It was a few months of sheer disorganization, staying up playing Minecraft and Stardew Valley until 4.00am, and waking up groggy and disoriented in the middle of the day (only begin an afternoon binge of Outlander or The Office on Netflix) before my ever-observant best friend told me that I needed to get my act together…and quickly. She had integrated bullet journalling into her life to keep track of her progress in both school and lab research, and it had seem to be working well enough for her. In fact, she suggested I try it out for myself. In a combination of inspiration from her journal and the Reddit thread for bullet journalling, I began to piece together a bullet journal of my own — or “bujo”, as they’re also known — in hopes of regaining some semblance of a routine in my life.
All you need is a blank notebook, some colourful pens, and a ruler. Washi tape, coloured paperclips, markers, pencil crayons, glitter — any crafty addition that you can think of — only serves to make your bullet journal that much more fun!
I divide my journal into a month-by-month schedule and to-do list. I begin with a bookshelf for tracking all the books that I’ve read for the month, a page with a daily breakdown of things that I am grateful for, a mood tracker (for calmness, creativity, happiness, and self-love) on a 1 to 10 scale, and my daily checklist. This includes things I want to make sure that I do every day, including:
- Remembering to actually use my bujo
- Complete my gratitude page
- Taking my medication
- Not spending any money
- No fast food
- Asleep by midnight
- Awake by 9.00am
- Post on Wanderous Affair Instagram account (a focus on this has skyrocketed my follower count and interaction!)
- Read for at least 15 minutes
- Write for at least 30 minutes
- No dairy
- Work on SUP (the charity that I work for)
I then have a weekly breakdown, like the one pictured in the image at the top of this post, of things I need to do throughout the month. Seeing what I need to complete (and what I should be doing) has helped me narrow my focus toward having a meaningful, productive day; the satisfaction of getting stuff done definitely feels infinitely better than wasting my life away in front of my laptop screen.
The bujo life has slowly been helping me get my life back together. After finally graduating and only having the occasional photography/videography or writing freelance job to complete in the city while I gain traction with my business (in between travel and working on that), I quickly slipped into a bit of a rut. Thankfully, I’ve been able to pull up my socks and designate the vast majority of my days now to being productive, getting lots of work done, and using up that creative energy I have so much of! And in these months that I have been bullet journalling, my productivity and business have taken off. I feel like my life has done a 180°.
Plus, if I get up on time and stay focused during the day, I have plenty of time to rewatch Outlander over and over again.
Me too, Jamie. Me, too.
How do you keep yourself focused during the day? A bullet journal? A planner? Just sheer self-control? Let me know in the comments — I’m curious to know!