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5 Things to Plan during Quarantine

Nicole Meeks
Planner Enthusiast | Atlanta, Georgia.

Stay in Alignment, with your own rhythm 

Planning in 2020 has become a funny meme, but for us planner babes it's a bummer that there are less things to plan. Pandemic planning seems futile however, I've been finding success with the 5 things I'm going to share with you today. I refuse to not use my stickers or planners when I have time to use them. 

Below is a list of things that will keep you active in your planner and assist you in aligning with the simple pleasures of life. 

  1. Plan Mini Celebrations - Brighten the mood, plan something fun                                 
  2. House Projects - Make your house, feel like home                                 
  3. Memory Planning - Scrap-booking in your Planner
  4. New Routines - Build Consistency not overwhelm               
  5. Meal Planning - Save Time. Conscious eating.   

If you are looking for ways to start or remain active in your planner try using one of the above methods in your planner this week. Below you'll see, how each method can be added into your routine. These simple tasks can add value to your planner and lifestyle.   

1: Plan Mini Celebrations

 I chose this as step one because, small victories matter & celebrations make victories SWEETER! We are over-comers and should celebrate when we can, just quarantine style.  When planning these mini celebrations think of small gestures that matter to you or your family. Once you know the reward, pick your task & set a deadline. Then grind & win SIS! 

 Exhibit A: If I workout 3 x a week, then I can eat Ben & Jerry's, Non-Dairy Cookie Ice Cream; that weekend. If not, then it's fruit or popcorn as snack; on a Saturday! This small reward looks mighty enticing when written out in my planner, with dates for my workout  & an ice cream sticker next to it on Saturday! It's wonderful to reap the benefits of consistently planning your wins!  Do it girl!   

Remember: Small victories include anything that made you think YES, fist pump or happy dance in your head. Need help coming up with celebration ideas; check out this list from Joi, my multi-passionate homegirl!




Inside my planner...

Actual Footage of my Fitness Planner & how I shamelessly bribe myself into every work out! :) 



2: Plan House Projects

House Projects are always on the “to do” list, but they are never the thing you actually do! Until you are quarantined and have no other excuse, so you get them done! Since March, we have tackled 4 house projects and I planned my way through all of them! Take a Look below at the “plans” for our Dog Room! I use my planner to make sure we stay on task with our ideas, budgeting,  & that we don’t make a zillion trips to the store because with my work schedule and Stay-Home store hours, time is scare.

Prior to shopping, I document how long each task should take, make a budget, take my list and go. My husband and I do most projects together, so I have to be mindful of his time and opinion on all projects. Thinking everything through before jumping right into things allows us time to vet out the best options and agree on the process. 

This temporary set up is making a world of difference for our pups.  I'm so glad we followed through with this project!

Chief and Meeka our American Staffordshire Pups.

 Sketched their room layout in Classic Happy Notes.

The Pups enjoying their space! :)



3: Plan your Memories 

Memory Planning is when your photos meet your planner spread consistently to captivate a memory or tell a story with your planner vs. using it to make plans. 

I am currently using a BIG Happy Planner as my Memory Planner and it holds all of the fun & interesting memories we embark on as a family. This project allows me to get crafty & I’ll even let my daughter lay a sticker or two, when the vibe is right. Memory planning is a way for me to reflect on all the goodness & lessons I've learned. I update this planner bi-monthly and it takes about 4-6 hours; but it's always so worth it! Memory planning is also a huge gratitude booster! Looking at memories always fills me with delight and bigger ideas to be able to plan an even better Memory Spreads!   

Happy Planner in BIG size is a perfect memory planner

You can make it your own

Keep your memories close 



4: Plan New Routines 

New routines are always useful when change occurs.  I am grateful to now be working at home, prior to the shut downs, I was working in a call center. I'm a Wife & Mother to 3 children, who are now all homeschooling. My 2 dogs are also happy to have me home all day. We all had to change our routines.

Although, I am grateful to be working, this change has been tough on my mental health!  This global pandemic didn't care anything about my routines! Ha, it totally took me out of my schedule. No, 2 days have been the same since being home and a set routine is tough to obtain. I knew that I needed a new normal to balance the day out, so I started time tracking. Writing down every thing you do in 30 minute increments is tedious, but, seeing exactly where my time was going was embarrassing but enlightening.  When I started tracking my time initially, I wasn’t building in any time for me to just rest; and I was wearing myself out! I began to tweak everything my schedule and then my children's building in slack time and only planning "must-dos". Now, I realize that I don’t have to be overcompensate, simply because I'm home. I really just want my children to remember how they enjoyed having me home and that I'm a "Cool Mom". 

 I came to terms with the fact that my home will be peaceful but NOT quiet. Routines are magic and you should stick to them however, you should NOT overwhelm your schedule, it defeats the point. 

School & Work Set the Tone

Time Tracking  

Work From Home Life



5: Plan your Meals

Meal Planning has taken on an entire new meaning in my home. Conveniences of eating out have halted so now, I have to start, adulting. Frfr! Planning for the month sounds overwhelming but, girl what’s overwhelming is running out of pesto mid-month! I LOVE pesto! Here's how to make meal planning for the month easy:

 I always have about 5 OG recipes, things that I know the kids love & that are QUICK to make. Then, I find 7 other meals that I want to eat this month. When researching, I take into account diet, holidays, and special occasions. 

Armed with my 12 recipes, I build my monthly food calendar. The children love to see it up in the house , it gives them cafeteria vibes! Once I confirm the calendar I make shopping lists. I keep the ingredients of my 5 OG meals on hand. These are things that instantly get restocked, example:taco stuff!  Having this much food on hand is golden, because my children eat an annoying amount and we're all a little picky. 

Once lists are completed,  I ensure physical AND digital coupons for are accounted for and valid.

This next step is VITAL! 

Before shopping, ensure all Tupperware, Ziploc bags & refrigerator are ready for the meal prepping session.  This way, when you come home, you start prepping immediately. No Procrastinator Gators over here! 

Pro Tip:Take your list INSIDE the store! LOL, fr! I have made many lists and have left them at home, so I wind up shopping from memory which is never a sure thing with me. :)



Plan what Works!

The above 5 things have been keeping my planner relevant, and on my desk, where it belongs! I hope this helps lift you out of your planner funk and gets you back planning where you want to be.

Happy planning Babes! 


Nicole Meeks
Planner Enthusiast | Atlanta, Georgia.

2 comments

  • I absolutely love this! It’s confirmation for me, a planner newbie, that I’m headed in the right direction. Thanks for sharing!

    Cynthia
  • I LOVE this post! These are such creative ideas and it’s good to keep in mind that there are still things to look forward to, even during quarantine.

    Thanks so much for the shout out too. ☺️

    Hugs!

    Joi

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