happiness = productivity?

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I feel like it’s a huge part of today’s society, everything is about productivity and getting stuff done – being successful is a measure of how regulated your sleep schedule is, how on top of your work out routine you are and how many things you got done that day.

It’s gotten to a point where if I’m not out of bed by 8am I struggle to feel motivated to do anything and I’m not sure how it got to this point because I’m pretty sure it used to be cool to sleep till the afternoon and not do uni or school work.

Personally I find it so much harder to be content and motivated when I know there’s a list building up of stuff that I’ve been writing down for a few days – there’s only so many times I can write ‘apply for a job’ before it becomes utterly soul destroying to actually do it.

I don’t know where the pressure is coming from, who I feel judged by or where this all began but I really hate that my productivity is directly equal to my happiness on a day to day basis and let’s be real, there’s no pressure from anyone or any kind of society, it’s just me beating myself up and I need to come up with some methods to stop… doing… that?

Step 1 – don’t be a dick. I mean, that’s generally good life advice but I need to stop telling myself I’m not good enough! Because it escalates very quickly from ‘I didn’t apply for a job today’ to ‘I have no skills and don’t deserve a job anyway’ and I’d like to think that’s not true.

But you know, step 1 is pretty difficult when it’s quite deeply ingrained in your brain. But what can I say, I’ve acknowledged the problem and I know roughly where to start. I think that’s progress?

Step 2 – figure out why I’m not productive and adapt my to do lists accordingly. But that’s not really addressing the problem of my productivity being related to my happiness.

Step 3 – it sounds too simple but just let it go. Let the list go, no pressure to do more than I’m capable of – work on relaxing even if I didn’t quite get everything done and enjoy an evening of not squeezing in more work and doing whatever it is I’m doing below average anyway.

Step 4 – I don’t even know anymore, I’m rambling for the sake of rambling.

It gets to this point in a blog post where sometimes I’ll doubt whether I really want to publish it – am I making a point or am I complaining about something that no one else really cares about? But I think it’s defying thoughts like that are important – this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I want to share!

I think there’s a lot of pressure in our generation on the internet that you’ve always got to be doing something, making something, working towards something and we all know that the internet can be a pretty toxic place. But defying these things that we’ve been conditioned to feel is the best way to combat it.

Today hasn’t been a productive day, but I had a really lovely afternoon working on my scrapbook and that doesn’t make how I spent my day any less valid.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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dotted Leuchtturm 1917 – starting my second bullet journal

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I got a new bullet journal for my birthday back in September – having filled a lined notebook that I already owned between January-November, I’d seen a lot of hype around the Leuchtturm 1917 journals. Since I knew I wanted to continue bullet journalling, I asked for this journal for my birthday.

So, considering I was trying out a new journal, transferring the relevant stuff from my old journal and it was my first time starting a journal and it not being for the first time – if that makes any sense at all? – I thought I’d talk through how I started this new journal with the admin-y bits, how I’ve adapted my weekly spreads and then my thoughts on the Leuchtturm journal.

Having had two months to think about how I wanted to format this journal. I knew I wanted to change how I presented my future logs and they’re now much more concise and more for noting important or fun dates and I’m really pleased with how they look and how I’ve used my pastel highlighters. They make me very happy.

My monthly logs I’ve kept much the same as my old journal – they look much nicer then my first journal because there’s more smaller lines in the Leuchtturm and I like them. Hence why I kept them the same. Truly thrilling.

My first spread it about university hand ins and grades because I’m not obsessed with grades sshh. But this is where the dotted part of the journal first came in really handy – making the boxes on the results page was much simpler and I really like how it looks. I can fill it in and cross bits out as necessary which I find really useful.

I have a lot of temporary lists like what I wanted to get people for Christmas, rehearsal schedules for a drama show I was in before Christmas and financial plans for the next year (it was a lot of maths on one page, not interesting at all).

This isn’t a ‘final layout’ of how I want to make my content  planning spread but it’s the first full one I’ve made – I like the calendar and being able to see nearly a full month at a time on one side but the right hand side needs work. It’ll be different in February when I’m not catering for the last couple of weeks of the previous month but I’m really excited to use these spreads throughout the year, see how I can adapt them and if they work with helping me to maintain my content.

This page isn’t massively relevant to how I set up and use my journal but I like it a lot.

And this is what my weekly spreads look like now – it’s very minor changes from where I started in November but it’s really useful for me. Rather than splitting the right page into six sections it’s now split into eight which means every day gets their own section, I can make a note of things to remember for the following week and it also limits how much I can set myself to do each day. The biggest problem with the previous design of the spreads is that I could give myself seven or eight large tasks to do each day and that’s just not feasible, so having fewer tasks and more space to organise works really well for me.

I also now have a Money Tracker on the left hand side – since being made redundant last year and getting the next instalment of student loan has meant I’ve had to be very strict with budgeting to make sure I don’t run out of money before the next instalment in April. This spread works really well for me and I’m getting much better at checking in with my journal (which was one of my new years resolutions!)

My boyfriend and I made this list of goals for the year and I’ve left the other page blank to act as a kind of scrapbook if and when we do the things we can tick them off and stick something in, I’m so excited about it.

And that’s about it for the important relevant pages from my new journal! I’ve used nearly 60 pages of about 250, so I’m not sure this will last me the entirety of 2018 but it would be nice if I could start a new one for 2019!

My thoughts on the Leuchtturm 1917 journal is pretty positive – I definitely like the dots over the lines because it’s so much more adaptable in terms of drawing boxes or grids and splitting up weekly spreads but I personally find the space between the dots is a bit small. I have rather large handwriting so I find that some of my spreads feel a bit crowded.

The pages, though advertised as being heavy duty, I find do bleed quite a lot and you can see that quite clearly in these pictures – I have to be careful with how much coloured pen I use on a page as to consider the next pages. I’ve seen people saying they use Sharpies to bullet journal but I can’t imagine that going very well in this book. Not a massive deal for me, but worth mentioning if it’s something that’s important to you!

I do love that the pages are already numbered because I always forgot to do that in my old one and it made the index much harder to maintain. I also like that the index is part of the design of the book so it looks much more formal and neat. I like it a lot – at this point in time I would definitely repurchase and use it again (especially since they’ve just released a soft cover one, so much more convenient than a hardback one) but who knows, I might find something even more convenient by the end of the year. We’ll see!

I wrote a post about starting a bullet journal and a bullet journal update in early 2017 and I wanted to do an update having moved on to my second journal. Do you like this kind of content? Would you like me to write more about bullet journalling? Let me know in the comments!

I’ve put a full bullet journal flip through on my second channel unlisted so you can only watch it with this link! How exclusive. If you want to see my journal in full I’d recommend watching that.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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bullet journal: update

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I’ve not really talked about my bullet journal (I don’t think?) since I wrote the post with tips on how to start one, so I thought I’d share an update on how different my journal looks now and things I’ve learnt in the three months of using it so far.

Well firstly, I still love it – I’m really making the most of the different sections of my journal to help myself feel more organised and sort my life out a bit.

At first I said I wish I’d done the monthly logs at the beginning of each month rather than all in one go but actually I now prefer it this way because I can see and map out my months consequently and having it all in one place is so useful for my brain, who can’t function unless something is written down on paper in front of me. These monthly logs have been particularly useful in the last month and a bit because I’ve been so manic busy. Having these layouts calms me down a little bit.

 This is how my spreads looked like at the beginning – I had my weekly lists and I just listed the days as they went along without much forward planning or really knowing how to use my layout to my benefit.

This is when my weekly spread started to adapt into what it looks like now with my weekly to do list on the left and the whole week listed out on the right with the weekly list divided up into daily tasks.

This is when I started to think about presentation and give the fonts and banners I’d seen on Instagram and in Bullet Journal facebook pages a go, without masses of success.

And this is my spread for this week – I’m really proud of how it works and how well it works for me and the different things I’ve tried out and how I’m getting to be more explorative and creative with my journal. I allow myself to take an hour to plan out my week and spend time making my week look pretty and planning it so I’m doing a sensible amount each day, otherwise I won’t get it done and then I get really sad about not getting stuff done and I feel less inclined to do anything else.

I’m battling a lot of personal insecurity and stress right now so giving myself time to design and plan my week is really quite therapeutic for me.

But my bullet journal isn’t just a diary and planner – I use it to write all sorts of lists and make all sorts of plans, such as when I made a four week food and fitness plan (that I mostly stuck to) that was nice for me to really get to grips with controlling my diet and planning how much exercise I did. I barely did any exercise but I mostly stuck to the eating plan. Whether I was healthy and fit is irrelevant – the plan is pretty!

I like to use my journal for food planning and I had a go at keeping a habit tracker in February and the beginning of March but I found that rather than incentivising me to get things done, it just made me feel guilty for not doing them so I haven’t made an April habit tracker but I think when I’m a bit better in my brain it might be quite helpful for me as a way to make myself make some things habit.

I also like to use my journal as a sort of scrapbook – so I’ve got this cute postcard and these sweet little messages that my boyfriend made for me when I was really busy and needed to make sure I didn’t forget my lunch box.

I also kept every single one of my train tickets when I was commuting into London for my BBC Three work experience – I had to turn this into two double page spreads so the first one is all my tickets to London from Southampton while all these tickets are the ones that got my to and from Peterborough when I had to be with my family.

This is something I’m a little ashamed to share because it shows how little I’ve put into planning content for my blog recently (it’s on my list for this week!) but I’m thinking of combining this calendar with one for my video content next month.

It’s stuff like this that I really love about the bullet journal concept – you can have a go at something one month and adapt it slightly the next month or scrap it completely and it’s purely about whatever works for you. My bullet journal isn’t very pretty in terms of calligraphy or cursive or typography but I’m working with what I am good at and what I can do.

And that mostly includes using a huge variety of coloured pens.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I thoroughly enjoyed writing it so do let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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March favourites!

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I was fully prepared to start this post with something along the lines of ‘there aren’t as many favourites this month because I’ve been busy and stressed and there’ll be a post about it next week’, but when I actually got round to planning it all, I actually thought of ten favourites pretty easily which made me really happy. Let’s not do this awkward ‘so here’s my favourites for this month!’ and just start.

Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran

I’ve been obsessed with this album ever since it came out but I wanted to save it for the new series of monthly music blog posts I have planned, but I couldn’t not include this song. When I first listened to it I knew exactly in what situation I would like to cover it but then I had to face that situation and it was all very sad (I know, I’ve talked about it enough) – I just couldn’t leave this song out of my favourites for this month because I absolutely adore it.

being in a musical!

Not really a physical thing I can photograph but my friend is part of the drama and performance society and with the dance season coming to an end and talking about how much I miss musical theatre, she suggested I audition for the musical. These auditions happened literally two days after the last dance competition of the season because apparently I don’t like giving myself any time to breathe! But we’re doing a medley of five musicals and they’re a brilliant selection of musicals and I’m really excited.

42 coloured pens

Now, I’ve always been a stationery lover – when I was in primary school there was literally nothing more exciting than buying a whole new pencil case. Since starting my bullet journal back in January, I’ve been desperate for a bigger variety in colours of fineliner to colour code and just make my journal a little bit prettier. I found this pack on Amazon for a really good price (considering if you buy the 20 pack in WHSmith it’s normally upwards of £20) and I sent a link to my mum to show her one of the things I was going to buy once I have more money and then she treated me to them.

I’ve been showing literally everyone I know, I’m very excited about these pens.

flippy shorts

I was having a browse through boohoo and I found these shorts – they’re gorgeous and their name made me laugh so I added them to my basket (at this point I was adding a lot to my basket). I then placed a huge boohoo order and it all arrived and I couldn’t be happier – not only does the name ‘flippy shorts’ still entertain me, they’re really comfy and because they’re plus sized they’re really flattering and make me feel happy and comfortable wearing them. Cannot wait for summer to wear them properly!

David the 4th

I’m not sure how much I’ve mentioned this, but I have a collection of cactus’s called David – it started with a felt one I bought from Tiger, then I got a real succulent from Ikea, then I bought a ‘make your own cushion’ cactus (again from Tiger) and now, the newest addition to my David family – David IV, the cute, aesthetic, fake plant from Primark. I’ve decided my room for the new house in July is going to have an elephant, space aesthetic and I’m going to have lots of plants and flowers. I’m so excited to have a room I can actually decorate, it’s going to be so good.

elephant light

I got a bit homeware happy when I went into Primark at the weekend but when I saw this fairy-light-esque copper elephant I knew I needed it for my elephant, space, plant aesthetic. I have no words for how much I love elephants and literally anything with elephants on it is destined to be in my life. Except an elephant candle, because I don’t want to burn an elephant.

cookie dough ice cream

Like I keep mentioning – I’ve faced a very sad death this month (I know I sound like a broken record and I hate it too) but I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to continue my (minimal) attempt at healthy eating and losing weight right now. I’ve had a lot of ice cream this month. I have ice cream in the freezer right now as I write this on April 4th at 2.18pm after saying I was going to stop eating everything I wanted in April. March was both a good and bad eating month – good in terms of how much ice cream and chocolate I ate, bad in terms of how much weight I keep putting on and and my consequent self-esteem. I’m trying to get a handle on that in April.

asdf movie 10

From sad, over-eating to mindless, cartoon comedy. I’ve been a fan of the asdf movie series and their creator, TomSka for about seven years now and asdf movie 10 came out on April 1st, actually so not really a March favourite but I’m including it anyway. It’s mindless, it’s quotable, it’s got a song to accompany it and it’s the same short-skit comedy that I’ve loved through asdf movie 1 through 9. Thoroughly enjoyable watch and worth 2 minutes 15 of your day.

nose piercing

I got my nose pierced two days after my last dance comp and three days after my nanny passed away so it was a combination of ‘I won’t have to take it out for comps’ and ‘fuck it, you only live once’ – that day was a very brave day for me, with auditioning for a musical as well. I wasn’t sure how I’d look with a nose piercing but I actually love it – the flower crown filter on snapchat makes me look as indie as I feel and I have further become the model image of a ‘white girl’, but like a plus sized version.

family

Now for the soppy bit – my family are brilliant, but I don’t see them that often and I wouldn’t have described us as particularly close just because as me and my cousins have grown up we’ve not seen each other nearly as regularly as we used to and we just missed out on continuing to get to know each other, I guess. But with everything that’s happened, I’ve seen more of my family in the last month than I have probably in the last ten years and it’s been amazing – we’ve found new common ground and we have a group chat on WhatsApp now. Jokes aside, I’m so grateful for my family and I hope this will mark a new start in making sure we make the most of each other while we’re still here.

I wanted to end this post on a family note but wow it got a bit depressing. I know I’ve been banging on about this family thing and over my other social medias I have talked about it a little bit – I’m not keeping it a secret on my blog but I do have a full length post planned to go up next week where I want to talk about it in more detail, so I don’t want to end up repeating myself. Sorry for being so sporadic and unreliable on this blog – it’s a little bit of a reflection of my brain and mindset right now.

Thank you for reading and sticking with me – it’s very much appreciated.

Sophie xx

 

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starting a bullet journal

2017, lifestyle

Hello!

I spent so long at the beginning of the year looking for the perfect diary – having a weekly to do list is really important to me and I couldn’t find a diary where I could make the use of daily planning and having a notes page for a weekly to do list. I was willing to pay a bit more money for a personally designed diary but I just couldn’t find what I wanted.

But I knew about bullet journalling and I knew it was a very adaptable option, but I also know that it takes a lot of effort to start one up. Then I actually looked into it – it really isn’t that much work at all and you can take the aspects that work for you to basically design your own diary as you go along, so this is what I did.

Just a quick disclaimer: I’m not any good at calligraphy or typography so my bullet journal isn’t as pretty as a lot of people who are very good at drawing pretty letters. I’m working on it.

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I use a future log, which isn’t massively full yet because I haven’t gone back to uni for this semester so I don’t know what I have planned for the rest of the year, but when I get all my assignments for the next four months I think it’ll full up because I can make actual plans.

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I then wrote all of my monthly logs in one place so I can see all my deadlines and when they’re due so again, then last few logs are completely blank but I’ll definitely fill these in a lot when I go back to uni. For sure.

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Then I get on to the ‘diary’ side of the bullet journal – I basically have the date, a to do list for the day including work or any appointments I have, then random lists that I reference back to my index at the beginning.

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I’ve included my New Years Resolutions, a weekly to do list amongst the daily lists and I have a ‘wish list’ of things I want to buy but can’t afford right now.

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I also have a spread for my four weeks of fitness that I’m currently planning and I accidentally skipped a double page spread before I wrote that out so I’m doing a little doodle on that page and sticking in a cute postcard I picked up before the summer. I love that a bullet journal is so free and I can do that spread if I want to.

Already I’m learning about little things that I’d do differently when I move on to a new journal – I wouldn’t put all my monthly logs in one section, I’d use them as a marker at the beginning of the month and use the future log to look at my life as a whole, in a way.

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Instagram is a really good place to find inspiration for how to design a journal, so if you’re thinking about starting a bullet journal, I thoroughly recommend having a browse of the various tags – I just had a browse of the ‘future log‘ tag to see if I could link to a picture to show how I’d do my future log in a new journal and I saw loads of awesome spreads there.

I also thought using a journal I already had would be a good idea because I have loads of empty notebooks and it would save me spending money on a new one, but now I totally get why people buy dotted journals that lie out completely flat – I like the journal I’ve got but it’s definitely not the best for bullet journalling. I’ve already picked a dotted journal on Amazon and put it onto my Amazon Wishlist for when I finish this journal.

But that’s the point, I’m learning and figuring out what I want to do with my journal and how to do it!

I’m going to keep watching videos and scrolling through Instagram to learn about more aspects of bullet journalling.

Let me know if you have any questions about starting out, tips for a beginner and whether you’d like a review/flip through when I’ve finished my journal in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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