How To Boost Your Productivity With Journaling? [5 tips]
Ah, yes, journaling — the term you’ve probably have heard hundreds of times during the past few years. Since mindfulness has skyrocketed in its popularity (probably due to the uncertainty and stress this pandemic has brought us), every slow-living influencer has mentioned journaling at some point in time.
And while some of us might think it’s a complete time waster and is only beneficial for people with inner struggles, many studies have found that journaling can also be super helpful for increasing your productivity.
In this blog article, together we’ll explore the benefits of journaling, as well as learn how to properly start doing it ourselves (and, spoiler alert, you’ll thank us later!).
What exactly is journaling?
Even though you might have heard this term being thrown around, again and again, you probably haven’t reeeally paid full attention to it. So let us tell you more about it!
To put it simply, journaling is documentation of your thoughts and feelings by writing them down. While there are many ways you can do journaling, there are no strict rules on how to do it and things you should follow. Though keep in mind that you’ll get better results if you journal daily.
This exercise can help you track certain patterns, allow you to look back at achievements, and see the overall changes over time. That way, when you look at your previous entries, you’ll be able to see what obstacles you’ve conquered and how you’ve grown as a person.
As briefly mentioned, there are multiple types of journaling. Some of the most popular are:
- reflective journaling (acts as a private place where you can reflect on your life, processing emotions and different experiences);
- daily journaling (similarly to your childhood diary, it involves recording what happened to you);
- stream of consciousness journaling (involves writing without using prompts or goals — just writing down whatever is in your mind at that moment);
- bullet journaling (can be used as a daily diary, a calendar, or even a task manager);
- gratitude journaling (simply writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful every day can boost happiness, improve well-being, and even your physical health).
How can one benefit from journaling?
Before we jump into the link between journaling and productivity, let’s take a look at how journaling in general can help you grow as a person (which should be our biggest goal in life).
1. It allows you to think clearly
By writing down events and emotions that you experienced throughout your day, you’ll be able to re-live them one more time, that way learning to see things from different perspectives.
The written record will allow you to look back at things you might have done better in certain situations, helping you find better ways to communicate with others and navigate through your mindset.
This is called reflective thinking — over time, it will help you to think more clearly on a daily basis.
2. Helps strengthen your “I want it — I got it” mentality
This is all about setting and reaching your goals. As soon as you’ll have written down your short-term and long-term goals, you’ll be able to create a clear action plan to achieve them.
Writing down your goals and wishes will help you reflect on them with a clear mind and see realistic ways to reaching and fulfilling them.
3. Learn more about not only yourself but others as well
Putting down your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper will allow you to better understand others, because, by bringing awareness to your own feelings and emotions, you’ll be able to see what might be behind other people’s actions.
Therefore, you won’t jump to conclusions so quickly and also be able to communicate more effectively.
The link between journaling and productivity
So far it might seem that journaling is only about venting about your feelings and inner thoughts, and while some of that may be true, it can also totally help you with gaining back productivity.
Some surveys even show that people who have begun journaling for productivity can’t see themselves abandoning the practice. Some of the main benefits from productivity journaling they mention are:
- it helps to gather thoughts together, allowing to get clear mind for new ideas;
- the ability to set certain goals;
- track progress and then have the ability to look back at how you’ve grown.
And no wonder it helps with all those things because journaling is basically an exercise of planning, tracking, and brainstorming, which are all the core things of work productivity, right?
Tips on journaling for productivity
Now let’s dive into the basic steps that will help you take up journaling as a daily practice!
Tip #1: Write things down on a real paper
In this digital age, it might be very tempting to look for digital notebooks or apps to use as journal alternatives. But science shows that writing things down by hand on a physical paper can lead to better journaling results.
It is said that when you take your pen to write things down, you can’t write as fast as you do by clicking the buttons on your keyboards. That way you limit how many words you write down. And this is beneficial because it can allow you to reflect more deeply on the information you write down.
Also, your hand’s movement can help to enhance your focus as well as evolve your creative thinking.
Tip #2: Track your goals
Writing your goals down can have a huge impact on your ability to achieve them. And that has been backed up by study. Dominican University did research where it was concluded that students who set their goals by writing them down had significantly better results in reaching them, compared to students who didn’t write them down.
It works because writing your goals down lets you get a clear vision of what they truly are in the first place. And then you can use this list of set goals as a contract with yourself in a way, motivating yourself to work towards reaching them. Once you’ve done that, trust us, you’ll find a way how to do so.
Tip #3: Make to-do lists
Yes, you can also use your productivity journal as a place to make to-do lists for your tasks. You can even group them into multiple categories from the most urgent to the least important and set dates next to them. That way you’ll have a clear overview of your main duties.
You’ll also find that this can reduce your stress because writing your tasks down on a list helps you be sure you don’t forget anything, contrary to how it usually happens when you try to keep everything in your mind.
Tip #4: Make space for analyzing yourself
One way to significantly boost your productivity and overall work efficiency is by analyzing yourself — the ways of working that help you get things actually done and what are some practices that you need to work on more or even switch out.
- What tasks did you complete today/this week/this month?
- How long did it take for you to complete them?
- What tasks are still not completed on your list?
- What are the things that slow down your productivity?
- What are the things that help to increase it?
- When during the day do you feel most productive?
- When during the day do you feel least productive?
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you eating well?
- Do you feel anxious or stressed? What’s causing it?
By devoting some time of the day to analyzing the various aspects of your day you can remove bad habits and concentrate on improving the good ones.
Tip #5: Feel free to vent in your journal
Writing down goals and making to-do lists are great practices, but you also have to make room for venting. This can help you get out all the negative (and positive) things that cause you brain fog and distract you from being successful.
Writing down your emotions may also help you avoid unintentionally dumping them on someone else.
The last few years have shown us what are our mental limits, how we handle things under pressure, and how fast we can actually get thrown off our productivity waves. But the good news is, as we have already time and time again explored in different blog articles, there are many ways you can get back on track.
Journaling is just one of many ways that can also help you, so don’t be afraid to try it out — this experience will only help you be a better person!
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