Making lists to get things done

Every Sunday evening I sit down with a glass of wine, my moleskine planner and a favourite pen.  It is a moment of quietness; a moment in which I can visualize the coming week and all the tasks I need to accomplish.  

A few weeks ago my writing and illustrating group had an email discussion on how we plan our projects. It was refreshing and enlightening to hear everyone's perspectives.  So, I thought I'd share my process with you here on my blog, and I'd love to hear your planning ideas in the comments!

This is how I schedule my life: 

On the blank, right-hand page of my Moleskine planner I write down all the things I need to accomplish that week. I divide the list into 5 sections, corresponding to the 5 facets of my career: illustration, writing, blog, etsy and other.  

If there are specific deadlines or events, I'll schedule them into the calendar portion. If the deadline is still upcoming I'll often write something like "2 weeks left" beside the task in my list.   

When I have ongoing projects, I make a note of exactly how much I need to accomplish each week. For example, for my current illustration project I have basic tasks outlined for each week until the deadline at the end of this month. 

This system gives me a structure to know exactly what needs to be done, but also freedom to do it at my own pace as the week unfolds.  

You might have noticed from the photo that I use the pocket moleskine planner, and not the full-sized one. Even though it's half the size, I can still fit all my notes onto the pages, and the smaller size reminds me to keep my to-do lists and expectations simple.  There literally isn't enough space to keep writing tasks ad infinitum. Also, it fits easily into any sized handbag. 

I love broad margins in my daily routine. I crave blank, unscheduled time when I can reflect on my creative journey and the world around me. Idle time is golden because it's when I get my best ideas.

How do you schedule your week? Do you have any tips and tricks for staying sane when tasks and deadlines pile up? What kind of calendar/planner do you use? I'd love to hear from you! 

Are you interested in reading more about the subject of balance and getting things done?  Here are a few amazing blog posts I've read recently.  Take a moment to read them, they might just change the way you look at life.