Using a Planner to Thrive in Survival Mode | Giftie Etcetera: Using a Planner to Thrive in Survival Mode

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Using a Planner to Thrive in Survival Mode

When I was in college, "survival mode" usually happened about a week before final exams. 

Papers were due. I was out of clean laundry. I had to study. Everything needed to be packed up for break.

Now, the holiday season is much more likely to put me in survival mode. So many plays to attend, gifts to buy and wrap, and illnesses mean that some days only consist of getting through them the best way that I can manage.



Planner, coffee cup, computer, Surface Pro 3, laptop



My friend, Marie, offers this advice on survival mode on her blog, Just Plain Marie. Marie talks about actual survival. 

As I read her post, I realized that I am currently in survival mode, due to a few factors that are eating up my time during the Christmas preparation season.

For plannerds, survival is a little different than for homesteaders. I needed to just get through the day.

Here are the steps that I took to Survive the Day.


1. Make coffee.

If there is something you do every morning, like the ritual of brewing a cup of coffee or a hot shower, don't skip your ritual.

Today will be difficult enough. Don't skip the things that calm you.


As you can see in the picture, I sat for five minutes with my planner, my laptop, and my coffee.

Worth it.

2. Plan to eat.

Even though you are crunched for time and even though you aren't hungry, make a plan to eat breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.

Maybe today is crazy and you give yourself permission to order pizza.

That's okay.

But don't wait until later to make a plan. Make one now, even if it's a drive-through or throwing a bag of nuts and some fruit into your tote.

Nothing makes it harder to keep going like being tired AND undernourished.


3. Jot down (or star) the MUST DOs.

Just for today, focus on just the things in your plan that must get done.

Can you delegate them? If so, do so.

TIP: Be creative about delegating. 


If your sister shops on Wednesdays and today is Wednesday, ask if she can pick up your groceries this time and say you'll babysit on Saturday in exchange.

Call a friend and ask if she can host a playdate after school (i.e., babysitting) in exchange for a sleepover next weekend.

If you can't delegate them, mark down a priority order and get started.

In survival mode, you only do the MUST DOs.


If your planner is already set up with MUST DO and SHOULD DO columns, the MUST DOs are easy enough to recognize at a glance.

If you had to go into survival mode today, what is the one MUST DO that has to happen?

Let me know in the comments.


Etcetera.



If you are looking for even more great gift ideas, feel free to check out one of these gift guides:

Gifts of Planners

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5 comments:

Weekend Wife said...

Well, I woke up this morning anticipating a perfectly-planned day only to find out that my husband made an emergency appointment with our insurance guy for this afternoon and that my Outlook email had gone down and now have to spend God-knows-how-long on the phone with Yahoo. Oh, and hub is starting repairs on the building he owns and needs bank transfers done/cash taken out (translation: I have to do them!) by, like.....today!!!

My Top 3 Must Dos:
* bank
* Fix email
* insurance meeting

But, my Top 3 Should Dos:
* Disappear under a blanket
* Channel-surf On Demand
* Double-Stuff golden Oreos for supper

Emily said...

I love your first step. Always coffee first!! I do agree that having some sort of morning routine or ritual can be a helpful start.

I started my morning with coffee and a devotion in front of our Christmas tree. Now off to doing a little work on the computer!

Stopping by from 100 Happy Days. :)

Anna said...

Coffee first! Have to have priorities. :) I find that "survival mode" is easier when you already have routines. Then you can work through your routine, or at least the most important parts without having to think as much.

Debi Mason said...

Good ideas! Especially morning routines, etc.

Kelly Stone said...

Always searching for new help in the organization department. Thanks for your inspirations! - Kelly