by Deanna Bonn
This article originally appeared on The Organized Miss website.
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.
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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 on Etsy.
The Organized Miss seeks to facilitate success by providing resources designed to meet the organizational needs of young women participating in pageant systems. These resources can be used for platform promotion, scholarship and lifestyle tracking.
Additionally, my personal platform is promoting awareness of self-care for mental health.