Journaling for Productivity
I’ve been doing a short journal as part of my morning routine for a couple of years now. It started with just downloaded whatever was in my head with some structure, but I never did anything with it. It was a more of a therapeutic offloading and setting basic intentions than anything else.
Whilst this was useful, I’ve switched it up a bit recently and used it to superpower my productivity. I’m already seeing the difference, just a couple of months in.
Over-estimating what I could do
I’ve always had a tendency to over-estimate what I can achieve. It doesn’t matter if it’s for the day, or when I’m planning out my year, I’ve been known to set some unrealistic goals. I’ll start out thinking ‘I’ll do A through to Z’, but in the end, I’d only achieve A to E. I felt like I wasn’t moving forward fast enough and was disappointed in my progress.
Often my day (or months sometimes) would be hijacked, changing my direction in ways I could not predict or plan for. This meant that although I got stuff done, it wasn’t always from my list, and my priorities changed regularly.
My ability to be flexible meant I was adaptable, but I wasn’t always noticing my achievements.
I love podcasts and a guest on one of my regular shows shared how they used a journal to aid their productivity. This act alone they believed had been responsible for the huge growth of their business. Being a little nerdy about this type of topic, my ears pricked up!
They did a short daily journal but there were two differences to what I’d been doing. 1. They set only goals for the day (personal or business), and 2. They did a monthly review exercise.
This was a lightbulb moment for me! Although I set daily goals, they would often be more of a job list. To add to this, even with all the information available, I rarely reviewed what I’d achieved or even read old entries unless I was looking for something specific.
I decided to give it a go and I’m already enjoying the increase in my productivity after only a couple of months. By setting myself 3 main goals each day, the next day I tick them off (I get a weird amount of satisfaction from this). I then spend an hour at the end of the month, collating what I’ve achieved personally and professionally onto a page, so I can actually see the progression I’ve made that month.
5-minute journal (using an A5 diary or notebook)
- Tick off your previous day’s goals
- Reflect on the previous day, the good, the bad and the ugly – get it out of your head and onto the page
- Gratitude – write down three things that you are grateful for
- Set your intentions for where you want to move towards in your life and/or business. This can be a vision for the future or how you want to be for the day ahead, whichever is appropriate at the time.
- Set 3 achievable goals for the day
This adjustment to my journaling has given me an easy way of measuring my progress, both in my business and personally. I’ll carry doing my monthly reflections and keep them with my marketing measures and accounts. They will be priceless for my planning sessions to help me move my business forward.
I’ve really enjoyed seeing my progression over the last couple of months. I have an overview of my achievements and a reality check when needed. When things aren’t quite as balanced as I want, I’m prompted to make changes.
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