Monday 28 October 2019

Sticky Notes & How They Work For Me - The Creavtive Process


As I've talked about a whole bunch before (pieces here and here) I use the Sticky Notes function on Windows to plot and plan out my time better. I've been doing this for a number of years now and when the latest update messed with them, I had a bit of a panic to be honest because I'm not sure I'd do better with a different kind of system. I did look into planners, but they didn't have what I needed to be sure I could plan the month, and by week as well.

Now I thought that since it's been a while, and since I have changed things around a little. It used to be that I restricted myself to one thing a day and while that's still, mostly, true, I have gotten better at seeing the month ahead without yet planning it out on my sticky notes. As you can see from the graphic above, this is my layout for the end of September 2019 going into October 2019. I also use sticky notes for the order of Authortube videos, blog posts, Friday posts, my big long-term goals and book deadlines, but since they have some spoilers, I didn't share those.

But let's break down the image above and how it helps me stay on track. I have things colour-coded. Pink is an Opaque day, purple is an I'll See You Thru day, white is a complete day off, yellow is for days when I do vlogs, or other admin stuff, blue are editing days and the green you can't see is for things like post orders and such.

I obviously can plan quite a lot given the size of the notes and the size of my screen, but the reason I wanted to share this was because a lot of people have asked how they keep me motivated when I obviously struggle with other things. And the simple answer, I think, is that I'm a very list-orientated person. I like being able to check off what I've done. I love being able to delete something and then at the end of the work day get rid of the note altogether because I managed it, I did the thing guys! I adulted right!

But in all seriousness, it took me a long time to work out a system that worked for me. I am pretty visual, and I've been asked before about a bullet journal. The only reason I say no is because I have zero artistic talent and my hands don't work right for a lot of hand written stuff. It's part of the Fibro and it means that I rarely write my hand, which was another reason I hope that Sticky Notes don't go away, because they help me have so much control and don't rely on me using a pen to do it.

A lot of the time, as I spoke about last week, (piece found here) I struggle with the image I have projected. I know people see me as super organised, and I am, but they also see me as super productive, and it's had a knock on effect to my mental health. The idea that I have to achieve more or the same than I did last month to be valid. It's a hard thing to break free of because of course you want to meet your goals, that's why you set them, but you also want to be able to keep pushing yourself, and for a long time, that became the norm.

When I went through that burnout at the beginning of the year, I was terrified that I would lose control of the organisational tools and be unable to get back to where I was, but in fact I found that the best thing to do was to focus on making sure I didn't borrow from tomorrow. So whereas before, if my sticky note tasks were done quickly, I would move onto the next day. Now I don't, I stay within the day's limit and I make sure that I take down time because that's important too.

So whichever way you do it, whether through a bullet journal or through sticky notes or some other method, being organised isn't a bad thing, but you do need to remember that you don't have to do all the things in on day, if you're feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and move forward at your own pace. We all have time. It takes as long as it takes and that's okay.

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