New Workflow, Who Dis?

I’m writing this from a very quiet hotel room. I’m on my last work trip of the year, and after some productive alone time, I’m left with a ton of thoughts scrambled in my brain and the tiniest baby hotel notebook to brainstorm it out.

I mentioned earlier that my biggest goal for 2019 was just to time mange. I used Fringe Hours to help set my 40-hour (plus 10% travel) work week around the girls’ schedule. That meant not splitting my focus when I’m exclusively with them, and using the hours that they are sleeping or with the nanny to do the bulk of my work.

This gave me a solid window of time (9:45am-4pm) where I only have to be at work, and as soon as they wake up from afternoon nap, they are my only priority. When Troy’s time is available as well, then we can split tasks until they go to bed. Any sleeping/cleaning/me-time/us-time is reserved for 8pm-8am. I make it a mandatory that I get out of the house at least once for a longer period of time over the weekend to do whatever it is I may need to do, and Troy has the same opportunity as well.

Twelve months later, we have the girls on a very good schedule and I am able focus and be more time-efficient. While this has been great for my postpartum sanity, I also adopted a “Done is better than perfect” mindset. Next year, I want to switch gears, which brings me to The Passion Planner! (Not an ad, just really excited!)

I’ve been looking for a bullet journal/weekly planner hybrid to plan my days, but also to do some goal setting. My current planner (a standard weekly agenda from Staples) was transformed this year with highlighter for the girls schedules, color-coded pens to differentiate work and home tasks, and lots of stickers because I admittedly am a terrible doodler. I also had small Post-its for my #101in1001 goals, big Post-its for my monthly goals, and Post-it lists for seasonal planning.

All of this I want to synthesize into a workflow, a daily schedule where I can build and plan for both the short-term and long-term. Super nerdy, right?

Which brings me back to this hotel room. While I have an talent for planning and lists, consistency and motivation have always fallen by the wayside. One of my authors is a life coach, and she has really been my inspiration to help build and exercise my executive function. In the last couple days, I’ve done a deep dive into productivity podcasts, blog posts, and Pinterest tips. I’ve also been doing follow up on social media tools and webinars that I want to start incorporating into my work skillset.

I imagine the new workflow might look something like this, jk…


The Passion Planner gives me my basic weekly timetables, but leaves additional space for goals/braindumps/squiggles, anything I need to commit to paper. Some people get creative with their planners, in additional to their Passion Roadmaps.

I’m looking forward to this building process and seeing what new toys I can play with.


Photo: House Mix Blog. I particularly like this checklist. A bit more detailed than Keep, Toss, Donate.

When we moved into our house, it came with some surprises: 20+ cans of old paint, a screen door and a swinging door that now live in our basement, old cabinet doors and windows with removable window panes (???). I still have no idea how central vacuuming works, but we have all the hoses and attachments for those, too.

I finally got a chance to get rid of it all this past week, along with turning off the heat and opening the windows for the first time in forever. Here’s what went down:

  • The window panes were moved and the cabinet doors were tossed. We definitely don’t have a need for an assortment of old cabinet doors. I did keep the panes and two of the larger cabinet doors because they were wood, in good condition and painted white. No idea if they’ll find their way into a project somewhere along the line.
  • We’re in year 2 of resuscitating the back yard. We re-seeded and de-weeded everything, along with cleaning up our side yards overrun with ivy.
  • I cleaned and organized our half basement/garage. We don’t have any built-in shelves, so we brought down a wire rack to keep plant food, weed and yard sprays, and all of the other stray bottles. The tools, mower and trimmer now have a home, along with my furniture refinishing project.
  • A trip to Goodwill and recycling. We have three boxes of stuff in our spare room for Goodwill. I don’t think the recycling center has ever seen so many old paint cans or leftover computer equipment. Our parents are quintessential pack rats, so every time we bring something new into the house, we try to get rid of something as well.
  • Getting this off the counters. When my grandparents remodeled their kitchen last year, they wanted everything to have a place and nothing extraneous would be on the counter tops. We’ve adopted the same mentality.

Minimalism at its best, but we’ve got a long way to go.

Happy Spring Cleaning!