How I Work The Plan

I’ve composed plenty of “How I” posts here, but I’ve never really talked about things from an overarching perspective. Yes, I’ve discussed the various ways I have – and do – plan, as well as the ways I don’t plan. But I’ve never really gotten into how I work my plan in terms of my day-to-day activities.

So here goes…

I’ve been using Sleep Cycle to help me with my early rising (I’ll offer a further update on my sleeping habits tomorrow). Once I wake up and go through my morning routine (wash face, breakfast, etc.), I sit down with a cup of Aeropress coffee and my iPad and open Reeder. There I will go through my RSS feeds and see if anything sparks an idea for writing. I’ll often Instapaper an article or two (or more) and then once I’m done going through the Reeder queue I will jump into Asana to see what I have set up that has to get done that day.

After making note of what needs to get done (and doing the easy-to-do stuff such as sharing Lifehack articles via social media), I will open up Sparrow and hit my email inbox. I’ll take the time to process that as best I can and then begin my writing for the day.

As I accomplish writing feats, I’ll mark them as completed in Asana. I often shift gears between writing for different sites and do other tasks to break it up a bit. The book takes up the biggest chunk of my writing time right now, so it tends to get the largest “time chunk” available.

Once the day draws to a close, I’ll revisit Asana and review what has been done, what hasn’t and make any changes that need to be made before signing off and going to bed. I’ll also fit in some more reading and some social media activity throughout the day, as well as give email another pass at least once more during the day (but no more than twice).

I don’t work this plan on Friday or Saturday because I don’t work at all on Saturdays…and work a very limited amount on Fridays.

Now let’s talk about the things I haven’t been working into my plan lately…


I really need to get back into this. I’ve not been running or doing any kind of prolonged fitness activity other than a walk every once in a while. I think it’s time to get back on that wagon – and it’ll be initially done using a trainer I’m familiar with in Steve Kamb from NerdFitness. I have the resources, I just need the will.

Enough Family Time

I’d like to say I can blame this all on the book, but I can’t. I’ve been selfish with my time on occasion and have to be more family-oriented when the day is done rather than escape the household at the end of the day. This is one of the dangers of working from home; you sometimes want to get out of the office at the end of the day and your home is the office. It’s a trap easily fallen into. I’m working my way out of it and trying to avoid it, especially with a hectic June approaching.


I should be doing more of this – and planning more of this as well. I’m a good cook but don’t devote enough time to it. It’s time that I give this more attention so that my whole family can benefit.

Household Maintenance

Stuff like repairing the clothesline and finishing up the painting of the living room are areas I certainly need to add to the working of the plan. I generally don’t enjoy doing these things, but they do need to be done. And doing them would give me a breather between writing bursts. So instead of surfing Netflix or the Internet, time could be better spent on these types of things…like it or not.

As you can see, planning the work is a hell of a lot different than working the plan. And while the planning process can be fairly systematic, the working process can be less so. I’ve had to have some give and take over the first part of this year when it comes to the aspect of working the plan, and luckily I’ve had the support at home to do so.

As May wraps up and we head into June, the planning will be changing. And so will how I work the plan. There will be less take and more give. Because I’ve got a system in place – a system for planning – it will be much less challenging to offer that.

But it won’t be easy. It never really is.

Photo credit: abby (CC BY-NC 2.0)