(Alternate title: My entire system, summarized!)
This episode was inspired by Deep Questions Ep #211 (Spotify Link) – How Cal Organizes His Life (his own podcast site is here – couldn’t figure out how to link to the individual ep there, though!). I thought it would be fun / useful to go through essentially everything I do to plan and organize in one episode! Obviously, this format did not allow for a lot detail about any one aspect, but I feel like I got a lot in there!
I would be interested to know if this overview is useful as I may eventually attempt to convert it to video format. (Eventually!)
I recognize it is a LOT . . . but it might be helpful as a place to get started. HERE WE GO!
Notes on the Episode:
Fairly raw this time, taken from the Apple Notes doc I used to draft the episode!
Each day, I plan in the morning. I look at my ‘hard landscape’ schedule, which is in my paper planner and put down my obligations and generally what the day looks like including where my more free/flexible time is.
I choose tasks from my weekly list which lives on the left hand side of my planner spread for the week. I try not to pick too many things and keep in mind how much free time I have.
I sometimes assign times to certain things (ie, my run @ 6 am), other things I do not and let myself fit them in when there are free blocks.
Once I have settled, I really don’t think of other things floating around. This is what GTD David Allen calls Stress Free Productivity.
I go through my weekly review! Some of this Friday (more work-related stuff), some Sunday (more home related stuff). Includes:
- Reviewing the next week’s schedule
- Making sure inboxes are empty
- Plan out next week’s workouts
- Review progress on current week’s goals. MIGRATE what is not done to next week’s goals if I still want to do it.
- Add new goals from MONTHLY list to next week’s list depending on what the time looks like
- Empty my podcast queue
- Fill in the weekly family whiteboard:
Currently, my monthly goals live in the above notebook/binder (this one!). I have used Powersheets in the past and next year, I am considering using a Hobonichi Day Free for this purpose.
I curate monthly goals by:
– Looking at Quintile goals, browse yearly list
– Think about the season, any deadlines
Additional monthly tasks:
- YNAB audit
- think ahead to arranging date nights / any childcare issues
- look at upcoming calendar for travel to see if any gaps – reservations etc
(What’s a Quintile? Check out my post here!).
Quintlie goals currently live in my Maruman binder! I have also used apple notes or todoist in the past.
To curate my quintiles list, I:
- refer to my Yearly goals list
- think about the upcoming season
- think about next year or so of travel – like “plan spring break” might go on a Quintile list
I usually revise my To Be Read list every Quintile!
We also do a quarterly “financial reckoning” using actual quarters rather than quintiles.
I take my time crafting my yearly goals list – really thinking about priorities and what I would like to experience in next calendar year.
Process typically starts in November (Quintile 5 = Reflection + Celebration!). Josh and I have done ‘planning retreats’ together around this time.
In the past I have used Powersheets as a prompt/framework to get started; I also do a lot of my own reflecting.
Finally, I clean up my to-be-read list yearly!
Additional Planning / Organizing Rituals:
In box maintenance:
- work email – every Friday
- clinical – aim for every clinical day; sometimes Friday
- gmail – every Sunday
- physical mail – generally daily but use “sunday basket” for things that need processing time
- podcast queue – dump weekly
- Electronic + Paper Storage Systems – paper filing cabinet, apple notes, etc
- Meal planning – often using PrepDish these days (also a podcast sponsor but I would use it even if not!)
One thing that is interesting is that I do not have any sort of ‘vision’ document or anything beyond 1 yr. I guess I count my ‘sunday maybe’ folder as this and also just feel like my life plans will unfold more organically? Something to ponder!
Gusto: Gusto is offering our listeners three months free at gusto.com/sarah. Get easy payroll, benefits, HR, and a happier team.