Why I started bullet journaling
I have always been a person to write lists, whenever I feel like things are getting too much I sit myself down and I make a checklist, it gives me a great sense of achievement to cross off the tasks as I complete them. I was first introduced to bullet journaling by the lovely Erinn who had just started bullet journaling at the time, it did not take me long to become well and truly hooked on it.
I was already kind of bullet journaling without even realising it; I have a weekly planner at work where I was writing down all the things I needed or wanted to do in that week. Since I have become a mother my short-term memory does not function very well, if at all and I was at a coaching meeting at work when the coach said ‘if you write things down you are more likely to do it, it helps you be more productive’. When I started blogging in March I was very naive and made the big mistake of not planning my blog posts very well, I quickly realised that in order to become more functional I needed to plan things better. that was when my blog book was born.
I now have my blog planning and home planning merged into one book which has proved the most convenient way to do things at this present moment, in the future that may change but for now, it is working fine.
Productivity and easing stress
Life was a lot simpler before having children and getting things done seemed a walk in the park compared to now, this, coupled with working full time as a teacher can test the stress levels of even a saint. I find that at stressful times if I do not plan I get really upset because I forget to do everything that I should do, it is frustrating that I can forget something within a matter of hours.
To avoid myself becoming overly stressed and upset, I plan, plan and then plan to plan some more. I find that planning and being three steps ahead of myself is the only way to keep the anxiety levels down, which makes for a happier and more productive Mrs T. With my work planner I keep it on a week to week basis and do a task list, covering over tasks that I have not done the previous week as I tend to get some ideas that are good but are optional and if I do not keep track of them they will be forgotten quicker than a bad TV program.
My home and blog planner are a mixture of calendars, both normal and editorial, task lists, social media tracking and self-care charts. Since starting an editorial calendar, I have found planning my blog far easier and I am now about a month ahead of myself with posts. I need all the calendars to keep track of my work commitments and home appointments and events, since as we always seem to have one thing or another planned for the weekends. I am good at writing things down, but certain tasks I seem reluctant to get sorted, like booking appointments, but that is my own hesitance at work there.
Embracing my creative side
You might not believe this, but bullet journaling has enabled me to be more creative; I have always been a creative person and it is one of the things that keeps me sane. In the past I have dabbled in card making, scrapbooking and art journaling but have found that space and time have limited me in those creative outlets, that is why I actually discovered makeup as it a creative activity that I can do every day if I want to and leave if I do not.
The process of laying out your bullet journal and taking a plain and simple notebook and decorating it with fancy stickers, washi tape, drawing and handwriting is something that I really enjoy and am learning a lot form it. I always leave a blank page each month so I can doodle and do some sort of zentangling or mandala while I watch TV in the evening (it helps me concentrate on watching the TV program rather than falling asleep). I have also discovered creative lettering which I have been practising; I am nowhere near an expert at it but every month I get a little bit better and that is all that matters, plus it looks pretty.
It is not a myth, it actually does exist and is the number one reason for me not getting things done that I should do (or that is what I tell myself). Parent brain comes from having to multi-task too much and can often lead to disastrous circumstances, like Mr T not getting his evening snacks on the shopping or meaning to text a friend and then forgetting for two weeks.
I seriously feel like without planning I would not be able to function; things are so face paced and so busy that if I do not plan I will end up in a heap on the floor not being able to function. The fact that I am writing down everything that I am having to think of and sort out on a daily basis is making me realise just how much I actually do, everything is so fast paced and it is hard to keep up sometimes, it is currently making me truly understand the term ‘rat race’, I am not getting a minute to breath let alone think about myself. That may come across as I bit of an insignificant problem but I feel that it is one that many parents battle with, having enough time to do everything.
If I am at the point where I am feeling like I am failing, I go through my list and focus on what I have achieved already, it helps me to refocus on the positive rather than the negative. If I feel overwhelmed with things, which I very often do, I make a list of things I need to do, or of the thoughts inside my mind at that time that are negative (I used to have a worry book I could offload all my worrying thoughts into).
This might not sound relaxing, but being the anxious person that I am it does help me vent all my frustrations. I use my blog as a way of offloading my many thoughts and frustrations, which I plan in my bullet journal and as you can probably tell from many of my posts (filtered beyond reality, keeping up with the Jones etc).
Since I have started my blog and started bullet journaling I have found it easier to manage my feelings and cope better with the everyday stresses in life, I am currently writing part of this post after a frustrating day, it is helping bring me down from wanting to give up everything and run away to appearing to function like a reasonably sensible adult.
The act of writing or drawing in a book is helping me relax in the evenings, I am less likely to go on my phone and lose all my time to social media while I am planning or writing, it is also helping my actually watch some TV that ordinary I would not focus on and would miss out on; I have just finished Limitless on Netflix and have now moved onto The Gifted.
Do you keep a journal, bullet or otherwise, do you plan everything or do you just go with the flow? Let me know in the comments what helps you navigate the stresses of life without breaking down into a heap, I could really do with some more ideas to keep myself sane.
Ciao for now beauties xx