Hello out there! Happy 4th of July weekend, which I am spending working, but not complaining because I am working a holiday which means time and a half and 8 hours of PTO.
I wanted to let you all in on a little secret I have started using over the past few days that has totally increased my productivity…the Bullet Journal. The Bullet Journal is a way of planning your life, your tasks, your goals, and your ideas into one small book. Think a planner on steroids. I love making lists of things I need to get done, but never remember where I put them and never bring my “planner” in from my work bag. So I stumbled upon a Pin with the Bullet Journal and did my research.
There are a few ways to format your bullet journal. This is my first one so I just went with it and experimented. I started the front out with “Important Dates” for the year and some of my 6 month goals and 1 month goals:
All of the birthdays are listed on the left page (sorry it’s blurry) and my goals are on the right page for 6 months and 1 year, followed by 5 years on the back page.
The next section starts my months:
I have them all laid out until January, when I figure I’ll either start a new one or continue with this one through the new year.
The next page goes into the daily/weekly view. This is where I detail all of the tasks I need to get done for the week by the day:
I write down things I want to accomplish for the day, events, and even how I am feeling (you can see I write about my back each day). When I complete a task, I fill in the square. When I haven’t done it and move it to a different day I use the greater than (>) symbol meaning I’ve migrated it. When I cancel a task, I put an “X” through the box.
This weekly view has totally changed how I track things that need to be done and plan for the future. Instead of forgetting things and remembering at the last minute, I look at the important dates as well as any future events we have for the month and plan appropriately (birthdays, weddings, grad parties, etc).
After the weekly view I have the monthly “To Do” list as well as my habits:
I list out everything that needs to be done for the month appointment wise, birthday wise, house goal wise and work wise. The next page then has a list of every day and the habits I’m trying to work on (walking Goose every day, not cheating on macros, cleaning/organizing, and reading). I’m making it a point to improve myself mentally and emotionally.
The last column of the habits shows “No social media on phone”. That’s right. For the past week I ditched social media on my phone and am strictly limited to my Ipad and computer. I check Facebook maybe once a day to make sure I’m not missing anything on the Team WAG page or my friend’s groups (like our camping trip and close friends group we have), but pretty much limit it to about 5-10 minutes. I find myself looking at my Instagram app on my iPad for about 5 minutes and then getting bored. It’s all the same old thing.
The back of the Bullet Journal has a bunch of pages for other random ideas: Christmas gifts, house goals, food ideas, books I’ve read, books I want to read, and times I’ve wanted to use social media (more below). The times I wanted to use social media is important because everytime I wanted to use it, I wrote it down instead of reaching for my phone. I’m trying to form new habits here!
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So my Bullet Journal and lack of social media has totally improved my productivity. I don’t miss social media and I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I kept Snapchat and Pinterest because I like sending silly things to my close friends and I LOVE Pinterest.
I’ve gotten so many things done in the past three days on my days off that it’s incredible. I’ve walked Goose everyday. I have read my Kindle everyday. I have visited my parents and their new puppy, actually watched an entire TV show with my husband without distraction, found a Zucchini bread recipe and made some, cleaned out my closet and donated the clothes, and kept up with our normal cleaning schedule. I was freaking amazed at myself.
And normally on my days off I feel rushed like I have 5,000 things to do an not enough time, but the past three days I have felt relaxed and so productive it’s insane. I even managed to fit in a drive downtown to have lunch with one of my best friends and check out the weekly farmer’s market. I am enjoying having those in-person experiences more often without the distractions of notifications and updates and statuses.
So I haven’t completely given up social media, but I’ve taken away a big chunk of it which I personally believe is improving my productivity, my emotions, my relationships, and my mental status. The Bullet Journal also helps me to organize my thoughts, tasks, and goals in a way that is conducive to me. There are many set ups for the Bullet Journal, so don’t think that this is the only way. Check it out and give it a try!