Distracted by Less Distractions

Less distractions; less to write about. That’s what I thought.

A Year of Less Distractions should mean being distracted less than has been the usual.

With that in mind, I fully expected one of the causalities would be my ‘excessive’ use of YouTube. But it was there I found my first lead on how to tackle this new year resolution.

The man said, “… helps you weed out distractions”. Wait. What? It was New Years Eve and this year’s resolution could be resolved before the year even gets started.

Can you believe how many bullet journal videos THEN popped up in my YouTube feed, distracting me? At first it was overwhelming. No way would I be indulging in fancy calligraphy, decorative swirls and colourful highlights. The idea is to Less Distracted.

But amongst it all were videos from the instigator of this trend. (I say trend because I lived through the FiloFax era! Everything is a trend.) His words swept aside images of gel pens and decals as he laid bare the basics.

I’m confident. These basics are very similar to the assorted formats I’ve used down through the years. The big difference is they’ve been combined into one book in a way that seems very manageable.

And a little side note here on creativity. There is nothing new in this bullet journal format. Analogue note taking, complete with cross-referencing, has been around for thousands of years. It’s just seems very new to a digital generation who needed an attention grabbing introduction.

But due credit, the creative bit was selectively combining components, giving them catchy titles and setting it up as a modular and uniquely customisable package that doesn’t require any financial expenditure. Brilliant.

Although you could buy the trademarked Bullet Journal if you wish.

So how’s it going?

It took a couple of weeks for the notebook to arrive, not the trademarked version, just a basic book with a grid of dots on each page. I couldn’t buy it locally – one with a dot grid – and I really wanted to try it as an alternative to past attempts.

Timing was ideal as there was no point starting until after the Elvis Festival.

Three days in, and I will get tired of writing “Washing”, “Washing up” and “Ironing” every other day. Maybe they should just be a given.

One week in, and I’ve decided that project pages are very powerful. I’ve started one for “Yard Work” (that sounds very American!) and listed all the things I want to do in the yard. I dip into the list whenever I can.

Three weeks in, I’m still happy with the format. But I need to write neater.

The (near) daily routine

The book sits on my work table, usually open at the current page. I glance quickly over what’s been done, think about the next few hours and write three or four dot points of things to do. One of the dot points for today is “Blog post.”

On the first page of the month, there’s a list of things I’d like to get done. I check it occasionally to see if that’s what I’m actually doing. Tip: Don’t write down goals you have no control over. For January, I wrote “Get car back”. I still haven’t got the car back. (See previous post!)

Less distractions?

He was right. The system does help weed out distractions.

It’s not just an ever-present list of things to do that captures my attention and forces me to focus.

Within it, there is also a list of things I thought were worth doing. Repeatedly overlooking these ideas is a good indication that they were nothing more than distractions from things I actually wanted to do.

Interestingly, I keep marking as completed the washing, washing up and ironing. I think there’s a flaw.


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