What’s Working: Abby’s Interval Planning Routine

posted in: homemaker 1

In today’s post Abby Wahl, from Simply Convivial Membership, tells us about her interval planning routine and why it’s working so well for her. Interval planning is a key concept in the signature course series Simplified Organization. Learn more about the course at the end of this post.

Planning intervals has helped me set realistic goals, take stock of the season and make progress on projects. My intervals are about 12 weeks long, with special intervals for the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year) and April when we take time off as a family to work on the family ranch for lambing.

Right now I am planning for the summer or harvest season, which runs from about Memorial day to a little after Labor day. The big change for us is the long hours my husband works. He is a farmer and has very long days, often 12 to 14 hours 6 days a week and irrigation on Sundays. I am blessed to have a husband who helps with discipline issues, taking care of things around the house and yard, making sure kids do their chores and spending time working on projects with the kids. But during the summer this is not possible. I do much of the parenting on my own and take responsibility for care and maintenance of the house and yard. I also know that by the end of the season I am worn out by the long days. So I (try) to plan accordingly. Some of my fellow farmer/rancher wives refer to this season as becoming a harvest widow.

Planning intervals isn’t as difficult as it may initially seem. I start where Mystie always suggests: with a brain dump. I look at my calendar and write down any events, birthdays, and appointments. I then add my vocations and list any thoughts about plans or goals. Last year I came up with 7 H’s to help me focus my attention:

  • Home
  • Husband
  • Habits
  • Health
  • Homeschool
  • Happiness
  • Hospitality

I try and put a few ideas for each category, goals, plans and projects. When I am writing it all down, I don’t limit myself or try and process if it’s a good idea or realistic thought; I just write then sort through it at a different time.

So, my process follows this pattern:

  1. Brain dump
  2. Calendar items
  3. Vocations, 7H’s and any goals
  4. Write on white board

I like to split a sheet of paper into three columns and write the months at the top, and start adding events and projects.

Next I go through my brain dump list and start choosing a few items in each category.

I list my categories and limit myself to 3-5 items. I have notes to the right that remind me who, what, when, where and most importantly why.

Looking at this list every day and crossing off completed projects helps me with motivation and finishing my to do lists.  I am a visual person and need to be confronted with my list daily. So I put a whiteboard in my bedroom and each interval I write out my interval iteration.

This interval I also typed up my projects so that I can put them with my weekly dashboard. I need lots of reminders, and I don’t like to put them on my phone. Constant notifications irritate me, so I usually silence my phone.

Getting ideas out of your head and on to paper is essential for planning. Looking at your plans is essential to completing projects. Plans need to be clear, concise and consistently reviewed.

Want to incorporate interval planning into your own routine?

Simplified Organization, a signature part of Simply Convivial Membership, walks you through the process and teaches you how to make it work in your own unique situation.

Beginning July 5, members have the opportunity to begin a 6-month Community Coaching session, working through the 36 lessons of Simplified Organization over the course of 6 months, slowly and steadily applying the principles and practicing them – together.

Now is a great time to join and get extra support in implementing systems and routines like interval planning to help you grow in diligence and delight as a homemaker.

  • Learn from gospel-centered homemaking & homeschooling self-paced courses you can navigate on your own terms. Level up your plans and progress, one step at a time.
  • Find a community of likeminded women, working to find what’s important, and do it – every day.
  • Get support through ongoing conversation, discipleship, and prompts to increase your skill and your motivation as we spur one another on to love and good works.
The direction & accountability homemakers need to make noticeable progress in their home management skills.

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  1. Judy Troxler
    | Reply

    Thanks! This was so helpful. I love the idea of putting it all on a chart. That way you can keep things in balance. It will be a reminder to give the right amount of time to each of the vocations. When areas are neglected this throws all the areas off balance which is detrimental to everyone and impacts even the area that has been weighted more heavily. I love the chart to list them all so that it is visually there. Checking off those things can make it apparent which areas are being left out. Thanks for sharing this!

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