Taking Stock #3: The Surprising Power of Intention

Taking Stock” is a meme that encourages us to slow down and take stock of where and how are we right now.

It’s kind of amusing how I was able to pull this off 3 weeks straight, but here we are: my third Taking Stock post. I noticed that this week, I was really looking forward to this thing and I’m intentionally doing things that *might* be of note so I could make it a highlight of my week. So I think it’s a good thing? This exercise is proving more effective than I originally thought it would be.

But anyway… I mentioned last week that I started reading Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. It was a random read to detox (though it’s been on my list for a couple of months now).. but I never knew that the little bits I was able to read so far would resonate so much.

For context, I did my first bout of night shift last week for a project I am working on for work… and as I looked up and talked to my sister in the wee hours of night asking “Wait, is it Friday already?”, I realized that the week just passed without me realizing it. I sat there dumbfounded because I literally cannot, for the life of me, remember the last 5 days. The only thing I can remember is me working, and it blurred each day after the other which I think was emphasized more by my irregular hours. It really freaked me out.

Fast forward to when I was reading some parts of Make Time: I came across John Zeratsky’s (JZ) “Missing Months” story in the “Highlights” portion of the book and it read “And one day I woke up with a shocking realization: I couldn’t remember the last two months.” and it really caught my attention because SAME. It upped the stakes of reading this book because this is something that I am currently experiencing and would want to remedy as soon as I can.

“But choosing a Highlight gives you a chance to be proactive about how you spend your time instead of letting technology, office defaults, and other people set your agenda.”

This book introduced the concept of having a daily “Highlight“. The highlight is not necessarily what you need to do but something that you want to do. The idea is that by actively choosing what you pay close attention to, you are “being intentional and focused about how you spend your time“. This gives you agency in your situation and, thus, will reinforce your sense of accomplishment because you have have an active role in choosing your to-do‘s and, subsequently, accomplishing them. It was emphasized later on that most of our to-do’s are just “reactions to other people’s priorities, and not yours” – which was such a hard nudge to myself. Looking back now, I realized that I’ve been too stuck in that cycle and how toxic it was for my own motivation.

I’ve been an avid bullet journal (BuJo) enthusiast ever since I discovered the system 4 or 5 years back but kind of stopped due to some circumstances. I do think I do it in some form or another this past year but not enough to have a structure to it. But then, when I was leafing through the spreads I had in the past years, I realized that I’ve been doing it all wrong. As fueled by my above realization from Make Time, it appears that what I’ve been doing is merely listing down all my to-dos, a means to react to every external factor I have going on from before (particularly deadlines and other demands) – that I forgot to really make time for and do the things that I love and I’ve always wanted to do. No wonder I’ve been feeling unfulfilled for quite a long time now.

So yeah… I decided to make some changes. I know this was just a long-winded way of saying that I’ve decided to restart my bullet journaling practice again – but, hopefully, this could introduce some positive changes in my life that I sorely needed.

I am currently

reading the OG guide to bullet journaling: The Bullet Journal Method by the inventor of the system itself, Ryder Caroll. I was practicing a watered-down technique on BuJo in the past years but I figured it’s time to visit the actual system that started it all. I’ve been just a couple of pages in but I am really liking how it’s not just a step-by-step guide book on how to bullet journal, but it also drops some mindfulness bomb that really makes me appreciate how this system helps people if they just do it with the right intention. I particularly admire how this started mainly as his means of coping with his ADHD (“To me, these were the many crutches invented to support a faulty brain.“). He also included short anecdotes of people that reached out to him saying how this system helped them in various things: dealing with PTSD, managing OCD and a bunch of stuff that really warmed my heart. Anyway, this is actually a good read if you’re into mindfulness or is just looking for a new system to organize your thoughts. I’m currently using this method + the Make Time methodology hand-in-hand. I’m still trying out stuff so it’s a bit spotty in some areas but I am enjoying the process so far and found that, in it’s own specific way, this practice grounds me and makes me more aware of my days.

writing my eARC review of the second book of the The Gilded Wolves series by Roshani Chokshi: The Silvered Serpents! I love love this series to death and Book 2 is set to be published in the 22nd. I hope it does well because this series is everything. I’m honestly having a hard time expressing my love for this book in words so I hope I could finish this review in one piece.

listening (or at least, tried to) to Bandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings on Audible. I tried listening to the prologue and, immediately, I feel like this book is something that I needed to read in print to get my full attention. It kinda sucks because I purposefully waited from my audible credit this month to get this book because it was so expensive when I tried to avail of it outside the credit ($40+) but now I am thinking whether to order a printed copy or just buy it through Kindle. Either way, putting this off for a bit. In the mean time, I am enjoying this playlist of “chill japanese songs to vibe with when somethings off” I randomly found at YouTube.

watching a lot of vlogs from my fave YouTube content creators lately. I am particularly enjoying Rowena Tsai‘s videos lately. They’re the perfect blend of self care, mindfulness, and productivity which I think is exactly what I need in this uncertain times. We’re all trying to keep afloat in this trying times and watching her videos has been such a comfort. I recommend watching her “7 Habits That Helped Me Get My Life Together” video if you want some sprinkle of positivity in your day.

drinking my home-made hot chocolate. I used whole milk + Ricoa’s Breakfast Cocoa (unsweetened) + a little bit of sugar. I’ve tried a lot of cocoa brand but nothing comes close to this local brand. We always hoard packs of this because the grocery always runs out no matter what season.

feeling hopeful for this coming week.


I cut off a couple of things in the Taking Stock template because I feel like this is already too long. I do enjoy sharing some snippets in my life + the additional takings stock details so excuse me for rambling in the beginning. But anyway, I do feel lighter every time I type this post so I guess this tag/meme is really working.

How about you? How’s the past week for you?

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Auditor by profession and a 'round-the-clock geek 🤓 from the 🇵🇭. I'm a coffee-holic INTJ with an unhealthy obsession with books and stationery. I word-vomit over at Twitter and posts book pics at Instagram: @pagesandcc . I also blog at https://pagesandcoffeecups.com/ .

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