I have seen many jokes and memes online recently about the uselessness of a 2020 planner due to the stay at home orders and social distancing that we currently find ourselves in. And while it is true that we are definitely not filling our calendars with social events at the moment, that doesn’t mean that our planners are completely useless. I am still very much using my 2020 planner for many other things besides social events and find that it still keeps me organized and on track for goals.
Below is my routine for my weekly sit down to plan for the week ahead and what I still use my planner for.
Once a week I will have a date with myself to sit down at my desk and plan for the week ahead. I really like to make this routine enjoyable, so I always try to incorporate little pleasantries like making a cup of coffee (or iced coffee), lighting a candle and putting on some relaxing music. I will take a look at the week ahead to see what is going on and what needs to be planned for and scheduled. Although most of us are at home right now and therefore have no social commitments, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing that needs to be planned out for the week.
Budgeting – The first thing I plan for each week is our budget. I first list all of the bills that are set to clear on each day and for how much. I will also do a weekly budget as well as listing the day that I plan to grocery shop as well as the anticipated cost of the groceries. This is a great way to keep control of your budget as well as planning for any expenditures that will be deducted from the checking account for the week. This week for example we had a mechanic come out to our house to do a tune up of one of our vehicles and they also provided the estimate online as to how much it would cost, so I was able to mark the day that the mechanic would came out to do the tune up as well as the cost that would be deducted from our account. Just because we may not be out spending as much as we normally would does not mean that you shouldn’t still create a budget and keep track of it.
Meal Plan – I feel like meal planning is more important now than ever. As we try to limit our exposure to the outside world (like going to the grocery store). I have found that it is very important right now to plan out all of our meals and what ingredients are needed for them. Trying to limit our exposure of going out means that we need to make sure that we get everything we need in one trip. Gone are the days right now where we make errant trips all week long to the store to pick up this one thing or these two or three things. It is of the utmost importance that one trip gets everything needed. Therefore I plan our weekly breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in my planner and at the same time create my grocery list of what I will need to make each meal.
Chores – I have stated before that I am very lucky to have job that I am able to work from home indefinitely right now. So on Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. it is business as usual and I am at my desk working. But I still try to schedule time to take care of larger chores like cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, doing laundry, etc. I still need to fit these in throughout my week despite the fact that I am home because I am still working and am not able to tend to them throughout the week. This makes sure that my home is still tidied and cleaned throughout the week and that nothing gets too neglected or cluttered.
Blog Posts – Blogging for me is a fun hobby that I indulge in when time permits. Being able to plan out what I want to post not only gives me clarity on what I want to share, but also gives me time to plan taking pictures if I need to. Blogging can be a time consuming hobby due to the nature of the work that goes into it, but I have so much fun sharing and creating posts on things that I am interested in. Marking my plans for blogging in my calendar helps to create the time for me to indulge in this hobby without letting other things slip in the process.
Birthdays and Anniversaries – Even though we are social distancing and not visiting or going out, that doesn’t mean that if a birthday or anniversary comes around that you can’t just give the person a call or even mail them a gift to enjoy. I still love celebrations even though we are not doing them traditionally at the moment. Keeping in touch with someone on a special day reminds them that you are thinking of them and hoping they are making the most of their special day, even at home.
I am definitely a Type A planner and I very much enjoy taking time out to plan my weeks so to be as efficient as possible as well as creating time for myself to enjoy hobbies and quiet time. Planning provides a sense of control in an out of control world at the moment and myy planner still gets just as much as use as it did before social distancing and I still plan to make the most out of each and every day as I did before.