Bullet Journaling for Strategic Healthcare HR: Accomplish Your Goals in the New Year
Last year, there were times when I was feeling overwhelmed with all of the projects my team and I were working on. Despite all the web-based tools at our disposal, productivity remained a challenge and I knew I had to make some changes to accomplish everything I wanted to do. I love technology and there’s still a handful of apps I rely on to get things done; but in today’s digital era, there’s something refreshing about going back to pen and paper.
I first came across the Bullet Journal methodology from a friend’s Facebook post last summer. And after reading more about it, I ordered my first dotted journal and took the first step to getting more organized. The Bullet Journal system was developed by Ryder Carroll, and you can learn more about how to get started on the official website. Rather than going over the details, I thought I would share a few of my personal successes from using the system, which I hope will inspire you to start a bullet journal of your own in 2017.
Here are a few things I learned through my bullet journaling, which I started several months ago in August 2016.
Strategy: Keeping Track of Goals
During last year’s Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) conference, one of the speakers, Michael Wilkinson, made a comment about how the most important initiatives are often left “on the shelf” because they are never measured. In fact, this is probably the single reason why I decided to start my bullet journal last summer. As part of the PreCheck leadership team, achieving our strategic objectives is a key part of my role. With my bullet journal, I am able to set goals for each month and make more strategic decisions. It offers me an easy way to measure and keep track of my goals, whether it’s drinking more water or launching a new website.
Time Management: Making the Most of Your Day
Time management is one of the greatest benefits of bullet journaling. The way that you use it can be different from mine. You’ll always have a blank page to start from and you can make adjustments as you learn what works best for you. Personally, I’ve used this format for my daily page spreads, which always highlight the three most important items (and usually related to strategic initiatives) so I always know what I should focus on for each day. It also breaks my day into three parts (morning, afternoon, and evening), so I can break all my tasks into smaller pieces. Since I’ve started bullet journaling, I’ve become more intentional and strategic about how I use my time and I like to end each day by planning (and prioritizing) the following day’s tasks.
Organization: Putting Things in Perspective
Organization comes naturally once you start bullet journaling, and the great thing is that you can start from anything and then modify your journal’s format to what works best for you. For example, when I started my journal, I only had monthly and daily spreads but over time I decided that a weekly spread would help me put things into better perspective. It’s part of being strategic and breaking large projects into smaller chunks that can be measured and more easily achieved. Now, I end my Sundays by creating a weekly plan so that I can start Monday with a clear direction and ready to make significant progress on my goals.
Gratitude: The Secret to a Happier Life
One of the conference speakers that have impacted me the most was Jon Gordon, the 2015 opening keynote speaker for the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA). According to Gordon, practicing gratitude can set us up for a more positive day. That’s why I have dedicated a section of each daily journal page for writing down what I am grateful for on that day. Some people practice this during November as part of an extended celebration of Thanksgiving; but when you do it year round, you truly adopt a more positive outlook on life. Even if I am having a difficult day, I always find something I am thankful for, and it can start to turn things around.
Creativity: Write Down Your Best Ideas
As a marketing professional, creativity plays a central role in my work. And having my bullet journal with me at all times helps me write down my best ideas so that I don’t forget about them once I get back to the office. The truth is, you can’t force creativity and I’ve learned to always pay attention to my thoughts and to write down ideas that could help me start a project, improve an ongoing initiative, or become the start of a future blog article. For example, I was at an airport when I wrote down the idea for this article and because I wrote it down in my bullet journal you are now able to read it today.
As a healthcare HR leader, it can be overwhelming with the many challenges facing your organization. An analog productivity system like a bullet journal can help you make progress towards your strategic objectives while organizing your best ideas and key goals. The best part? You can truly make it your own by adapting it into a format that works best for you.