Planning Your Life During a Pandemic

Career, Family, Organization, Productivity

Pandemic or not, many interruptions and demands will arise and you have to be able to reset priorities when change happens.

Plans are still good to have because it allows you to remain focused on the most important things and know where to reset a few things around. If you’re not able to revise as interruptions come about then your planning will not be effective. Planning allows you to prevent things from slipping even when big changes happen.

Many interruptions will arise anyway, you have to review and reset plans as changes occur.

The biggest change in my plans as well as for everyone else affected by COVID-19 is staying home during times I did not anticipate to be home. My weekend is starting to look different because ballet is cancelled as well as church meetings. Starting next Monday, my schedule and routine will be different too.

My Pandemic Planning

(1) Daycare. Daycare will remain open. My kids do not have a set routine at home between 8-6pm M-F so my plan is to bring them to daycare where they do have a routine. I won’t bring kids to daycare if they’re sick though.

(2) Kids’ school. So much conflicting information on the news about school closures. I went and reviewed school district website about their plan. Preschool is cancelled but kindergarten and above is not closed, only dismissed. School will move to online distance learning format. I will find out next week about checking out a Chromebook from the school and then decide whether my oldest should be in daycare during the school hour. My main priority is ensuring my kindergartener can get her schoolwork done with minimal interruption.

(3) Work. After figuring the plans with school and daycare, I was able to relax about work. Work updates related to COVID-19 changed by the hour this week. By end of day Thursday, they asked us to work from home at least through end of March. I was really glad I tackled some big items before switching to work from home (thanks to planning ahead!!!). Sometimes it is quicker to have two monitors at the office instead of one little laptop at home to work on spreadsheets. Remember to get the big rocks outta the way first whether the routine is eventful or not.

Most important area of focus is morning routine* during weekdays. I am planning to get up at the normal time and get girls to daycare like I would pre-pandemic. There will be discretionary time because the commute will be much shorter and not need to dress as if I’m going to the office.

Looking forward to temporary evening routine*. I should be able to get the kids earlier back home than I would normally, between 4:30-5pm instead of 5:30-6pm. Hoping I can get them to bed early! Also want to plan at least one weeknight meal early next week.

That’s what I have so far! What plans you got now with everything closing and cancelling?

*Note on morning & evening routines: they are 2 hour crucial time blocks between the hours of 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm Mondays through Fridays. More on that in another post.

Finding The Perfect Planner

Lifestyle, Organization, Productivity

Digital vs Paper?

Digital planning didn’t work for me.

It bugged me too much to bounce from the task app, the notes app, and the calendar app on my phone and tablet. It’s easier for me to turn to a sheet on my planner and see the date, task list, and notes all on one page. Also it is harder to ignore handwritten tasks than it is to ignore notifications on your phone or Outlook. Digital definitely has benefits but paper is here to stay.

Paper Planners

If you go paper based, any planner/organizer that fits your needs will do. It is important to choose one that is

  1. the right size for your needs, and
  2. fits your thinking processes so that you’ll use it

All of us lead different lives, so that’s why there are zillions of planners out there. You may have to try a few before you find the right planner that’s right for you.

Options for Trying Out New Planners

Target is a good option to test planners. They are not expensive and they have a lot of pretty and/or functional ones. The other option is printing out templates of the planner you are thinking of using. You can also try drawing out a template in a bullet journal or notebook.

If you never use planners before, it’s best to start inexpensive to see how your thinking process meshes with the planner layout. You don’t want to spend a ton of money on a planner that does not work well for you and not use.

The Right Planner

The right planner, when you open it has to delight you. It has to inspire you because without that, it’s not going to keep you being productive. It should make your life easier and it should make you happy. If it’s not working out or it’s frustrating you, then it’s okay to try another planner, or go back to digital.

Also as your life changes and as your kids grow, your schedule changes, and therefore your planning changes.

It’s always exciting to start a new planner, so give it a shot, and continue planning.

What planner do you use? If in market for planner what have you seen and liked so far?

Welcome to My Blog-I’m Alina Smith

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Currently live in Salt Lake City, Utah and love it.

Born in the United States. Daughter of Argentine immigrants. I’m a triplet. Happily married to my Asian sensation, mother of two lovely children—they do have amazing hair. The prettiest and sweetest little girls.

As a child, I lived in Culver City, California and lived in Austin, Texas as a teenager. I lived in Brazil for 18 months as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I speak English (native), Spanish and Portuguese.

I originally wrote about weddings, pregnancy, and babies because it was what happened. Then it evolved. I was on Quora for quite a long time discussing about nannies, career as mom, Airbnb hosting, and that there are Latinas who date & marry Asian guys and create cute babies together. It’s still evolving.

I also like to write reviews on Yelp on restaurants and services I use. Huge Yelp fan, everyone should know what to expect in service before paying for it.


This is my personal blog. All commentary are my own and not of the companies I work at past, present, and future.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. I do accept free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.