Every year there are a few months that I am super bogged down and overscheduled – and thus I bullet journal inside other systems like the Passion Planner and the Inkwell Press. For the last few months I was using a Passion Planner since life got NUTS – so it was saving me time not needing to draw everything out and all that. But…
I couldn’t help but wonder if cheating myself of the creativity, art, and reflection wasn’t also a contributor to my frenzy, anxiety, and stress. Sometimes, the first things we cut out of our schedules are the things we need the most (working out, amirite?). So now that things have slowed down just a touch, I’m going back to my usual: using my bullet journal and my Sunday routine. Here’s what my routine looks like now.
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These days, if you’ve followed me on Instagram , you know I am a huge fan of watercolor. It is beautiful, so unpredictable, and mesmerizing. After watching so many people add watercolor to their pages, I decided to give it a try. I walk through the process of creating my layout and how I set up for the week.
Using Watercolor in my Bullet Journal
- Know what your layout will look like. Arguably this is the hardest part of bullet journaling for most people – “What bullet journal layout works for me?” Hopefully you are able to experiment along the way so you know what will work for you this week. You can go about it from a Preparation lens, where you know exactly where you want to put/use the watercolor, or from a Present lens, where you will see where the paint will take you.
- Gather some paint. Dip your brush into water and dab at some of the watercolor just enough to get color onto the brush. I just tap the brush into the side of the jar so I don’t have too much water getting on my pages.
- Paint your page delicately, with as few strokes going over the same spot as possible. Be aware that where there are dots of water and extra pigment, it will dry that way with “dots” on your strokes. Dab with paper towels when you find it necessary. It dries pretty quickly!
- Fill in the lines of your weekly layout.
- Letter and label your sections
- Fill it in! I follow a specific process.
Setting Up My Weekly Layout
In an effort to put the more important priorities in my planner first, there are a few things that I work through before even putting them down in pen. How we spend our time can be a reflection of our values**, so I want to make sure I do what I can to put my time where my heart is. Since I keep a digital calendar, these are principles I try to follow as I make plans 1-3 weeks in advance.
Workouts. Y’all, we KNOW I would sooner go to happy hour over a workout, so I have to do this first. I use ClassPass, which is a membership that allows me access to hundreds of workout classes in my area. Depending on your membership, you can go to the same studio 1-3 times a month, which works super well for me. I sign up on the app, and sync the class to my Google Calendar (which is my ride-or-die), and off I go.
This is important to me for a variety of reasons, besides an excuse to eat. Working out is one of the ways I manage my anxiety – because it gets me out of my head and into my body, which helps interrupt bad thought spirals and reset my sense of peace. When I skipped this part, I definitely noticed it.
Relationships. I am a one to one kind of person. Which makes gatherings difficult, because I would rather spend individual time rather than in a group. Some weeks I realized I had some kind of connection/hangout every day after work. While I love my friends and having heart-to-hearts, I was not thriving. SO I try to leave space during the week without social commitments so I can, you know, empty my dishwasher.
Meals. When I am not intentional, I eat shit. Which does not help my sense of well-being. So that’s the other importance of visualizing my days, so I can identify which days of the week I need to bring lunch, which meals I was already covering through social commitments or work, and when I had time to grocery shop or cook.
Maintenance and Recharge time. I am getting better about this. I grew up in a habit of filling whatever empty space there was on my calendar – and obviously I crashed and burned last month, so I need to pivot my strategy. Now I’m AIMING to have white spaces on my calendar, I’m not as freaked out to have Saturday nights unfilled, and look forward to the peace that follows open time to
binge-watch my shows and The Financial Diet take care of my home and self.
Migrate Tasks. There are no shortage of things I did not accomplish previously – and in this moment I decide whether they’re worth carrying over into my new weekly. I talk about this thought process in a previous blog post about productivity and multiplying your time.
**being able to choose how we spend our time is often a function of privilege because we may have the flexibility and resources to do so. I recognize there are MANY people all over that do not have this freedom.
How do you do your process? Let me know in the comment! If you like it, subscribe, share, or like the post – but regardless, I will see you next time –