In the height of Lockdown, I struggled without consistency. It’s the lack of routine that was probably responsible for a lot of online complaints about working from home, despite the majority of us getting on with remote working pretty well. Nevertheless, routine is my life. I love it. I like to know what lessons I’m teaching on which day, what exercises I’ve scheduled for the gym and when, and I like to get my haircut every 4-6 weeks.
Routine keeps me sane.
And when I was trying hard to up my productivity during Lockdown, consistency really was key, especially since any sort of schedule that I’d become used to from my second placement had gone out of the window. Uni had set me a lot of great remote work to get through, focused on pedagogy, but I was free to get it done in my own time.
Not only that, but the rest of my routine had gone out the window. My hair was its longest in years, placement had been cancelled and the gym was shut down. I could still meal plan, sure, but otherwise, any kind of consistency had broken down. Creating a solid routine had to be taken into my own hands.
Why not weekly?
The crux of my Bullet Journal is made up of daily insights, but these are informed by my weekly tasks. At the start of every week, I take a look at the long-term goals on my whiteboard, which I reassess every month, and transfer any that need doing that week. Tasks include the likes of mowing the lawn, paying the bills and brainstorming for the blog.
If a task can no longer be put off, it goes into the weekly tasks column. For one example, the other week I knew that I’d be running out of scheduled blog content, so made it my mission to backlog a bunch of content. This way, I wouldn’t have to worry about writing if I was too busy during my working week. By the end of the week, I knew it would have to be done.
Another task that I save for the week’s end is assessing the weekly column itself. If I’ve not ticked off a task, I question why haven’t I done this? and either remove the task or carry it over to the following week.
Once I’d transferred my blog-writing task to the weekly column, it stayed there for around four days or so. I didn’t need to get it done until the end of the week, so I didn’t have to worry about it. Using weekly tasks is a great way to remind yourself of something that needs doing, but without having to think about it everyday.
However, the important thing is that the task is still there. Everyday, I can assess whether it needs doing immediately and, if so, will move it to a daily column. If it’s still on the list, at the end of the day, incomplete, I’ll once again ask, why haven’t I done this? If it really doesn’t need doing anymore, it’s crossed off the list for good. If I do still need to get it done, and simply succumbed to procrastination, I simply transfer it to the next day.
Sticking to a sense of consistency like this, assessing my goals each day, week and month, did wonders for establishing routines in a time of chaos in the UK. As a result, I clocked off at 5pm every day – at the latest – and switched off, which I think is so important for teachers especially.
Establishing and maintaining routine also prevented me from feeling to overwhelmed. Did the grass need cutting? Sure, but it was raining when I thought about doing it, so I stuck a pin in that and moved on until it was dry outside.
How do you use your Bullet Journal? Are you going to follow my methods?