The Difference Between Routine Blocking™ and Traditional Planning Methods

Have you ever considered changing the way you plan? Maybe the way you plan isn’t helping as much as it used to or maybe it’s never really worked at all. In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast I’m sharing the difference between Routine Blocking™ and traditional planning methods. Let’s get into it.
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Ashley Brown 0:00 [Intro]
Have you ever considered changing the way you plan? Maybe the way you plan isn't helping as much as it used to, or maybe it's never really worked at all. In this episode of the routine and things podcast I'm sharing the difference between routine blocking and traditional planning methods, let's get into it.

Ashley Brown 0:32
Back in 2018, when I was a stay at home mom struggling to manage my household and my sanity, I decided to use planning to get more organized, I went to the store, I grabbed a really simple planner. When I got home, I opened it up just to stare at the lines on the page for 10 minutes. Then after some time, I decided you know what, let me plan based upon the areas of my life, I was constantly thinking about and managing. Long story short, I stumbled upon a new way of planning that changed the way I organized my days. It's called the routine block planning method, which helps you simplify your planning by organizing daily tasks into four routine categories self care, family, cleaning, and cooking. And lucky for you, I put together a free training that tells you all about it. In this free 15 minute video training, you'll learn how to get organized using the routine block planning method, you'll learn how it works. And why is the solution to living a more organized life to start watching head to training, or just click the link in the show notes.

Ashley Brown 1:37
Hey, Hey, and welcome back for another episode of the routine and things podcast. I'm your host, Ashley Brown. And I'm super excited to be here with you today to chat with you about the difference between the routine block planning method and other planning methods, specifically traditional planning methods. So I thought this would be a really great episode to do. And just to talk to you about this, because you may be wondering, well, what's the difference between how I plan now and the routine block planning method if you've even heard about it, you probably can tell how it's different.

Ashley Brown 2:12
But I do want to share how it is different than traditional planning methods and why it can be helpful for certain people in certain seasons of life more than traditional planning methods. So let's get into it. Now when it comes to routine blocking, also known as the routine block planning method. This is a method of planning a very simple method of planning where you organize weekly tasks into specific routine categories four to be exact, you're going to be organizing weekly tasks into four categories, including self care, family, cleaning, and cooking. And so this is how you are planning the things that you need to do in in your week.

Ashley Brown 2:52
And so when it comes to this planning method, how it is very different than traditional planning methods is if you think about traditional planning methods, what typically happens right when you purchase a planner. Many times, especially when the planner is like super simple, it leaves the planning up to your interpretation. So typically, what you see is that you might purchase a planner, you look at it, and you have to create your own planning system, essentially. And in certain seasons of life, that is fine. No problem. I've done it myself where in certain seasons of life, I can create my own planning system, I'm good I'm able to stick to and I'm able to plan well with it. It works in other seasons, like in seasons of really high stress or where you are juggling a lot of moving parts.

Ashley Brown 3:43
And you really need to be intentional with your time and energy in a way that maybe you haven't before. That's when you need a little bit more structure where you need a little bit more guidance when it comes to how to plan. What do I plan? How to even start with this? Because believe it or not everyone doesn't always know how to plan. I know when I first started planning, I didn't know what to do. I needed some guidance. And even in my season of life that was very challenging. I just talked about this in the previous episode, Episode 141 about my story how I stumbled upon this method of planning routine blocking is as a stay at home mom.

Ashley Brown 4:24
I remember getting a planner and looking at it and being like but where do I start here because it had hardly any structure. And it didn't guide me. I had all of these things swirling around in my head so much on my mind, how do I prioritize it? What's important to think about what do I not think about? It wasn't really any guidance. So I was stuck for some time. And so that is how routine blocking is very different is that routine blocking guides your thinking. It helps you to in the simplest terms, compartmentalize what you're doing in the ways that you're already thinking. So for example, you're already thinking about things you need to do for your family.

Ashley Brown 4:24
So why not plan tasks within that category? You're already thinking about what needs to be cleaned in your home. So why not plan tasks within that category, right, you're already thinking about what maybe needs to be cooked, or maybe when you're going to eat out certain days. So why not plan that way? Is really going with how your brain works, which I really love and is adding a little bit more structure, a little bit more guidance, not too much to the point where you can't make it your own, but just enough to give you a focal point to give you things to focus on so that you don't get as distracted so that you stay on top of the things that truly matter in your day to day.

Ashley Brown 5:38
These are daily priorities that you're going to be planning within self care things going on with your family cleaning and cooking daily priorities that you know you need to manage, so that your life feels good to you. So that is one way of how it is very different than traditional planning method, let's be real here, the worst thing that you can do is to give a woman with a lot on her mind a blank page to fill. Ehat is going to happen there? I'm pretty sure this has happened to you, because it's happened to me before, what happens is we want to fill every line, we want to fill all the space because that's what our mind does.

Ashley Brown 6:14
Because we have so much in our heads that oh, you give me a blank page, I can write out every single line of something that I need to do. So that's not helpful in certain seasons of life when you are stressed and already overwhelmed. Because if you fill in every line, you're going to quickly get overwhelmed, more overwhelmed, and you're gonna feel defeated before you even begin. And even if you do end up doing everything on that list, you are going to feel burned out and depleted at the end. So that's why it's so important for there to be some guidance and how you are setting your boundaries and limits to what you are doing.

Ashley Brown 6:51
And so routine blocking really helps with that. Routine blocking helps you to remain intentional. And it reminds you of the things that matter in your day to day. Because those things that matter in our day to day they are constantly coming up need to be managed well. So that essentially you have a strong foundation, the things that you know, are coming up on a consistent basis, when you feel like you have those things in order when you feel like you're managing those things. Well, the things that come about every now and then that may cause you a little bit of stress aren't as stressful aren't as overwhelming, because you already have a strong foundation laid.

Ashley Brown 7:26
And so that is the beauty of routine blocking and how it is different than traditional planning methods that just give you an outline. And you have to create your own planning system within that outline. And like I said, for some seasons of life, I want to be very clear, it works in other seasons, it doesn't work as well. So you've really have to think about what season of life are you in? Are you needing more guidance? Are you needing more of a way to stay focused so that you can build a solid foundation or is building your own planning system more important for the season of life that you're in right now? Right?

Ashley Brown 8:01
So you have to think about that. Routine blocking does this, it instead of pulling on the little mental capacity that you have, it lessens your mental load by providing you with suggested routines to focus on and that is the beauty of it. Suggested routines for you to focus on so that you don't lose sight of those things that do need to be managed consistently in order for your life to feel organized and feel good for you as you're living it. Also another thing that I want to point out about traditional planning methods, at some point in time planning became all about aesthetics and assessories. Some of them became a lot about the aesthetics about the assessories.

Ashley Brown 8:43
Now, I'm not going to say that I don't love a pretty planner, the routine of things planner is is a pretty little thing. Okay? I'm not saying that I don't love pretty things are nice looking things. But if there's all that we're basing our planning on is how cute the planner is and the accessories that go along with it. That's not enough. If you are wanting to manage life well it has to move beyond that. It has to be is this even an effective way for me to plan? Am I able to follow through on the things that I'm doing in my day to day based upon how I'm creating my plan? Not so much of do I have the right color pen to go with this planner? That's not right. That's not helpful.

Ashley Brown 9:24
That's not helpful for you. It's more important that the planning that you're doing is effective because, Why do it? So when it comes to a routine block planning this method focuses more on simplicity and intentionality. And when you are in seasons of busy and and seasons of overwhelm and high stress: simple is best and also you being intentional will change and save your life. Intentionality is everything in seasons of busy because that's how you get beyond the busy is by being intentional with what you're doing, how much you're doing. And so routine blocking really helps you simplify because it's helping you focus on four categories, so that you're not getting distracted.

Ashley Brown 10:05
And your attention is not going into so many different ways to the point where you forget to even do the daggone laundry. Let's be clear. Also, sometimes we can have planning systems that are very intricate, to the point where we forget the basic things that we need to manage in our day to day. We forget that the laundry needs to be done, or that the microwave hasn't been cleaned in a month, we forget that, oh, shoo, I did need to sign that permission slip. Because sometimes we can be so focused on the intricacy of planning that we lose sight of the basics. And that's what the routine block planning method does is takes you back to the basics.

Ashley Brown 10:43
I'm going to be talking more about this in an upcoming episode, which I'm excited to share with you three major benefits of using the routine block planning method. But that's the thing, it helps you to remain intentional, because it's the focus is not on aesthetics or accessories is on intentionality and simplicity. And when you have these two things that's happening, you're living a life that is simple, you're being intentional with how you're doing things, what you're doing, it opens up so much space and lessens your mental load so much is crazy, like so, so much. So that's the difference. That is a difference between routine block planning and traditional planning methods.

Ashley Brown 11:24
And as I've said before, I want to say this again, and be very clear is not that traditional planning methods don't work. They do they work. But it depends on the season of life that you are in. And it depends on what you need at a specific point in time. If you find that how you are planning currently, you're not able to follow through on the plans that you're creating. If you find that you are very burned out at the end of your week, by doing everything you're putting on your plan. If you find that you are constantly over planning, overdoing it, those are indications that how you're planning may not be helpful for you. And so you really want to get clear on what's most important to you. Do you want a planning system that works?

Ashley Brown 12:09
Or do you want to just stick with what you know, because sometimes that can be the case, too, is that we want to stick to how we've been planning because we've been planning this way over and over and over again. But if you see it's not working, then it's best and the wisest choice that you can make is by trying something different. So I just wanted to throw that out there because it's super important that you recognize that you make the choices in your life and you decide what is best for you. Maybe traditional planning methods don't work for you in this season.

Ashley Brown 12:38
So think on that dwell on that the routine and things planner comes out October 5 of this year. I'm super duper excited about it. This planner is all about helping you to get organized and into routine so that you enjoy the heck out of life. It merges routines and planning so that they work in synergy to help you live your best life to help you live an organized life because you need both routines and planning in order to get organized and stay organized. And so with that being the case, that's why I am so overjoyed to bring this planner to you. It comes out October 5 Make sure that you're on the email list, because you will be able to shop early on October 5 so that you guarantee that you're more likely to get a planner.

Ashley Brown 13:23
And that is all that I wanted to share with you today. Hopefully this gave you some bit of insight about even maybe how you're planning now. And I would love love love to see you using the routine block planning method. Alright, until next time, I hope that you enjoy wherever you are, whatever you're doing, stay happy and I will talk to you soon.

Ashley Brown 13:44 [Outro]
Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today's episode, take a screenshot and share it on social I would love to know you're listening. And for tools to help you start maintain and enjoy your routines. Be sure to head to Here's to staying happy

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