Last year, I would often find myself feeling overwhelmed with all of the projects my team and I were working on. Despite all the web-based tools at our disposal, productivity remained a challenge, and I knew I had to make some changes to accomplish everything I wanted to do.
I love technology, and there’s still a handful of apps I rely on to get things done; but in today’s digital era, there’s something refreshing about going back to pen and paper.
I first came across the Bullet Journal® methodology from a friend’s Facebook post last summer. And after reading more about it, I ordered my first dotted journal and took the first step to getting more organized. The Bullet Journal system was developed by Ryder Carroll, and you can learn more about how to get started on the official website.
Rather than going over the details, I thought I would share a few of my personal successes from using the system, which I hope will inspire you to start a Bullet Journal of your own.
Here are five things I learned through my Bullet Journaling, and the reasoning behind why I believe healthcare HR professionals would benefit from adopting the practice:
1. Strategy: Keeping Track of Goals
At the Society for Human Resources Management conference in 2016, a speaker commented about how the most
important initiatives are often left “on the shelf” because they are never measured. In fact, this is probably the single reason why I decided to start my Bullet Journal last summer.
As part of the PreCheck leadership team, achieving our strategic objectives is a major part of my role. With my Bullet Journal, I can set goals for each month and make more strategic decisions. It offers me an easy way to measure and keep track of my goals, whether it’s drinking more water or launching a new website.
2. Time Management: Making the Most of Your Day
Time management is one of the greatest benefits of Bullet Journaling. You’ll always have a blank page to start with, and you can make adjustments as you learn what works best for you. Personally, I’ve used the daily page spread format, which always highlights the three most important items (usually related to strategic initiatives) so I always know what I should focus on each day. This format also breaks my day into three parts (morning, afternoon, and evening), so I can divide my tasks into smaller pieces.
Since I’ve started Bullet Journaling, I’ve become more intentional and strategic about how I use my time, and I like to end each day by planning (and prioritizing) the tasks for the next day.
3. Organization: Putting Things in Perspective
Organization comes naturally once you start Bullet Journaling, and the great thing is that you can start from anything and then modify your journal’s format to what works best for you. For example, when I started my journal, I only had monthly and daily spreads, but over time I decided that a weekly spread would work better for me. It’s part of being strategic and breaking large projects into smaller chunks that can be measured and more easily completed.
Now, I spend my Sunday nights by creating a weekly plan so I can start work on Monday morning with clearly defined goals and ready to make significant progress.
4. Gratitude: The Secret to a Happier Life
The speaker who has impacted me the most was Jon Gordon, the 2015 opening keynote speaker at the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration conference. According to Gordon, practicing gratitude can set us up for a more positive day.
This is why I have dedicated a section of each daily journal page for writing down what I am grateful for on that day. Some people practice this during November as part of an extended celebration of Thanksgiving; but when you practice gratitude daily, you truly adopt a more positive outlook on life. Even if I am having a stressful day, I always find something I am thankful for, helping to change my perspective.
5. Creativity: Write Down Your Best Ideas
As a marketing professional, creativity plays a central role in my work. And having my Bullet Journal with me at all times helps me write down my best ideas wherever I am so that I don’t forget all about them once I’m back in the office. The truth is, you can’t force creativity.
I’ve learned to always pay attention to my thoughts and to write down any idea that could help me start a project, improve an ongoing initiative, or become the start of a future blog post. For example, I was at an airport when I wrote down the idea for this article and only because I wrote it down in my Bullet Journal are you able to read it today.
As an HR professional, your day-to-day can be overwhelming with the many challenges facing your healthcare organization. An analog productivity system, like a Bullet Journal, can help you make progress towards your strategic initiatives while organizing your best ideas and key objectives to achieve your goals. The best part? You can truly make it your own by adapting it into a format that works best for you.
Editorial note: This post originally appeared on The PreCheck Blog and has been republished here with their permission.
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