My Friend the Weekly Planner
Creation is not a moment of inspiration but a lifetime of endurance. Kevin Ashton in “How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention and Discovery.
A weekly planner has been part of my daily life for over ten years now. There are countless ways of keeping track of life’s commitments; such as in a wall calendar, computer or phone. I enjoy being able to write on paper and getting an overview of a whole week at a time. Once the year is done I have a record of this time in my life in one little book.
The planner is valuable in helping me juggle painting and marketing, family and friends and leisure time or exercise. Also having a place to write down something you need to do when you think of it is invaluable. Creativity takes so much brain space that I like to clear out as much mental clutter for it as I can.
The planner doesn’t work if you are not in the habit of looking at it. Everyday I’m checking things off or loosely sketching out the next day. It’s totally ok if the day goes in a different direction than planned, it’s like following a script but being ready to improvise at any point. Sometimes I am writing ideas that pop into my head on any random piece of paper but then make sure to transfer it into the planner later. I set aside time for doing things I write in my planner, meaning stuff generally gets done if it’s in there. You do have to figure out what is a realistic amount to do – you can break bigger things down into parts spread over weeks. Bit by bit is how I get painting done!
A specific example of how the planner streamlines my life is that I have different categories written for the week; such as, “office”, “town” or “house stuff”. I work at home so when I do go into town, I have a list ready to go, saving lots of time and energy on town trips. And I guess that is what the weekly timer is for me: making sure I have time to do the things that I think are important for me such as: painting, time with family and of course, mountainbiking.
Other things you can put in your journal are: the weather, what’s growing in the garden, how you are feeling, creative projects, books you are reading or to keep track of health issues. My mom keeps last year’s timer next to the current one so she can see what was happening a year ago at the same time. Sometimes it’s enlightening because it’s incredible all the stuff we forget, or you might notice certain patterns that you weren’t aware of before. A recent purchaser of my 2020 Planner said: “What I’m using it for is my studio time – so I can log my days and how I’m feeling, ideas I’m working on, so I can gauge time of projects etc…”
The process of keeping a weekly timer is comforting and grounding, my tool for managing lots of different things at once and making sure I have space in my life. Looking at this little book feels like “checking in” with a friend and makes me feel more like I am directing things rather than having life happen to me.
You may buy a copy of the 2020 Planner at Blue Heron Books in Comox, at one of my upcoming Christmas shows or by contacting me.