Productivity, it can definitely be a scary word in a world where a sort of over-productivity is promoted. What is considered productive can vary from lifestyle to lifestyle, but either way becoming more productive on a day-to-day basis especially after spending any down time and coming back to work or the responsibilities of day-to-day life can be overwhelming. I’ve come to suggest the beauty that is journaling. Journaling has become a practice that I have introduced to my daily routine. In this blog post I will explain the benefits of journaling for emotional purposes as well as the concept of bullet journaling and the benefits that accompany it. I’ve found that journaling to dump my thoughts or feelings on paper has helped process my emotions easier, understand them more clearly, and actively work on behavioral patterns I would like to change. Bullet journaling has helped me become more organized with my life, I am able to track my finances throughout the month, incorporate new habits into my daily life, and overall be far more productive and organized with my responsibilities and due dates. Who knows, maybe you’ll find that this could work for you in becoming more productive in your everyday life.
I started journaling back in 2017 but it wasn’t until 2021 that I became far more consistent with journaling. Journaling is a tool that can help you manage your anxiety, reduce your stress, and build a better relationship with yourself and your emotions. Journaling to what I like to call brain dump provides a space “for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors”. When you allow your thoughts, worries, stresses, and anxieties to flow through paper, I’ve found that you can make better sense of all the thoughts and things that go through your head, it’s all condensed into a train of thought that leads you to be able to problem solve and see the bigger picture. Being able to understand and work with your emotions and even negative thought patterns can help you actively work on yourself and create a positive change in your life. According to an experiment done in 2001 where college undergraduate students were asked to journal three times a week about their experience beginning college, it was shown that this sort of writing or journaling improved memory and was associated with a higher grade point average after the experiment and in the continuing semester. There’s no right or wrong way to journal. You can freely write or even draw or sketch, the point is that it’s all about you, it’s a space for you to sift through your thoughts and make sense of it all. Overall journaling can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve memory, but most of all it’s a chance to improve yourself and become a more productive you.
Now another form of journaling called bullet journaling or bujo is a bit different. The concept was created by Ryder Carroll and it is a form of personalized organization. I discovered bujo through YouTube a few years back and had attempted to start one and make it as intricate as the ones I saw but it wasn’t working for me until now. I started my bullet journal this year and as someone who is quite busy it has been the best thing that I have ever decided to do. The point of a bullet journal is yes to boost productivity but it’s also similar to the journaling practice as I mentioned before in the sense that it is also a mindfulness activity, you can get creative and draw doodles but also track habits throughout the month such as your expenses (I do both). It’s a personalized agenda focused on making you a better and more productive person. I have a simple layout and incorporate a different theme every month. I make a calendar for the month in the beginning, a habit tracker page, an expense and pay tracker, and then it goes into my weekly spreads where it functions as an agenda. In the agenda portion I make sure to list important tasks I need to have done for the day but I can also plan my week in advance and write down any important events. My favorite part of all this? I get to do it all by hand, all the drawings, boxes, trackers, are done by me, and it is such a wonderful activity to have every week to do, it works as a creative release that also relieves my stress and anxiety. There’s no pressure to be the best artist, your bullet journal can be as simple or as crazy as you want it to be. Here is a helpful guide from Oprah Daily on how to start a bullet journal. Don’t worry about running out of ideas, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are filled with ideas. It can be intimidating to start one but all in all it may be one of the best decisions you can make to become more organized and productive in your everyday life.
Journal the stress free way, get to know yourself, and become a more productive you. Both journaling to brain dump and a bullet journal can help you achieve your goals.