Hello Planning Mashers!
Looking for a way to become more productive with your Bullet Journal? I’m here with 7 simple ways you can achieve it.
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Bullet Journal is such a powerful and all-inclusive tool, that’s it’s easy to get lost and absolutely forget that you’re using it for productivity. Unless of course, it’s not your goal, which is totally fine – your BuJo, your rules.
BUT…. in case you DO want to be productive with your Bullet Journal, let me list here are a few simple tips you can follow. They’ll help you get back on track and increase your productivity as you wouldn’t believe it, especially if you suddenly find yourself struggling with productivity while in college or working from home.
1. Brain Dump
You might have noticed I’ve been talking a lot about this tool! This is literally the best way to stop your feelings of overwhelm, which is often the biggest reason why you’re not productive. Or maybe it’s just me? Let me know in the comments.
What I’m saying is, sometimes I just feel like I have so much to do, I start rushing and feeling stressed and I make mistakes and it all ends with lots of crying and binging on junk food (On an unrelated note, GUYS you wouldn’t BELIEVE how amazing donuts are here in La Paz!).
Hopefully, you get the picture when I say it’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m not productive.
To fight that, I use a brain dump (and donuts, but that’s the coward’s way!). Start from an empty page and write down ALL the things you have to do, no matter how small.
Once you’re done, you’ll feel the stress going down. I promise! Suddenly, most of your tasks won’t be an unbeatable overwhelming dragon anymore, they are just a to-do list!
The next step is to deal with it – Start by asking yourself if you have 15 minutes to spare RIGHT AWAY and get the easy ones out of the way immediately. The rest? make sure to schedule them and write down in your BuJo accordingly.
Done! Now you can breathe easily since you know you already have assigned time to do all these things. Time to get productive!
2. Cut Down On Habit Trackers
When it comes to habit trackers, the less is actually more! I know how exciting it is at the beginning when you get a million ideas on what to track and you just can’t wait to try them all and change your life.
Truth is, when you track so many things, your habit tracker can easily become a chore, or maybe something you don’t even look back at.
Been there done that! This really isn’t a good thing for your productivity and most likely you’ll just go back to your old ways even forgetting you ever wanted to track something (khe khe daily yoga I’m talking to you!).
Nowadays I only track 5 things (more or less). This allows me to actually make a difference because it’s much easier to monitor it.
Another great option is the weekly small trackers. The easier you make it or yourself to use a tracker, the more likely you’re to follow through, so having it in your weekly is super beneficial. Every day when you open your weekly, the tracker is there, reminding you to build a better life.
Some of you might be asking now “But Masha! why don’t you use a weekly tracker then?” First, Thanks for noticing! You’re such an observant Masher!
Second, because I’m OBSESSED with seeing the progress over time month by month, so I’m not tracking things on a weekly basis at the moment. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for you though!
Hopefully, soon I’ll be back to those and I’m fully intent on switching to weekly trackers then!
3. Plan The Night Before
One of the best things you can do for your productivity is to have a day planned the night before.
Don’t worry, I’m not taking away your morning time with coffee and bujo, you can still look through your tasks and refresh your memory with the heavenly smell of your hot beverage.
However, there is nothing more powerful than already waking up with a plan.
You’ll find that already having a plan at the beginning of the day and knowing what to do in the morning, will not only help you to be more productive and finish your tasks faster, it will also help you to wake up faster.
With a daily plan already in mind, you create a very powerful reason to get off your bed instead of hitting the snooze button.
Speaking about starting the day ….
4. Eat The Frog
Let me explain…
Eating the frog means completing your most important (or difficult, or boring) task, however scary on unpleasant it is. Getting it out of the way as your first thing in the morning will allow you to feel accomplished and get a boost for the rest of your day.
Imagine, the morning just started and you’re already done with that super annoying yet clearly important thing you had planned for the day. How awesome is this?
So eat your frog task as early as possible, before life gets to you. Things will start happening and piling up and it’s veeeeeeery easy to get derailed (reminds of that time I planned to shoot a video and instead had to unfreeze and clean the fridge that for some reason started leaking). But as long as you already did what you had to do, it won’t matter.
One last thing: when you plan your day, make sure to highlight what’s that one most important task. You can just add a star to it or maybe use a highlighter. Personally I have a specially assigned priority box in my dailies.
5. Try Time Blocking and Batching
Time blocking and batching are two techniques that I found extremely useful, especially if used together.
Time blocking means you assign chunks of time in your schedule to certain tasks. This can be difficult because honestly, people are sooo bad at estimating the time it takes to complete tasks! However, for just more or less frames work as well.
This helps to keep you concentrated and focused on that one thing vs your braining running from one thing to another.
Then we have Batching which is the technique of putting together similar tasks. Let’s say for example I need to shoot a video, and I take some pictures for my Instagram. I could do the video in the morning and leave the Instagram pictures for later during the day.
However, it’s counterproductive, because I will need to arrange my table and lights setup all over again. Batching means that I put these tasks together and complete them one after another.
There you go – time and energy saved!
By combining these, you can really get the most out of your day. A great tool here would be color-coding. Use the same color for similar tasks, and then just color the time in your schedule you blocked out for all these.
Or, you can do what I did and just assign each day certain tasks. For example, Sunday is my filming day, Monday is for editing, Thursday is for writing and so on.
6. Don’t Overload Your To-Do List
I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit that I try to add as many tasks to my day as possible. Being productive means having things done.
You go Masha and your million things to do every day!
Nope, it doesn’t work that way.
Having an endless to-do list means your important things might get lost. Also, you’re basically inviting that horrendous feeling of dread and overwhelm to magically appear.
What you should do, is to pick just a few (I usually do around 3) big tasks to tackle each day. I’m not talking about little daily chores like doing the dishes, I mean big things like setup your BuJo for the upcoming month (Yup, it’s a very big thing for me!) or shoot a new video.
Clean your task list and you’ll see that you’re becoming more productive!
7. Create Routines
Decision fatigue is a thing and the more decisions you have to make the less energy you’ll have to be productive.
The solution to this is establishing routines. If you do the same thing every day, you don’t really spend any of your mental energy on it, it becomes automatic.
That’s the reason why you can see so many spreads with a morning routine, evening routine or even just my ideas day pages. This helps you to see what routines you can place in your day to make it easier on yourself.
Ok so there you go. These are the little tricks I use in my Bullet Journal to make sure I get the most out of my day. Even though I don’t use all of them all the time myself, I try to incorporate at least some.
You can do the same! Try out some of these, play around and see what works best for you.
What tricks do you use in your Bullet Journal to be more productive? Let us know in the comments below and remember: keep Bullet Journaling and don’t be a blob!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be a Blob!