Planner Spreads Keeping me Productive During Lockdown

It’s taken me a while to get back to writing blog posts.

I thankfully had a decent amount pre-written and scheduled to post when I finally got sent to work from home almost three weeks ago. I’m incredibly lucky that I get to work from home at this time, I know many don’t have that luxury.

It’s taken me some time to adjust to working from home. It’s mainly had an impact on my evenings. After spending all day at my desk working, I no longer want to spend my evenings at my desk working on blog posts.

There’s also the anti-consumerism talk that’s been circling a lot recently that have left me wondering how to progress with the blog. There’s many that think online shops should not be trading right now. While I understand the sentiment, and top priority has to be keeping people safe, there’s a few things that I think about reading these comments. For some, these online stores are their livelihood and the Government support doesn’t cover their cost of living. For those purchasing, being able to keep up with their hobbies or find new ones might be important for their mental health during this time. There’s probably economic arguments to be made too, but I’ll leave that to the experts.

So, while I’m not going to move away completely from my usual content, I will be mixing in new content focused around the lockdown (without mentioning the ‘C’ word, because everyone needs an escape).

Which brings me on to today’s post – the planning spreads I’ve set up to help keep me healthy and productive during lockdown.

The lockdown to do list

I’m still working Monday to Friday, but with no social plans on evenings and weekends I have more free time. So, to hopefully gain something out of the extra free time (and not spend it watching Netflix) I made a list of lots of things I’ve been wanting to get round to, new things I want to do and new habits I want to create.

I do plan on adding to this list over time. This was written at the start of the lockdown with no idea when it would end. Now it looks like it’s going to last more time, I think I’ll take the opportunity to add more.

I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t achieve all the list, that’s not the intention here. It’s more to try to give me purpose during my free time. I’m taking this whole thing as the perfect time to maybe get round to mastering some things I’ve been dying to for a while (like brush lettering!)

Daily and weekly habits

I’ve tried and failed with habit tracking in the past. However, I figure if I can’t do it now I never will. When I found out I was going to be working from home for who knows how long, I knew I needed to be quite disciplined. It would be far too easy to not get dressed, not look after my skin and do no more walking beyond around my flat. So I made a list of everything I knew I needed to make sure I kept doing during lockdown.

I also added in my usual weekly to do’s for completeness. The only thing missing is ‘clean make up brushes’ as at this point I haven’t worn make up in three weeks so my brushes are lovely are clean. I’m also in the process of turning these into stickers for the weekly view in my Cousin. I’m more likely to keep a habit tracker up to date if it’s on my weekly spread.

Ideal day

Finally, I created an ideal day spread. Apparently routine is excellent to get in place, if you’re having to stay at home all day. With that in mind, I created my ideal weekday.

Rather than just writing out what I’m going to do at each point, I filled out the spread a little. For most entries, I elaborated on the plans. Ideas for lunchtime food, places I can walk, and different exercises I can do.

I’ve been following this now for about two weeks, and it’s working really well. Lunchtime walks aren’t happening every day as sometimes work meetings clash. I’m also struggling to get some consistent shop/hobby time each night. As I mentioned above, it’s so much easier to crash on the couch as it’s a different place from where I’ve spent most of my day. This is something I’m hoping to improve in the coming weeks.

If you’re struggling to adapt to being at home all the time, hopefully some of the above will help.

Don’t get hung up though in thinking that you have to be productive during this time. Top priority has to be your health and well-being. I knew I needed a routine and to have some things to focus on during all this. For others, it might be different.

I’d love to know how you guys are using your planners during this time. Please let me know in the comments below!