So this year I’ve begun ‘Bullet Journaling’ (thanks Sanna, you’re the plug!) If you haven’t already heard of this productivity craze, essentially it’s a personal organization journal that can function as your to-do list, notebook, diary, tracker, sketchbook you name it. In a nutshell it helps one to “track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future”.
Last year I realised that I spent a lot of my time feeling overwhelmed. I had so many things that needed doing all stored up in ‘mental notes to self’. Occasionally, I’d find a scrap piece of paper and write down a to-do list, just so I could offload the whirlwind of task reminders going around in my head. Its funny because typically I’ve always been a good organiser. An event, fundraiser, bake sale, your hen-do – you name it and I’ll be sure to find a way to organise it. I soon realised that I was making headway with the big tasks but the simple things such as remembering to call someone back, sending an email or meeting up with someone would slip my mind.
Like the great Benjamin Franklin said:
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Your mind should not be used to store the menial things in life. Instead, fill it with knowledge, wisdom, good memories and things of importance. If you’re a to-do lister like me, I highly recommend starting a bullet journal. Here’s an example of a section called the ‘Weekly Log’ :
Unfortunately my handwriting is near enough illegible and I definitely can’t draw, so my bullet journal isn’t as pretty as this…. but you get the gist. I can assure you that sitting down for 10 minutes on a Sunday and planning the week ahead will help you keep on top of the big and small tasks in life.
Sherlock Holmes described the brain as an ‘attic’ and you have the choice to stock it with the furniture you please. A fool fills it with anything he comes across, and due to his lack of selectivity, what’s useful is either crowded out or jumbled up with the junk. Don’t be a fool, treat your brain-attic like a grandiose room filled with only the finest of china.
Now some might see the whole Bullet Journaling thing as faffy and extra.However, there’s a real key in the art of journaling and thats the essence of writing things down.
Here’s why its important to write things down:
- It clears your mind for higher level thinking – use your brain to think BIG and not small
- It aides the solidification process – writing things down help with acceptance and remembrance
- It provides you with a record of the past – all great things are recorded by being written down. It allows you to see how far you’ve come and increases confidence in your future ability
- It creates a virtuous cycle – writing things down that can be looked back on will foster a sense of achievement and highlight your progress
- It’s one of the first steps to making things a reality – writing your goals and ambitions down serves as a great reminder and adds to the accountability process
- It allows you to feel in control – a to-do list must be ticked off, ensuring you that things will get done
A cluttered mind is restless and unfocused. It tries to move in many different directions at once and the result is that very little gets done. So take some time out to put pen to paper, write things down and plan. I have definitely seen a positive improvement in my use of time and level of productivity, and I’m sure with these tips you’ll see an improvement in yours.
Remember: “Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory” – Jack London
‘Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind’ – Proverbs 21:5 MSG