Pursuing purposeful productivity + peace and presence: 4 days 'til Academic Planners Launch
You were made for far more than productivity, efficiency, or the lure of perfection.
We hold the tension of competing priorities every day. We believe—we hope, at least—that there must be a better way to spend our days than scattered and reactionary. So we turn to a planner, a method, a system to help. That impulse is good. It bears good fruit!
But...the seasons of our lives ebb and flow, often in ways that are impossible to predict (ahem, Pandemic-tide). Our best systems and methods help for a while, but we may be tempted to think they've failed us if they don't continue to work over time without change.
Sustainable and sustaining are possible because they are held with creativity.
But, we're with you in craving deeper connections with friends, family, and our churches. We hunger for more in our relationship with God. We long for days—and lives—of meaning and purpose. We seek to work in a way that is an outpouring our belovedness rather than a seeking to prove or earn our belovedness.
(If you want to hear how Grant and I do this in our marriage and family, we'll be LIVE on Instagram today at 3pm CT and Facebook at 8pm CT.)
PEACE. PRESENCE. PURPOSE.
My daily practices change as I go along based on the needs of my heart, my family, my home, and my work. I have a few "practices" that I return to again and again throughout the day. I fit them in where they make the most sense or the most difference.
I don't do the exact same thing in the exact same way day after day for years. But I go from survival mode to joyful flourishing when I keep a few daily anchors in place.
Our planner is designed to help you identify your daily anchors—simple, sustainable practices to help you grow in peace, presence, and purposeful productivity.
They’re different for everyone.
STRUCTURE + FLEXIBILITY
Maybe you’re a person of extreme consistency and discipline. Maybe you’re a person who grows best loosely along a trellis. You might even be a little of both, depending on your season of life.
No matter what, you're in the right place.
The daily pages in our planner combine structure with flexibility to help you find the mixture of direction, intention, productivity, and efficiency that's right for you. See the steps (and the page itself) below. You can even try the Essentials Workbook for free if you like. Or download the June sample and try the planner for a full month for $4.
Prepare for your daily activities with your current season in mind. Ignore any shoulds and oughts that might arise.
Trust yourself and your loving God that you have what you need.
DATE & HOLY DAY or LITURGICAL SEASON
Each daily page shows the day and date, and notes any specific holidays or holy days. (While many holy days fall on Sundays, some fall on weekdays.) Use the white space between to write in your own celebrations and days of remembrance, like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or milestone moments.
from COMMON PRAYER
This prayer is taken from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, written by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro, a favorite and oft-recommended resource for sharing prayer time with family members, housemates, neighbors, churches, or small groups.
The Daily Office Lectionary is a two-year cycle of texts for personal devotional reading from the Book of Common Prayer. Most days include five readings, a morning and evening Psalm, an Old Testament, an Epistle, and a Gospel reading. The latter three can be read together or broken up and read with the morning and evening Psalms. Occasionally, special Holy Days will supersede the regular readings. The name of these Holy Days will be listed in the date line. Feel free to read more or less, and in whatever order or time works best for your situation.
Though your day may ask more of you, naming your top three priorities gives the day shape. What are the most important projects or tasks to get done today? Write them down and check the boxes when they’re done. Resist the urge to add more upon completion; instead rest, knowing your day was well spent.
Identifying a cue for each priority helps you plan your days with more intentionality. Will you begin working on that priority at a specific time of day? After you receive certain information? Name what will serve as the catalyst for beginning your work on each specific priority.
REST | REWARD
The alternating rhythm of work followed by rest or reward further trains us toward the practice of Sabbath and keeps our work sustainable. A “rest” grounds and revitalizes you. A “reward” gives you something to anticipate upon the completion of a priority.
JOURNAL, TO-DO LIST, or SCHEDULE
Use this lined section for journaling, to note appointments or record how you spent your time, as a to-do list, or for writing out a Scripture passage. It was designed for flexibility.
Use this space to make notes, keep track of habits, doodle, draw, or be reminded of the importance of incorporating “white space” into your life.
IT’S YOUR TURN
How do your practices ebb and flow with the seasons of your life? What simple practices help you grow toward your truest, fullest self? How can they serve as anchors throughout your days? What is your hope when it comes to your daily practice? Or, said another way, what is your hope for your sacred, ordinary days?
P. S. Would you reply and share your daily practice anchors with me? Or pictures of how you use your daily planner to support the kind of days you hope for?