As a chronic workaholic, I tend to bite off more than I can chew. I grossly overestimate how much I can get done in a day, and how many projects I can juggle at a time. To make more time for work, I end up cutting out things like self-care and household chores. Then I work myself until the point of exhaustion, get sick, and have to take time to recover. Once I’m better, the cycle resumes. Another of my many bad habits is deferring seemingly large tasks until I have time. I know that time will not miraculously appear once day, and that I’ll have to schedule these things. Yet when I see something as a large task that[…]

Today’s act of self-care has been to start a bullet journal. I’m not migrating to a new book, but just moving forward in my existing journal. One of the strengths of the bullet journal format is that you can start where and when you are. It’s flexible, so you can try things, add things, and adapt spreads and trackers as you better understand your needs. Last month I put everything that wasn’t essential to earning a living or taking care of myself on hold. I’ve organized those few vital things so that I’m only looking at what I need to on any given day. Everything gets documented, nothing gets forgotten, but I’m not overwhelmed. The bullet journal allows me to[…]

Finnish is a difficult language to learn. I am also a person of a certain age, and even though there is no data to back up the notion that learning a language gets harder as you get older… Finnish is a difficult language to learn. I have made several runs at it, taking classes, doing online courses, using workbooks, and none of them has stuck. Knowing myself, and how I learn things, I decided to put together my own methodology. That’s when I started a language-learning journal. At the front of the book is the standard bullet-journal style index. Following that are pages and spreads devoted to specific topics and contexts. All of these are based on survival phrases, tailored[…]

A fantasy heartbreaker is a tabletop roleplaying game that is clearly a labor of love, but not nearly as radical or innovative as its creators think it is. Quite often, it’s nothing more than a rewrite of an existing game, with some tweaks. A rule they don’t like is changed or replaced, their favorite house rules are incorporated, or they add one new thing and think that qualifies it as an entirely different game. It’s a heartbreaker not because the game is necessarily bad, but because a lot of effort went into something that ultimately provides very little payoff for either the creators or the players and readers. I have code named the roleplay game system I’m working on The[…]

Starting at the back of the journal, I add pages for specific projects. Some of these are trackers. I am a fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” method, so I write the name of the thing I’m tracking across the top — making my minimum daily word count on a writing project, for example, meditating, and reading — and then set up one week per line as follows: Week of 4-10 March S M T W T F S Week of 11-17 March S M T W T F S Week of 18-24 March S M T W T F S There is a note on the daily page to remind me to touch this tracker. When I’ve[…]