What am I doing right now?
status: this is the only 1 full week of recent days spent at home. i will be travelling for a month starting monday next week.
Assess planning tools
As in, slow your roll. In the flurry of pleasure at letting go of the grind of intense weekly commitments, you (I) threw dozens of irons in the fires. The fires of community, passion, friendship, growth, etc.
What planning tools am I currently using?
For daily personal habit: Naturally Empowered planner. There’s only room for 3 goals per day, plus gratitude plus intention. I don’t use this planner actively during the growing season, but it absolutely helps keep me grounded and positive, and having a positive self image despite the fact that I’m not constantly ‘proving myself’ (to myself) by the frenetic pace of accomplishment I’m keeping.
For interpersonal habit: Google Calendar. Definitely. My life partner co-parent and I share one. Or rather, he looks at mine (I suppose when you put it like that I’m being rather selfish by refusing to download his). I guess the rhythm is that (mostly) I fill it up and we knock ‘em down together.
I also use this for my own daily commitments, especially to keep track of TIMES.
I use alarms constantly. Though maybe I should download something where I can write notes per each alarm, because just yesterday an alarm went off at 3:50 and I had no idea that it was supposed to remind me to call someone at 4. Did I put that call in my calendar? I think I forgot to because it was ‘casual.’ But at least I remembered to place the call within the agreed upon time window.
Big boring office max type planner 8.5x11”. This is my Almighty Book in the heat of the season. Each day has about 3x5” so if I can’t fit it in that space, I’m probably not really going to get it done that day. It also has a monthly view, and an additional 2 pages for each month’s goals. I really like that feature too, and that it’s blocked up so there’s only about 8 distinct goals per month or so. This also helps me set reasonable chunks of things that I can think about. I use that monthly goal page for big picture projects that are moving along, or I’m researching, but which have few specific time commitments.
wall whiteboard monthly calendars. These are on hold for the winter, thankfully. I fill them up as a visual reference point, and as an exercise in shaking down each of my other calendars at monthly intervals, to try to minimize lost commitments.
These calendars should also serve the purpose of inviting my crew members into present and future commitments and events. I think it accomplishes this to a small degree, but it’s role could be heightened in 2019 and beyond.
google docs. I’ve got a to do list created for each week. During the season, this is an active tool and gets printed each week. Nowintimes, it’s just a repository for random thoughts and quotes. I like this duality.
Also though, I’ve got some long-range planning docs in various formats that I drafted during the season. These are valuable docs that often have nuggets of excellent insights. They are gifts from my summer self to my winter self. Reviewing my own drive and sifting through these docs helps give purpose, clarity, and success to my winter reflections & planning.
omg I have such a crush on myself right now. Some months ago I drafted a week by week spreadsheet with commitments, also capturing potential costs, revenues, and gains.
This is a great tool because I recently jumped into a whole bunch of new COMMITMENTS.
State of my commitments:
Family. They cool, I love em. Right now I’m primary parent 2 weekdays/week and it’s fun. Thank goodness the kid loves to nap. Next season instead of back to full-time daycare we seem likely to do a 3 day/week that has me & and a friend trading off kids the other 2 days. I think this’ll be fun, and also I need to work in that I will be working 1 less day per week (!)
Farm. It’s pretty much locked in, just hanging out. Water-related things are taken care of. Best case scenario, I’d spend 3 more hours tidying up, but whatever.
Customers. All accounts are settled for 2018. I’m beginning to receive payments ahead for 2019 work. This is a time to prioritize communication with past & potential customers. I might do some calls this winter, because I enjoy making them, and I enjoy the opportunity to build connections, and it is good for my heart to hear from people who care about the farm, and have spent their time and money supporting it. I also need to elicit honest feedback and opinions to influence 2019 choices.
Crew. Regular employment has ended until the spring, so the ongoing commitment is done. I need to make sure that all paperwork is provided as needed for 2018 taxes. By January I’ll be drafting employment goals/expectations for 2019, and I’ll start reaching out to gather peoples’ interests, intentions, and goals for 2019, and draft and share job descriptions.
I joined the board of the Michigan Flower Grower’s Cooperative! I have been spending quite a lot of active working time on it in the past month. I expect to continue to do so through March. This will be a significant ongoing commitment for 2019 & most of 2010. I need to leave room for it.
I will be spending some time doing farmer mentoring work with a local organization. I’m quite excited, and this will also take a certain amount of time. I must leave room for these commitments (this was my impetus to create that week by week spreadsheet, in fact). I’ll get to know an area organization that I really respect, ACCESS, and meet other Arab American growers. I’m quite excited.
Personal growth & education.
practicing old skills like piano, sewing, reading, puzzles…
reading up on the hemp & marijuana industries
strengthening regional & state ties by opening myself up to attend more agricultural/networking events
quiet reflection, writing, and physical activity
listening to & learning from other people
watching democracy now
They are kids suing the government demanding a climate recovery plan and they’re amazing. Get into them.
Yes, yes, yes. I am in love with my new robot vacuum. It was my reward for cleaning up my closet, which yielded an ancient best buy gift card with quite a lot of $ on it.
It actually feels kind of good when you have time for it. I have an ingrained aversion to it from childhood (a childhood spent avoiding cleaning) that I’m struggling to overcome. Sometimes it seems like my kid prefers clean spaces and we’re pretty good at cleaning up together so I’m trying to keep all that positive so it’s just another cool thing we all do.