psst – the books in the background are mentioned in my latest essay, In Every Step
One creative project at a time
At university I learned that I can focus on one project at a time. If I had two essays due on the same day, I conserved energy by finishing one early before starting the second.
In my work I’m learning the same lesson again. When I try to do a bit of this and a bit of that, I spread myself thin, and spend too much time gearing up to switch tasks. When I have the freedom of focusing on one project at a time, I take it.
Using the ‘Today’s Focus’ Box in Passion Planner
For all the years I’ve been using a Passion Planner, I’d never felt confident about how to fill in that ‘Today’s Focus’ box at the top of each day.
I’ve landed on a system that excites me – and it’s pretty much as titled: Today’s Focus. Not a task, but a project. Let’s look at some examples.
At the weekend, I focus on either Adventure or Home. (Or planning, if I haven’t done this by the weekend). Assigning these ‘focuses’ help me see at a glance which day we’ll be in and which we’ll be out.
During the week, my daily focuses include:
- Recording audio and video
- Everyday Wonderland updates and launch prep
I have days for working on writing projects, days for recording a YouTube video (like the one below!), and days for focusing on the administrative side of Everyday Wonderland, and getting ready for the next launch cycle.
Grouping these thematic tasks together is more effective than working on them a little bit each day.
Plus, if I’m recording a video, I can take advantage of having all the equipment out. If I need to record audio for an Everyday Wonderland postcard, for example, it makes sense to do that at the same time.
Planning Around Snug the Dog
Each morning, Snug knows that I go out to a cafe while she naps. I come home for lunch and we keep each other company in the afternoon.
If I have an appointment outside the house in the afternoon, that’s a good day to fit in a morning recording.
On Everyday Wonderland prep days, I take her out for a big walk up Arthur’s Seat in the morning. Usually, I start my day with writing, but on admin days, I find a brisk walk to be a better venue for my thoughts.
While I’m in the Neighbourhood…
Another way I use the ‘Today’s Focus’ box is to indicate when I’m visiting a certain part of town. If I’m going to Stockbridge to check in at Golden Hare, where I’m the Blogger in Residence, my focus for the day is ‘Stockbridge’.
If anything else needs to get done while I’m out there, I’m reminded to fit it in. As I fit things into my weekly layout, this label reminds me of my whereabouts at a glance.
How to Use the ‘Today’s Focus’ Box in Passion Planner:
In this video, I give a tour of my weekly spread, and walk through my ‘Today’s Focus’ strategy in more detail.
Focus on one project at a time, and use the ‘Today’s Focus’ box in your Passion Planner to allocate your creative energy.
Be mindful of what makes you work better. What slows you down? How can you rearrange when and how you work to optimise your attention to projects?
So many people ask me what my word of the year is.
I answer that my word for life is Simplicity.
My friend had a slightly different question. She asked, ‘What are you creating this year?’. If my word is Simplicity, what I’m creating is space.
Lately I’ve been Obsessed with Maggie Rogers.
On her Instagram, she’s been sharing snippets of her journal. What amazes me is that her words are as spacious as her music – as she says in ‘Alaska’, ‘there’s air in between’.
When I was using the Compact Passion Planner, I became fixated on cramming in as much as I could. I wanted to prove to myself that the Planner wasn’t too small – that it could fit more more more.
In my Passion Planner Pro, I found that the extra space on the page is a visual for how I want my life to feel – like there’s air in between.
I desire space: in my home, my schedule, and throughout my daily life.
Giving myself white space in my planner is the perfect visual representation of that.
Best of all, it fits in my bag.
Passion Planner Pro Review
In this video, I compare Passion Planner’s three sizes, and go into more detail on how I’m using the Passion Planner Pro.
Leave blank spaces to create intentional quiet.
Make your planner a visual representation of what you want to be and how you want to live.
Don’t feel pressured to fill every space. Leave some of it blank to enjoy the air in-between.