Bullet journal / GTD hybrid weekly

I’m still plugging away with my bullet journal, but I have recently added a two-page spread to plan my week.

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I’ve taken what I’m learning from the STEP program at learndobecome.com – a fantastic method of teaching David Allen’s Getting Things Done system – and incorporated it into my bullet journaling. See the six little sections across the middle of the page spread? Well, the far left one is my “Brain Dump” for random thoughts and ideas, but the others represent contexts for tasks: To Discuss, To Call, Computer, Home, and Errands.

Listing my tasks this way serves two purposes for me:

  1. I know how to plan for my time at each locale. For example, if I am leaving the house, I can look at the Errands list and see if there are any errands I can take care of while I’m out.
  2. By breaking my weekly To Do list into five little lists, I am much less overwhelmed by what I need to accomplish.  This is huge for me, as “overwhelm” is a major contributor to my procrastination habits. I get so freaked out by the sheer mass of a task that I pretty much flee from it. This helps.

I’ll post later and show you a filled-in version of my weekly spread, so you can see it in action. I’ll also explain the points chart and sleep tracker, too. In the meantime, a quick tidbit from my life:

Q was watching me create this spread yesterday, and he was agitated by the way the colored pens (Zebra Mildliners, which are amazing) made the black ink run if I didn’t give it enough time to dry before coloring right over it. I told him not to worry about it; he was like, “But it is smearing the ink!” Little did he know that I was now embracing imperfection. (Okay, maybe I am just kind of “putting my arm around the shoulder of imperfection.” Having to squeeze in the missing “V” in the Hamilton quote did give me some heart palpitations.)

To do list (Let’s go, me!)

Europe
Photo by Caitlinator

I have really been working to stop procrastinating.  I’m trying to tackle tasks as they come up, instead of being scared to death by the big picture.  I decided I need to have a To Do List here, so I can encourage myself to get things done.  I’m going to start by checking in with my Procrastination List from about a week ago:

  • Clearing off my desk. Done!
  • Filing papers.
  • Doing laundry. Not “done” (is it ever?), but definitely attended to.
  • Getting tax papers in order.  (Of course, I filed an extension!)
  • Getting my Girl Scout financials in.  (They were due June 30th.  I was the Service Unit Manager at the time… basically, the one in charge.)
  • Planning our trip to Europe.
  • Mowing the lawn.  (Luckily, it is pretty much dead right now.)
  • Writing my first book.
  • Going to the gym.
  • Getting my car into the shop.  Done!

Well, it’s a start!  What else needs to be done?  Marcia Ramsland, the author of Simplify Your Time: Stop Running and Start Living!, says you should only have 10 things on your list at a time, and that they should all be things that can be done in 15 minutes or less.  So instead of “Write my first book,” it should say, “Write a paragraph of my book.”  (Ha.  Like I could do that in 15 minutes!)  Only after one task is accomplished are you supposed to add more tasks.

Here is my new and improved 10-item list.  Because this is addressing procrastination, each item on the list has to be something I was avoiding up to this point:

  1. File papers for 15 minutes.
  2. Get tax papers in order.
  3. Mow the lawn.
  4. Plan a general itinerary for Europe (which countries / which weeks).
  5. Gather all bank statements for Girl Scouts bank account.
  6. Do 15 minutes of writing.
  7. Write up an exercise plan for the gym.
  8. Talk to Billy re: ClubSport orientation sessions.
  9. Cancel cable television.
  10. Get a new faucet for the kitchen.

Whew!  That should be enough to get me going for at least a year month week or two.

  • {Procrastination} released: We actually got the Europe map out and sat down to hash out the countries each of us most wants to visit.  I also churned through some reconciliations at work the first day they came in!

Anti-Procrastination Wednesday, two days late

Smile
Photo by Jessica.Tam

FlyLady calls Wednesday “Anti-Procrastination Day:”

Wednesdays: Is your Anti-procrastination Day. Tackle those jobs you have been putting off for a week and get them off of your To Do list. You know the ones that have been ending up on the bottom of your To Do List each day and not getting marked off. At least do one of them. The weight and guilt will be lifted and you will feel better and less stressed.

I’ve spent the last few days trying hard not to procrastinate.  I have finished or at least worked on quite a few things that I had been putting off or avoiding completely.  I didn’t get them all done on Wednesday, but at least they came up off the bottom of the To Do List and actually got done (or started):

  • Finally wrote a review for Charles on Yelp (done!);
  • Finished my co-workers’ benefit statements for August (done!);
  • Called and made a well child Dr. appointment for Q (step 1);
  • Called and made an appointment to take my car in to the shop (step 1);
  • Got David signed up for the gym (done! after intending to do it all summer);
  • Did some foam rolling (that’s an ongoing thing, but I hadn’t done it in weeks);
  • Input tons of claim information at work (about halfway done!);
  • Started dealing with my work email inbox (a drop in the incredibly large bucket, but I started doing it!).

What finally lit the fire under me?  I think listening to the audiobook has been a big part of it.  I haven’t gotten to the steps that are supposedly going to help me cure my procrastination (because it is a 2-CD set and I kept forgetting to get the 2nd CD out of the back of my car), but just hearing her anecdotes about how her life used to be hectic and guilt-ridden when she used to procrastinate – and how calm and peaceful she feels now that she has stopped putting things off – just really struck a chord with me.  I want that feeling of being in control.

Do you put things off like I do?  What gets you going when you are procrastinating?

  • {Clutter} released:  Two pairs of pants that don’t fit or look good when they do fit.