Launch lab: reflections on planning

Planning notebook on top!

Planning notebook on top!

It's been two weeks now that I've been planning my day each morning and reviewing my planned tasks each evening. (See my original intent here.) Time to report!

Planning in the morning was relatively easy for me. Some days I was more thoughtful and methodical, while a few days found me dashing off a list while showering, making lunches, and balancing Becca's forgotten choir t-shirt on my head. The upside to the list making, as I imagined it would be, was that I worked further into my day. Rather than mentally checking out at 3 PM and then sludging through the rest of my day, I'd often have to do some real reading or writing in the afternoon in order to check SOMETHING off my list. So, that was good. 

An unexpected side benefit of my list-making is better meal planning. On days I scheduled grocery shopping, I wrote a menu on the back side of my planning page (this way I can keep track of and reuse successful menus). Also, because I conscientiously planned my shopping trips, rather than running out the door at 2:30, I was pretty darn good about getting a week's worth of supplies in one trip. The meal planning alone saved me bunches of time in last minute trips to the store. 

The downside? I wasn't so great at the evening review. If I waited too late, say after 9 pm, I was too tired to really give the list much thought. Also, a few evenings we had kid stuff -- church, orchestra concert, choir performance -- so it was really late by the time I made my way back to ye olde planner. On the other hand, when I attempted a review before dinner it seemed too early -- there were still things to do on my list! Even though I am getting old and forgetful, I found that I really don't need a morning AND evening reminder just yet. I think I might reserve evening planning sessions for particularly busy times -- like before trips or celebrations when there are many small details to consider. 

For now, I'm going to keep making my morning lists and planning my menus on the weekdays. I do better when I corral my thoughts and assignments together in one place. I feel less scattered anyway. Oh, and I should report that the list making helped me to remember Parker's after-school orthodontist appointment. I'm at about 70% on remembering those ortho appointments! Seriously.

What about you guys? Any successes to report with planning?