I’ve been working towards being more organised and solutions focused for some time now and Permaculture Design has been central within this. Making effective and self-caring use of my time has been a key goal over the last few years and I’ve come across some amazing tools and resources that have really been applicable to my life and the way I wanted to plan, organise and document things. This commitment to being more mindful about my use of time and how best to organise it has had really positive influences on my physical and emotional health and I would very much like this continue. My current way of organizing and recording impotent aspects of my life has meant that I achieve far more of my goals and aims.
It has however, meant that I’ve had various books/diaries etc. in paper/online formats and the volume of them has resulted in me not always utilising them in the way I’d hoped because of keeping track of the different resources, time available and the physical bulk of various paper tools etc. For sometime I’ve been having a think about how I could find solutions within this as we approach 2015 and have had ideas about what I would like such a tool to include, but hadn’t had a go at creating what this might look like. Then last week I saw a link shared several times on Facebook to a website for ‘Passion Planner’, a really interesting looking creation by a young woman in the US which captured the essence of what I wanted my Planner to look like, but without some of the topics more personal to me.
In summary I would like my Life Planner to have the following functions:
* To document my work and personal goals and aims for the week/month
* To effectively plan my work and personal activities each week
* To reflect and evaluate how my week has gone, have goals been achieved
* To plan for and journal about spiritual elements of my life, Earth cycle celebrations etc.
* To help identify patterns and links relating to when activities and goals aren’t achieved, and provide a plan forward
* To have space to express gratitude and thanks
* To give me space for creative expression
Myself is my biggest boundary, not putting the time and commitment in to a much-needed solution. A design for long lasting solution, will need to be one that takes into the need for as least fossil fuel powered resources as possible
The following websites are for the resources I currently use to organise my time, thoughts and reflections.
The overwhelming aim of this design is to create a system that easily encompasses the different functions I identified in my observations above.
My favorite Permaculture Principles from David Holmgren have also been key to the development of this design
Having a more effective system for how I plan and record my day to day activities will hopefully enhance how I Observe and interact with the different zones throughout my life. Being more organized and focused will enable me to Catch and store more of my personal energy. Making better use of my time and time and energy by being more focused will make it much more likely for me to obtain the personal and work ‘yields’ within my daily and seasonal goals. Appling self-regulation and accept feedback will make my design more effective. Ensuring the design helps me to apply constructive self-regulation in my life will be an important function. Creating the Planner so that I can share and discuss the design of it with others will mean that in might be adapted in order for others to use if I can demonstrate that the design has benefited my own life. Writing this design up as a blog post and then possibly for inclusion in my Diploma Portfolio will also help this process. My ideas to make the planner a paper based one rather than an digital one means that I will be able to use recycled paper products, Using and valuing renewable resources, which although use some energy for paper/ink production, use less embodied and daily power than a design that needs constant electricity use via a digital device. Paper can then be used as firelighters and then the ash composted and used for soil fertility, (meaning I will be able to grow food from my thoughts and reflections!..more yields) and of course producing no waste.
Identifying patterns in my current use of time and success of whether I am able to undertake activities relating to my life and work goals, is an important foundation to make the design even more effective by then exploring the detail relating to these patterns. Integrating rather than segregating the different aspects of my life into one tool is as previously mentioned really central to the design so as to improve its efficiency. The creation of a simple paper planner to be used throughout the year and easily tweaked if needed demonstrates the use of Using small and slow solutions and my learning and influence from others' work to create my own planner demonstrates Using and valuing diversity, as does being mindful about the diverse elements in my life One of the key things I aim to include in my design is space to be creative, as this is an important part of my life; Permaculture and ecology theory shows us that ‘edge’ is a fertile and productive place for growth to take place. Using edges for creative ideas and expression feels like a very positive and productive aspect of the design. The essence of the vision of my planner is all about creatively using and responding to change
Permaculture teacher, practitioner and author of "People and Permaculture" and "7 Ways to Think Differently, " Looby Macnamara, has a beautiful blog that further explores the use Permaculture Principles on more People Care focused designs and is well worth a read.
The Planner will be way of daily putting into practice the longer term goals and visioning from the tools I currently use, so will run alongside them instead of them.
Based on the design process do far I have created the following as physical tool of my Life Planner: -
My Life Planer and Reflections Tool can be used (and therefore implemented) straight away…today! Its flexibility and simplicity means that it can become a useful tool for me right now. I may well use certain elements more at first, and patterns in my lifestyle might mean that some elements of the planner are used than others at different times.
The only maintenance needed for my planner is to ensure a regular supply of paper and documenting tools. After a few weeks, when I am certain I am happy with the design and its working for me, I will print off pages for the next few months with the aim of being able to use the planner more effectively.
Evaluate and Tweak
As the planner can just be printed/copied out one week at a time, there is plenty of opportunity to evaluate and change the planner if needed. However I often use the energies of full moon to reflect on aspects of my life and so it make sense to timetable regular structured evaluation time for the Design then.
I'm pretty excited as I finish writing this post, because right now I am going to begin day/week/month number 1 of using my Planner. Really looking forward to seeing if it works for me, and of course to create a beautiful front cover for it!