At the start of the year, like many folks, I’ve jumped back into getting the chaos of my job back into order with new planners and journals. Yes, again. However, this year I’ve stumbled across some great ones that I wanted to share.
The Hero’s Journal
A friend from my ASD&D (Autism Spectrum Dungeons and Dragons) group brought this up with me a while ago and I’ve since been enraptured by it. The Hero’s Journal is a daily planner, diary, … thing … that has developed a bit of traction across the neurodiversity community. It takes something that you want to achieve and presents it in a Magical Quest form to keep it interesting and fun. It’s not just whimsical, it presents pretty concrete psychological planning conceits in a (let’s face it) wonderfully nerdy way, giving your personal project the Joseph Campbell treatment. It comes in two versions, the Adventure style and a Magical Wizardry School style
The hardest thing was coming up with a project, and after wracking my brain (pardon the pun) I came up with my mental health. I’ve got so many things that I really want to do at any one time that coming up with a single project seemed small – that’s until I stepped back a bit. So much of what I’ve been trying to achieve (autistic advocacy, personal fitness, support groups, etc) fall completely under my constant struggle with my own mental health. It was a bit of a revelation that I could unify so much of what I want to get done day to day under that super objective.
It starts with mapping out what you want to achieve and getting you to define the stakes. The rest of the journal is a daily planner with 3 goals and a threat and ally list. At first I was a bit sceptical but recurring threats kept appearing during my early morning planning sessions which highlighted lurking concerns that I had in the back of my mind unacknowledged. The allies section was great. Full disclosure, I’m terrible at gratitude. Judge me all you like, I don’t understand the concept. But an ally list was great for me identifying people and processes that I had in my corner.
More info on it here https://theherosjournal.co/
Dani Donovan (https://www.adhddd.com/) is a cartoonist who creates content explaining the struggles of ADHD. She is marvellous and funny and well worth following on Insta. HOWEVER her new project is the Anti-Planner.
How many of us have picked up a planner on the 1st January only to find that after a few entries it falls by the wayside? Well the Anit-Planner is the thing you do before you get to the Journal (in retrospect this should have been in the beginning of the post)
The by-line is “How to get sh*t done when you don’t feel like it”. It tackles project management, not through planning, but by dealing with the road bumps and potholes that derail us.
I’m beta testing the Overwhelmed section, which is one of the 5 categories of roadblocks. The others are Stuck, Unmotivated, Unorganised and Discouraged. Each of these areas have their own unique challenges and Dani has collected some incredible “mini-games” to clear that path to success. The first task in Overwhelmed is “How to half *** a project” designed to overcome perfectionism. There are 2 lists to fill out here, what is the meat of the project (aka the “must haves”) and what is the gravy (aka nice but are not necessary). Another task is this section is dealing with your dreaded Procrastination Hit List. Cartoon those tasks you keep putting off on the supplied Wanted Posters and send out a posse to bring ’em in!
There are silly things in there but all back with solid psychological theory. It’s an amazing way of getting Projects back on track when you “you know what you need to do, but struggle to get yourself to do it”