.  i’m trying to divide things up by topic this year and be more deliberate about studying, as i realized i’m only a year or so away from my peds endo boards [not to mention. . . practicing on my own.  woah!].  i actually need to add some more check marks – i’m not as behind as it looks!
graph paper:  here’s the infamous pump log.  
if you had any doubts as to whether i am crazy on this particular issue, i am guessing they’re gone.
so as i mentioned,
believe it or not i actually have ANOTHER planner i use in the lab.  i haven’t taken any pictures because it stays on my desk, but it’s a quo vadis minister.  it’s bigger than the little bound book above, and has the days laid out in columns.  i basically use it to plot out how to use my time there.  with time-sensitive assays, pumping, and lots of more nebulous thinking/writing/reading work, it really helps me to have a set agenda for each day. 
my current planner only has 6 months in it, so i’ll need a new one in january.  as of now, i’m not sure what i’ll go with!  i’m enjoying the small size of my current book, but that’s partly because it’s only 6 months!  we’ll just have to see . . . i know, i’m not sure how anyone will be able to stand the suspense.
* don’t be jealous.  it’s shared and has no windows . . . luckily my co-fellow doesn’t mind that i pump in her presence
** and desperately trying to stay awake while doing so.  sigh.

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