Getting Rid of Should

Two years ago, I tried a new organization system ā€“ The Bullet Journal.

You’d think this is going to help you be all productive and stuff, and remember what you need to do. And so it does.

Oddly enough, that’s not why I love it. Yes, yes, yes, I have a mind like a sieve and being able to refer to things written down, to think and to plan and to have a concrete place where I keep all that planning is awesome, it really is.

That’s still not why I love it.

I love it because it lets me stop being a prisoner of “should.”

I should clean the house.

I should be working out.

I should be productive constantly.

I should make that phone call.

I shouldā€¦

It’s not that my house isn’t clean (it is). It’s not that I don’t get in my exercise. (I do). What the Bullet Journal has helped me do, however, is focus on what I want to do and let go of what I don’t want to do.

I get a lot more done.

When you have a Bullet Journal, one of the things you’re supposed to do is review the tasks you’ve set yourself. If you didn’t complete a task, you migrate it to the next time period (week/month/year) that you intend to do it. I promise you that once you’ve migrated a task more than three times, asking yourself, “Is this really important to me?” becomes very easy. If it isn’t important to you, it is better not to clutter the journal or your life with it. You just cross it out.

I do more things I’ve been meaning to do and just put off or let go. When I started the Bullet Journal, I’d been meaning for years to do some seasonal decorating ā€“ nothing big, just some table runners and centerpieces for my dining room with a theme for the month or season. I have that now, and it’s a small thing that makes me happy. Instead of time getting away from me, I’m living through it consciously and deliberately.

Writing down the things I wanted to do in the Bullet Journal let me focus, though, on things that seemed nifty, that I wanted to do, and wanted to experience. It put a value on them instead of just dreaming. Stuffs what are writ down are Important Stuffs, yes?

It allowed my wants to become more important. To become Projects.

To be done.

I have a hobby of making bento. I also have a hobby of going for walks on some really great groomed paths I have in my area. I’d been meaning for years to pack a couple of bento for my husband and I, taking a nice walk and having lunch in some nice spot in the woods or by a river. We’ve done it a couple of times now and we’ve enjoyed it a lot. Is it a big deal? Not really. Just a picnic, really. Not expensive, not fancy. But it’s fun and we enjoy it.

I admire living deliberately. I admire and value choosing how you are going to live and then doing it. For me, the Bullet Journal has been an incredibly powerful tool in doing so.