We struggled but conquered; another academic year had come to a close. The battle scars of multiple deadlines, exams and presentations were brutal. The words ‘never again’ were whispered endlessly while references were frantically added.
Yet, we never learn. However, this semester is going to be different and here’s why: journaling. It is one of the latest crazes that has hit the internet and it is the perfect way to get your chaotic life in order. We talked to Charlotta Lundahl, a true journaling pro, to give you a rundown of the basics.
Have realistic tasks and goals
A classic mistake when it comes to setting goals is making them a tad too utopian. By making goals that are attainable, you will keep yourself motivated, which will result in you reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself. While you won’t be able to finish two essays in a day, you might manage writing two paragraphs.
Give your goals some thought
Think about your goals. Can you reach them? Can you track them and tick them off when completed? There’s a difference between “Becoming a nicer person” and “Send a nice text to a friend every day for a week.”
Split up large tasks
This ties in with the earlier-mentioned realistic goals. By splitting up a larger task into many small ones, your to do list becomes a lot more manageable. So, instead of writing down ‘finish essay’ on your to-do list, split it up in multiple tasks; introduction, paragraph 1 paragraph 2, and so on. It helps to stay motivated and get stuff done.
Write tomorrow’s tasks tonight.
In that way, when you wake up you’ll know what’s on your agenda for the day.
Turn unproductive days into productive ones
While you were planning to discover a cure for hangovers and world peace, you ended up not even changing out of your pyjamas. No need to despair, even then journaling can help you out.
By the end of the day, write down the things you’ve done and tick them off. In that way, your unproductive day suddenly seems very productive and that was just the feeling you needed.
Have specific lists
Keep different lists for different things that should get done within the month but not on a specific day. Check that list every now and then and tick off what you’ve done. Try to finish the tasks before the end of the month (since having a deadline makes you get things done), but if you’d still have unfinished tasks, forward them on to the next month. Some tasks remain on that list month after month, and that’s okay.
Keep track of monthly bills
Keep track of monthly payments such as bills and rent. In that way, you’ll quickly see when bills need to be paid, helping you to never again miss a payment. Warning, this is adulting on the highest possible level.
Track bad habits
Track habits you want to get rid of or start with. For example, going to bed before midnight, hitting the gym more often or upping your fubar game. Whatever floats your boat.
Doubles as a sketch book
These white papers truly are blank pages. Doodle, draw, write, keep it as your super-secret diary. You decide!
Ultimate tip: Do whatever works for you
Most importantly: Do whatever works for you. Bullet journals are getting really popular just now, but you don’t need a fancy notebook and expensive pens – or even follow the bullet journal method of journaling.
A normal notebook works, or just the calendar, the notes function on your phone or just an excel document. It doesn’t have to look good since it is for your eyes only. Remember, it is just about getting things done.