Writing down to-do lists, goals, and plans is one of the productivity hacks that many subscribe to. The bullet journaling hype that has taken social media by storm shows that using pen and paper for productivity is still very much alive. If you are unfamiliar with this type of journaling, there are free bullet journal templates online that you can use to see if it works for you. Here are just some of the reasons why many got hooked.
The many possibilities
A bullet journal offers a lot of flexibility. You can use it as a simple to-do list notebook. Or you can transform it into a work of art in the process by combining aesthetics and function. For some people, it has become a hobby that helps unleash their creativity while keeping them organized. Whatever you choose to do with it, the bulleted notebook you have can serve its purpose well.
Bullet journals can also be nifty tools if you want to keep track of your habits. You can easily make a list of the things you want to start doing and start tracking. It is a visual habit tracker that allows you to see your progress at a glance and make the necessary adjustments if needed.
Builds mindfulness and reduces distractions
There are many great task management and other productivity software applications you can use on your computer and mobile devices. But keeping a notebook or bullet journal allows you to focus on writing what you have in mind with fewer or no distractions. There are no alerts or notifications, open tabs on your browser to check, and more. Writing or doodling on your journal can be a mindfulness activity that keeps you grounded to the here and now.
For many people, work/life balance may seem like an elusive thing. How it works for one person may not necessarily do the trick for another. The idea of completely balancing work and life may seem farfetched. But finding a perfect balance should not be the goal. Rather, it is about looking for that spot somewhere between doing great work without sacrificing a quality of life that makes room for more fulfilling things to happen. If you want to find that sweet spot where you get the most from work and in life, here are some things worth doing.
Manage your priorities and keep realistic goals or expectations.
There are a lot of things that can get in the way of achieving work/life balance. Setting a goal to fast-track your career or build a multi-million business in a short time does entails a lot of work that could eat up a lot of time. You do not have to give up on such lofty goals if they are important to you. But you may have to put off the work and life balance that you seek if you want to stay on the career or business course you have set for yourself. Or you can adjust your goals and expectations to make more room for personal time. Find a place somewhere in the ideal balance that helps you stay on track with your work goals while still maintaining a semblance of life.
Whether you are working for an employer or running your own business, find workarounds that allow you to do the job without sacrificing personal time. Find out if there are company policies that let you telecommute or work from home, if needed. If you are running your own business, consider creating an environment that promotes quality work within designated work hours and respects time off from work.
Make technology work for you, not against you.
Technology can either be a boon or a bane depending on how you use it. It can help improve your productivity. Or it can be a source of non-stop distractions. Protecting your time is one of the best things you can do to keep a life outside of work. Watch out for digital distractions. Remove or delete alerts on notifications on email, social media, and your phone. Use web apps that help you block websites that are not essential to your work. Unplug as soon as you are done with work to make time for personal things.
Reading can be a transformative experience. A good book, at the very least, can be a source of learning or insight. It can even inspire action as what many people have discovered for themselves. So regardless if you want to be inspired to create healthy lifestyle changes or just want to read something interesting, here are some of the best books on health, fitness, and happiness that you may want to add to your must-read list.
1. Food Matters by Mark Bittman
When was the last time you really paid attention to what you were eating? In this book, food expert Mark Bittman makes a case for mindful eating and how conscious eating can help you live healthier. He shares some practical guidelines on paying more attention to the food you eat and nutritional recipes that should help you get started.
2. How Bad Do you Want It? by Matt Fitzgerald
Whether it is excelling in sport or sticking to a healthy diet and everything in between when it comes to life, getting the result you want often boils down to how bad you want to get it. This book provides interesting insights on how you can develop the will and mental strength to accomplish what you set out to do whether it is about losing weight or living healthy.
3. Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey
If you need more convincing on why you should exercise, then this book should have plenty of compelling reasons that will inspire you. Author Dr. John Ratey explores the mind-body connection and shares a lot of fascinating information on why exercise is good for your brain.
4. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
Far from being a guide to being happy, Stumbling on Happiness is about taking a look at perceptions on happiness and how those views may be hindering people from experiencing it.
5. Sugar Nation by Jeff O’Connell
This book is an interesting read not just for people who eat a standard American diet or those who have a family history of obesity, diabetes, or heart disease among other health conditions. Informative and engaging, Sugar Nation is an eye-opener that will change the way you look at your diet and the food you eat.