Planner Review Planners

week in review, planner nerd-talk, and working 80% vs 100%: an analysis

June 30, 2017

First of all, I am in a great mood!  I just feel so refreshed and back in the swing of things.  I finished off a week of call this morning, and I think the post-vacation vibe helped me to have a very relaxed and even pleasant on-call experience.  (That, and the fact that I didn’t get woken up by a work call even once in 7 days!  This is not normal, but I’ll take it!).

I’m finding my rhythm at work and at home again, and am back to working out in my usual fashion.  This week’s workouts so far included:

Monday – 45 minutes, 3.6 mi on treadmill – ran 2 songs / walked 1 song, doing 4 rounds of this.

Tuesday – Barre3 workout.  30 minutes which left me INCREDIBLY sore until today.  I am clearly out of shape but determined to turn things around.  I also walked about 15 minutes on the treadmill.

Wednesday – 30 minutes, 2.6 mi on treadmill – ran ~12 min, walked 2 x 2, then finished off with 6 min running to make 30 minutes.  NOTE:  I am running at 5-5.5 mph on our treadmill.  IE slow.  This feels like the right kind of workout for me right now.

Thursday – rest

Friday – 45 minutes, 3.7 mi – ran 5 minutes / walked 2 minutes and repeated 6.5 times up to 45 min.

Weekend plans – another barre workout + a walk/run on Sunday.

While I am slower and covering less ground, I feel normal.  Perhaps slightly better than normal (HI HORMONES).  Hopefully I will be able to continue throughout the next 5 or so months, though I do remember having to cut out most of the running (too uncomfortable/too tired) towards the end with C, so . . .we’ll see.

Other news:

1) Planner-nerd-talk.  I start volume II of my Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec tomorrow.  This may not be exciting to anyone else, but I am greatly looking forward to a) a fresh start and b) having July-Dec calendars at my fingertips – it was so annoying not having these with me before!  I will definitely not be buying the Avec again for this reason, and I actually think I’m going to go with something other than Hobonichi next year.  Don’t get me wrong — I love that planner, but I just feel ready for a switch.

Clearly I have plenty of time to mull this over, but I am considering a) a return to Erin Condren; b) a move to the Day Designer; or c) getting custom with Golden Coil (customizable + pretty; launching their Kickstarter this July).

2) Update on my 80% work shift.  I officially began the shift to working 80% time in April, but honestly April-May were a blur of nausea and misery so it really wasn’t all that exciting.  I guess I did get a little bit of extra rest.  June we had 2 weeks+ of vacation, so hard to assess there, too.  However, I’m off today and am starting to really appreciate what this wiggle-room means.

* I can schedule appointments without an incredible amount of stress!  Important, since I have OB appts every few weeks now (plus ultrasounds, etc) and the baby will need frequent visits too.  I am setting up a pulmonary appt for Cameron’s asthma, and this would have been so hard before.

* The ‘day off’ gives me flexibility.  I can move things around much more easily (i.e., put patients in my “off day” if I all the sudden need to be off on a different day), and have split it into two half-days a few times for various reasons which worked nicely.  Going from completely inflexible to somewhat flexible makes a huge difference.  It is much less stressful this way.

* Getting to sleep in one more day per week is amazing.  Today I got up at 6:30 (which yes, is sleeping in for me on a weekday) and feel very rested.

* Having several hours of free time (even on a day with no child care, like today) feels so nice.  Today I got a mani-pedi, had a leisurely morning workout, and I still have nearly 2 hrs just for me to go.  Again, it may not seem like much, but the difference between 0 hours/week and 6+ is huge.  On days where I do have childcare, I plan to take the kids on some one-on-one outings in the afternoons, something that would have been hard without this time.

* My paycheck is lower.  Um, obviously.  We knew that.  However, this pay cut coincides with only having one child in (private) preschool next year (and forever, because by the time #3 starts, C will be ready for K!) so that accounts for a decent chunk of the difference.  I’ve also been a bit more conscious about other expenses, like choosing more inexpensive swim lessons and going with an in-network OB (even though I loved my old one) to make my delivery much more affordable this time around.  We also save a bit because we’ll be using some of our nanny’s daytime hours to cover weekends.  For example, I’m solo today and Monday (not a big deal as the kids are at camp 9 -3!) but she is covering one of our call weekends fully in exchange.  We still use YNAB (You Need A Budget) religiously so we went into this cut with eyes wide open about what our expenses really are, both needs + wants!

* Sometimes it feels harder to fit everything in at work, but . . . not really.  As a physician, going 80% means I am seeing fewer patients.  So, less hours –> lighter demands due to sheer numbers.  That said, I am stressed about how I will fit my existing patients in around maternity leave, especially since it’s also residency interview season!   Some of them are seeing the NP for alternating appointments, but this only works for my diabetes pts.  I wish we had an NP that could see other endo — maybe someday!

All in all, I think the move was a very positive one for me and am grateful that it was feasible.  I honestly don’t even see myself wanting to add the day back until the kids are much MUCH older.  I am currently reading Tiffany Dufu’s Drop the Ball and feeling almost guilty that I made this ‘career sacrifice’, but then again I think I can still do an impactful and important job while working one less day per week, and be happier.

Off to plan the weekend + read a bit until pickup time.


16.5 weeks – non glamour shot taken before Tuesday’s barre3 workout

Annabel slept in one morning until 8:25!!
(Cameron apparently has been napping again at camp so . . . he’s up first)

 Happy 4th of July to my US readers!


  • Reply Lily March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the update on the Avec! Just yesterday I was thinking about whether to go for the Avec next year as my bag gets SO heavy by the time I have my laptop, water bottle, hobonichi and purse in there. And it would be nice to have that ‘new planner, fresh start’ feeling mid-year. But I was worried about the change over and not being able to use the month planners etc and your post confirms that. Looking forward to seeing what you end up with – I’ve been thinking about the passion planner, panda planner etc. But the hobo is so flexible and suits my work style (I can’t imagine what I’d do now without having week-to-a-page AND day-to-a-page) and I just love it. I just have to work on using it better (ie the worlds best planner is useless if you don’t take the time to sit down and breathe and plan!) I started the Hobo (after seeing it on your blog!) when I started grad school and I wouldn’t have survived without it. But September will bring a new location and new job so we’ll see how it suits my new lifestyle.
    So glad to hear the 80% is working out. NO GUILT! Whatever works for you!

  • Reply Jennypenny March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    So good to hear that you are feeling better, Sarah! Sounds like 80% is good for both you and your family, enjoy it without guilt 🙂

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