The Bullet Journal Method

Nov 28, 2020

The 5,4,3,2,1 Exercise:

A great way to get motivated is by realizing just how limited your time really is. The 5,4,3,2,1 exercise is designed to help you contextualize your goals in terms of time. It will quantify your objectives by breaking them down over the short, mid, and long term. If you’re struggling to tackle your goals, give this a try.

The TL;Don’t want to read again: write down all of your goals, no matter the scale or feasibility. Make to spreads, one for personal, one for professional. Make a line across both pages marking off:

  • 5 years
  • 4 months
  • 3 weeks
  • 2 days
  • 1 hours Map your goals to those blocks. Pick the highest priority one in each block. Those are your goals.

Giving your page its Topic provides that opportunity to pause. What will you capture in this space? What’s its purpose? What value will it add to your life? These may seem like superfluous considerations, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to make yet another list, only to realize that it simply wouldn’t add anything meaningful to my life. Does tracking the TV shows I’ve watched this year ad any real value? No. I can reinvest that time I saved into something that does. Other times, that pause has helped me refine my aims, keeping the content of my Bullet Journal focused and relevant. Topic by Topic, pause by pause, we’re honing our ability to focus on what matters.

Being busy can be likened to tumbling down an existential staircase: stimulus, reaction, stimulus, reaction. This frenetic cycle of reactivity holds our attention hostage, limiting our ability to recognize opportunities for love, growth, and purpose. These are the things that add value to our lives, yet they’re easily obscured by the rush of our busy lives.

In the bad old days, when we spent most of our time, you know, trying not to die, pleasure was limited and practical. Nowadays it’s a commodity, marketed as a substitute for happiness, and it’s on demand.

Your notebook does not have to be beautiful to be valuable. Design should always serve a purpose. If it also happens to be beautiful, great! As long as it does not get in the way.

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