It’s time for One Book July !!

HIP HIP HOORAY!!  If you are not cheering along, it may be because you have no idea what I am talking about…Read this history of One Book July that will get you up to speed with this year.

Allow me to be the first, or the first of many, to welcome and introduce you to this wonderful, one month experiment that will help you organize, categorize, calendarize and all around improve productivity!
 
I will be sharing my journey, using a #bilateralplanning approach, along the way.

Whether you are already well ensconced in a system that works for you, or your system is made up of a thousand pieces of paper and post it notes, I believe One Book July will teach you something new about yourself and your planning routine!

I am excited to see what I learn through the experiement of One Book July this year!

Are you planning on participating?  Please find me on social media and tag me, I would love to see what you are doing!

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Pageant Queen Principles for Productivity

You don’t have to be Miss America to use pageant queen principles to prioritize your life. These principles will help you organize your time, manage your business and get things done!

Pageant participants realize that only one girl will walk away with the crown. While it is a competition, the true competition is with themselves; being the best they can be. All the preparation they put into the competition helps them focus on their strengths and passions preparing them to seize all of the opportunities that cross their path whether they are awarded a sash and crown or not. They understand they are always wearing an invisible crown and operate accordingly.

So how do pageant queens manage to juggle school, jobs, oftentimes a small business, community service which can number in the hundreds of hours, family and relationship obligations, all while maintaining a health and wellness routine giving them the confidence to cross a stage in a swimsuit?

Balancing all of their responsibilities requires preparation. They prepare in 4 areas that are pretty consistent across various organizations and I have identified them as Being, Body, Brain, and Success. As a result, I set my planning routine around these major categories and coach others to do the same.

I like to start with Success.

Pageant Queens understand that a “crown” merely provides a platform for delivering their message. In order to have a successful pageant season they must identify their passion and purpose which will drive and motivate them to reach their goal. Then they envision reaching their goal by employing the strategy of visualization. They dream of seeing themselves standing on stage, hearing their name called out, walking in their evening gown with new sash, crown and flowers while waving to the audience and thanking the judges. They even practice their “I can’t believe I just won” face…why?

Studies show visualization improves motivation, coordination and concentration and has been understood since Aristotle described the process over 2,000 years ago, “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”

Once she has the vision, a Pageant Queen will assess her strength, weakness and resources. She will create a plan of action to reach the crown and set up a system for tracking her results based on her identified passion and purpose.

Since titles are passed on to a new Queen each year, her deadline is clearly defined and she can set up a timeline for reaching mini-milestones that will all take her to her ultimate goal. Sharing her vision with others…that journey may or may not result in a crown and she knows that. Her actions align with her purpose.

Mini-milestones are defined in three major areas of Being, Body and Brain. Her planning routine is broken down to reflect this all while moving her towards her intended goal … the coveted crown.

Being covers her spiritual house, so to speak. Her relationships with others and is also known as her network. It includes her platform, also known as her community service, and how she intends to make the world a better place. She will need to track sponsor relationships and fundraising in addition to her volunteer hours.

Body covers her physical house. Her health and wellness, nutrition and fitness routine and trackers for maintaining an appearance ready physique and giving her the confidence to stand tall, smile and shine the light of her crown on what matters most to her: her goal of helping others.

Brian covers her mental house. This is her scholastic focus and personal development and may include entrepreneurial goals.

As you can see, each of the identified areas allow a framework for creating a self-management system that is flexible enough for Pageant Queens to tailor but structured enough to provide a guide for reaching her potential. This empowers her to prioritize her life, organize her time and manage her business and it can do the same for you.

 

Bilateral Planning

The brain. We all have one and use it every day. But how often do you actually think about the thing that helps you think?  Aside from an occasional headache, deja vu or perhaps a dizzy spell, you may not give it a second thought.  Instead, allowing your brain to operate and orchestrate the myriad of bodily functions it is in control of. Breathing is the first activity that comes to mind and is an important (dare I say THE most important) function that affects every other aspect of your life.

I admit I didn’t give a lot of attention to my brain health before 2013.  All of that changed in what seems like an instant to me but actually spans the course of approximately 10 years.  I say approximately because I don’t know.  I can not actually recall, in order, many of my life events from 2008 to 2016.  That’s not to say that I don’t remember anything.  I do, actually, and I am remembering more and more as time goes on.

While I have been in the pursuit, along with medical professionals, to determine the cause of the cognitive malfunctions and memory loss resulting from severe headaches (for lack of a better word), I embarked on a brain improvement journey near the end of 2016.

This journey, or science experiment as I like to refer to it, lead me to try many new things as brain exercises during the past year.  After much researching, I discovered I was actually giving my brain the best chance at recovery by aiding in its plasticity.

Enter OneBookJuly2017 and my dive down the rabbit hole of all things planner related, paper organization and habit tracking. Over the course of July, and the ensuing months of 2017, I learned what would work best for me.  While planning and organizing thoughts are unique to individuals, I discovered something about myself and noticed a pattern emerge within the planning community.

I found that part of the time I planned and benefitted from using a traditional, list based, heavily worded system.  The other part of the time, reading and writing words and therefore following the system was overwhelming or just plain difficult due to my struggles with recall and retention. As a result, I began looking for or creating stickers to create word-picture associations in my mind.

I quickly discovered the need to dual plan my time using two weekly spreads and began “Bilateral Planning”.  One weekly spread communicated the information in a language my creative right brain would understand using pictures when the left side was not connecting properly and reading words was difficult.  Another one communicated to my logical left brain, the events and tasks needing my focus when the nerves in my right brain would misfire, and looking at colors and pictures were distracting.

 

Both of these layouts communicate the same information for the week of October 30-November 5, 2017.

This “ah-ha” moment led me to research planning styles and I decided to incorporate both and identify it as “Bilateral Planning”.  For me, the repetition in planning aides in memory recall and improves my retention.

If you or someone you know struggles with completing tasks, whether it results from a memory issue like mine or some other challenge, I believe bilateral planning can help.

Sign up for my Newsletter and receive a FREE printable to start Bilateral Planning.

FACT: Being active is associated with lower risk of brain issues.

Want to track your health and wellness to encourage and promote activities geared toward creating and maintaining a healthy brain?  Check out my Health and Wellness Tracker

 

 

 

The SetUp

After initial research into how I am going to structure my planner for One Book July 2017, I have decided to transfer all of my necessary planning and project management into a pocket-sized TN (traveler’s notebook) from The Planner Society.  

behindscenesOBJ17setup

Behind the scenes of my YouTube setup video

The OnebookJuly2017 Challenge is to use One Book and One Pen for One Month.  However, there are no rules save for the rules you may set for yourself.  The goal, as I understand it, is to “get back to basics” and streamline or in some cases, learn what you need to be successful in your planning routine.  

Since I am a goal planner, I have included my current projects in each area (Being, Body, Brain) to help me reach my goals.  My goal for One Book July is to streamline all of my planners into one carry along planner/wallet that I can have to track EVERYTHING!  In order to keep moving forward, I need to assess where I am in any given project, once I evaluate my progress I can decide if I need to make changes or not.   

What I have learned so far:

  • Sometimes, I can not focus and am easily distracted.  When this happens I need to step away and do something else, usually a craft project, like mixed media to help my mind get clear and refocus.  Then I can come back to the task at hand.  It is helpful to know this about myself because I don’t get as discouraged and take a long leave of absence from my goals.
  • When I am riding the struggle bus, I need my planning system to have a structure and functional form to help me stay focused and follow my plan.
  • When I am hyperfocused, I need the real-estate that white space provides.
  • Having this self-knowledge is helpful in knowing which system to work out of at a given time to help me keep moving toward my goals instead of getting frustrated and giving up.

Knowing how you operate and researching the tools to help you is key to setting yourself up for success.  

Visit my Resources page to find the inserts I am testing as well as other valuable information I will add from time to time.

See you next week for an update to One Book July 2017 !!