Mental overload

Tagged as: organization, planner

Sometime last year there was this viral cartoon by French artist Emma about moms and the mental overload that they carry . And the reason it went viral was because it resonated so well with parents across the globe. I remember reading it and nodding my head in agreement at every line. It wasn’t that this was any new info but the cartoon was able to, brilliantly i might add, distill and breakdown the parent brain (more commonly known as mom brain but let’s share the love!) phenomenon. I’ll leave the sharing the load with your partner conversation to another day. But what i wanted to talk about was one of the ways I’m tackling it.

I realized that the reason I always felt overwhelmed as the kids started growing up was the fear that I’m forgetting something. Sometimes I did, but mostly it was just a good dose of anxiety. So when I saw the comic above, I started thinking about ways to tackle this. And I returned to something I’ve tried before, albeit unsuccessfully. Planners!

Webster Pages Color Crush planner in purple

But this time I felt more motivated coz I didn’t have any backup ideas. Also, I’ve been passively following some people on Instagram whose main passion wasn’t planners so I didn’t feel that I had to have a pretty planner. They used it more like a tool which meant no mind-blowingly pretty, neat layouts, almost no stickers. I pulled out my Webster Pages Color Crush planners. I’d got 2, one in white & purple with kit and the other in Yellow.

Webster Pages Color Crush Side view

I got the kit from them. For the uninitiated, the kit includes month and weekly view. I need the monthly view for marking in events, like the doctor appointments, school related stuff. The weekly view on 2 page is great to get an overview of the entire week. Also, it has a section on the top that I use for tasks that need to be done that week, not necessarily on a specific day.

Monthly view Weekly view

Why didn’t this work for me before? And what has changed?
When I tried this before, I got swayed by the form more than function. I didn’t think my layout was pretty like the ones i saw on Pinterest or Instagram. So I moved to using a notebook with the simple bullet journal system. And having a monthly calendar and a weekly view was important for me. But I didn’t have time to make the layouts. There’s also the Running task list that I really wanted. So I found up using the planner less each day and then fell out of love since it wasn’t living up to it’s promise. But of course I missed the forest for the trees. It was me! Not the planner. I just needed to find something that filled the gaps. So 3 weeks ago, I pulled out my Webster Pages planner. The kit was for the year 2015-2016. I found the appropriate month where the date & day aligned and just renamed the month in the header at the top of the page. And I’m glad to say this has worked very well for me. I do jot down appointments in my phone calendar and then move it to the planner when I’ve time. The personal size is 8.5x2x5.5 which makes it easy to carry in my purse. I open it as soon as I reach office and just scan the entire week. I remember reading this somewhere, Plan time to plan. This resonated so well with me. Making this a habit has helped me stay on course with making this a brain dump that I can rely on.

Other supplies that I use:

Is this my ideal planner? No. But this is what works for now. Also, the more I use, the more I figure out what works. In my head, I prefer the A5 size 10.2×9.5×1.9, but that means I can’t keep it in my purse. And I’ve realized that I prefer to carry it around so that I can use it when I have some downtime. I’ll probably try inserts from brands. Looking through Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube is a great resource. I’ve learned to look past the pretty layouts and try to figure out why I like something. That has helped me figure out what my setup should look like. Also knowing my limitations has helped me choose a system that works for me.

Hope this helps!

~Preeti

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