A Different Way to Frame Your Day

Shannel Wheeler
5 min readFeb 15, 2023

There are checklists, apps, post-it notes, time-blocking methods, and everything in between. But I’ve still found myself at times getting lost in the sauce of the day and letting important things slip.

The important things aren’t always classified as work, but rather as resting, uninterrupted thinking, and self-care. So instead of defaulting to the normal “busy” and “available” calendar settings, I’ve decided to start breaking my day into categories that actually make sense for my life as a creative. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too.

Using a time-blocking method, use these four primary categories:

Thinking

Have you ever thought to yourself, I need time to think about what I need to think about. This is exactly what the Thinking designation is for. It’s not necessarily outcome-driven (i.e. creating a business plan, brainstorming an idea list for a client project, etc.). It’s really about having time to be still and create space to recognize and sort your thoughts, productively.

This could be taking time to think about what you want your year (or day) to look like, asking yourself why you feel a certain way about “so-and-so”, getting the lingering ideas out of your head onto a piece of paper, listing what you’re grateful for, sorting through various emotions about a person, place or thing — or taking time to categorize your talents. Thinking can be documented in a journal, diary, word document, or in any paper or digital form. But thinking is really for you. Thinking can just be a quiet time of reflection. It’s a time to clear the board and distinguish your own thoughts from the noise of the world.

This is a very important practice to instill and can be done at any point of the day (although you may have less disruption toward the beginning or end of the day). You’d be surprised by what 15–30 minutes of dedicated thinking time can do to help gain clarity, calm, or discernment. The key is to designate time so that it doesn’t turn into [over]thinking.

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Shannel Wheeler

Left-brain creative | Brand/Design Implementation | Design Instruction and Inspiration | Creating with Purpose: https://shannelwheeler.com