Bullet Journal Monthly Tasks
As I’m writing this… it’s the weekend!
What do we do on the weekends?
Ok, so it’s an ongoing mission for me to try and take Sundays off, and to finish work around 6 but definitely before 7pm every evening.
I have varying levels of success with this mission, hence the ‘ongoing’ part. Like, I do know the importance of this. If I don’t take regular breaks and rest times the quality of my work definitely takes a dive… and yeah, there’s all that health stuff too.
There’s an article that says some trauma survivors cope by overworking – basically that hypervigilance and an inability to relax without guilt may lead some people to blunt their emotions through work. You can read the article here.
Yup. That sounds like me.
I was left with a whole pile of ‘not good enough’ bullshit that at first led to severe depression and apathy (I still suffer from cope with food and self-care apathy particularly, and huge reams of executive dysfunction, which is basically an overwhelming ‘freeze’ response in the ‘fight flight freeze’ behaviour pattern).
But when I was a single mammy and had to provide for my babies and their entire future, something kicked in (I think my deity but definitely my spirituality at least, had a foot in the kicking) and I started to WORK.
At first I was working for other folk and the community; I got a taste for it and learned loads. Then I began to work for myself and my family, as described yesterday with the heritage centre management job. Now, I work for myself and my family, AS WELL as taking care of other folk and my community through the work I do. This is the best.
I am however, a little addicted.
There’s so many things I want to get done! So many new ideas, inspirations from books and podcasts I read or listen to, and solutions to problems I can see, popping into my head every single day.
How do I handle all this? Why, my trusty Bujo of course!
Everything gets written down. Everything.
And once it’s in there, I have a process where I review all my notes at the end of each month and figure out what ideas I’ve had are viable, and which ones I want to prioritise, or put on the long finger. When I start a new bullet journal, one of the things I transfer is a ‘long finger list’ of viable ideas I’ve had so they stay current and accessible month by month.
We talking about getting started with a bullet journal, and we got as far as the future log, and setting up the monthly page, right?
A little more info on each month so. We looked at keeping track of all your events last time, let’s start to look at tasks now.
Bullet Journal Monthly Tasks
I find it helpful to keep a ‘master task list’ for the months’ work – all the regular shit I absolutely have to get done every single month. Those are the things I slot into my specific month’s calendar and my weekly task lists first, so that I can spread them out evenly and not bust myself open all in one week, and so that any space I have left can be filled with the stuff that comes up on the fly, or is lingering/looming from old to do lists.
Keeping one massive to do list is NEVER going to work. Honestly it just overwhelms you.
If it’s something on the monthly master list that has to happen every week or a set number of times per month, then I’ll either write ‘4x Task Name’, or put little boxes beside the task to the amount of times it has to happen. Eg: Task Name __ __ __ __
You basically have 2 options when you’re tracking tasks, and they’re both worthwhile, or you can use a combination.
Option 1: A ‘To Do’ List
It’s as described really. Write down all the shit you have to do, then tick/X it off, or fill in the check box, when you’ve done it.
Option 2: A ‘Done’ List
This is where you track everything you’ve done, as you finish it. This can be really helpful for those ‘not good enough’ type feelings – reviewing what you’ve actually accomplished. Or it can help give you an honest look at how you’re spending your time, and where you could make some changes to get your work done more efficiently.
Personally, I’m a combo kinda person, and it changes up depending on what I need in that time.
So I have my monthly master task list (I write this out – and do any necessary revision – at the start of each new Journal), then my monthly calendar page gets used to plan/track events, appointments, bills due and such, with some space for that month’s goals, and any tasks that are specific to that month.
From there I keep a weekly page which is where I put any upcoming events from the future log or the monthly spread, and also things I’d like to do on each day. I sometimes make a plan for what I’m going to do to relax that evening, to try and encourage myself to look forward to the recreation stuff and to make sure my brain is getting the message that this is just as important as the work stuff. We’ll look more in depth at weeklies as we go.
Then in my daily pages, I might do a time plan for the day and then track what I actually do in each time slot, to see where I’m having blips or getting distracted. Or if I’m feeling overwhelmed or down on myself, I just keep a straight up ‘things I’ve done’ list as I go through the day.
But look, speaking of overwhelm… I know this sounds like a lot.
Basically for now, just make sure your future log has been updated, and your monthly calendar page is running right.
You could try writing down a thing you did each day that you’re proud of, or really enjoyed.
Now, turn to a fresh new page, and begin to write out your monthly master task list. First, just jot down EVERYTHING you can think of. Take a brain dump. Then take a break, and come back to it and add more.
You can do it for work or personal stuff, or a combination of both. You make the rules here, and remember, it’s supposed to suit you and work for you.
Then, go through the brain dump task list, and list out just the recurring or regular monthly things. And there you go – master task list.
Now you can pull from that and slot some tasks into your monthly calendar. But go easy on yourself, and be realistic about what you have the time and space to get done.
If there’s too many tasks and not enough time… don’t worry. You’ll get on top of it better next month. You’re getting a system going which can handle all of this much better.
For now, just prioritise, and do the best you can with the time you have.
And I’ll talk to you again soon.