My life has become a little hectic as of late. Between the move, my partner being called back to work 300 miles away, and the little bumps in life like the pet guinea pig chipping a tooth; things start to fall by the way side. Unfortunately, the thing that got pushed back was my hobbies which includes this blog. The weeks were I can update it on time and make sure I have time to write are great ones. Although its brand new I did feel like I was letting myself down when I didn’t write. Those feelings start to wear you down, it’s not the big things that may have a chance of not working out. It’s the little things that you set out to do with the thought “I will accomplish this today”. I’ve talked about starting something and picking something back up after a hiatus, but what about the time in between?
I handle these little let downs by journaling; full disclosure I started recently and have missed a few days as well. I always liked the concept of journaling; I would search for the perfect notebook and be eager to fill its pages with the goings on of my life. I’m a history nerd and one thing you find out is you never get the account from the layman. The person who is just trying to get by and be as happy as possible with what is happening around them. I wanted to be that guy, the one who journaled so extensively that 200 years after I’m dead and gone some student would be able to find my journal preserved in a library and base an entire paper off of it. That was my thought when I was in 8th grade.
It turns out I suck at it. I can never commit the time I feel it deserves and I am never content with my writing. So I usually get about a month into a new notebook and miss a weekend, which turns to a week and then a month. Which is when I give up and pick the hobby back up at the beginning of the year (a horrible cycle). You might be thinking ” Wait, didn’t you say you conquer the small missed tasks with journaling?” or you could be thinking “Get to the point and off the soapbox”. Either way here it is.
I bullet journal and have been for 4 months now, a new record! I miss days here and there but for the most part I stick with it. When I wake up in the morning I fill in what tasks I need to get done for the day and check them off as I go. Simple. But here’s how I use it keep track of the little slips. Bullet journaling is basically writing down short blurbs about your day with a different symbol at the beginning of each entry denoting what it is about. A common example its using the exclamation mark to denote an idea, insight, or inspiration.
I also mark the tasks I don’t get done with an arrow pointing to the right from writer’s perspective (stage right for the nerds). This means that I will get to it tomorrow or in a literal sense on the next page. By keeping track of the little slips I realize they have been set aside before my mind thinks “what’s the point now”. It’s basically setting a reminder for myself to get around to it sooner rather than later.
I also use it to keep track of things like self care, something I think everyone struggles with at times. This lets me see the last time I did a small action that made me happy, like writing for the blog. It’s important not to let to much time pass in between these small acts, without them easing our minds the small pains can grow. In the long run it will help you get to know yourself; you’ll see a task written down that starts to match up with your self care actions. Seeing them paired allows you to identify your stressors, which can lead to eliminating them or at least working toward easing them.
So while bullet journaling isn’t for everyone, it’s the way that I deal with small stressors and planning out my day. If your like me and want to journal but don’t have a lot of time or will stress about missing days, go ahead a try it. Maybe I can break down my journaling process for you all, if anyone would like. In the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone who reads this how they deal with the small missed tasks in their life. What are the tips and tricks you all have that I can learn from?