What is “Busy”?

Hi! My name is Jenn, and my life exists somewhere between hyper-organized and utter chaos. I don’t mean any sort of happy, balanced medium, but more like a madly swinging pendulum that leaves me exhausted and out-of-sorts. Any of you have the same problem?

I have so many ideas for what my “ideal state” would look like, but rarely have the time (or money) to implement or follow through on them. But slowly, some things are falling into place.

Late summer last year, I got my first Erin Condren planner. I went with a paper planner because Google Calendar just wasn’t working. Any time I really needed to see my schedule, either my phone battery was dead, or it was on an itty bitty square on my screen that said +22 items for the day. It was nearly impossible for me to make plans while away from my computer (meaning my work computer, since my home computer was having issues). Also, with a dead battery most of the time, people would tell me dates, but I’d forget to add them to my calendar by time I got home. And 99% of the time, my phone’s ringer was off, so the “alarm” feature didn’t help me a bit.

Enter my ECLP where I can use brightly colored pens, markers, and stickers! Even though it seems a little silly at times, it makes me happy and I USE THIS THING! I can honestly say that it makes a huge difference, and therefore is worth the time and money that I put into it.

Back to the busyness of my life…

In May, I started grad school again after a 3 year hiatus. This fall, I will be taking 6 credit hours, as well as working full time plus. (The plus is because I’ll also be working as much overtime as I can because grad school is expensive and I have to take at least two classes per semester). And let’s not forget my mitochondrial disease, because at any time, it can wipe everything off my calendar. 😦

Here is the plan:

I use my Erin Condren for my main schedule, including blocking out chunks of time for events, meetings, etc. The vertical layout works perfectly for me, as I tend to think about my days chronologically and prefer to plan in weekly increments. The monthly view in my ECLP is where I keep track of birthdays and bills.

Since I get sick a lot, and since my plans need to be flexible, I don’t do a lot of pre-planning, since I don’t like to have a lot of “Canceled” or “Rescheduled” stickers in my planner. So, I tend to use sticky notes as placeholders for things I plan on attending. Outside of using mini sticky notes for pre-planning bigger events, I was also using larger sticky notes to write down everything that I did in the day, so that I could record the highlights of my day in my EC later. I like being able to look back at the things I have *done* as well as what I’m looking forward to.

But then, I started having the problem of losing my large sticky notes. I’d have to try and remember what I did on a given day, and that was HARD! But I finally have a solution for that! Back in May, I received my first Emily Ley Daily Simplified Planner. It didn’t start until August, so I had to wait to use it. But now, I use this to record all of the messy details of my day instead of using sticky notes!

I made an agreement with myself that I wouldn’t use stickers in my Emily Ley. I wanted this to be strictly functional, and I wanted to be able to put all kinds of personal details like addresses and phone numbers where necessary in it, without worrying about what I was going to post online later. And I’m sticking to that… mostly….

Emily Ley! Watch for my latest blog post today at Cadyly.wordpress.com to see how I'll juggle work, grad school, and illness this semester!

Between my weekly overview (ECLP) and my detailed view (EL), I pretty much will have things nailed down. BUT! I have one more planner! I got an Erin Condren horizontal layout planner that I will be using to track things in my faith life. Church, Scripture reading, prayer, reflection, etc. This also, is mostly going to be a personal planner/journal and won’t get as much IG or blog “face time” as my main ECLP, but don’t think that it won’t be used just as much! 🙂

So, now you know the planning tools that I will use to manage my work schedule, doctor appointments, class and homework schedule, and faith life. I will go more into depth on the actual planning of things in future posts (since this one is fairly long already!). I can’t wait to see what you are using to manage the busyness of your days!

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