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February 21, 2014

Why Busy People Should Journal

Sarah Pavey

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When you’re a busy person, it can seem hard to find the time to keep a journal. You've got stuff to do – time spent reflecting seems wasted!

However, daily journaling helps you solve problems, learn better from experience, manage stress, improve your emotional intelligence, build self-confidence, think more positively, and move towards your goals.

Those are a lot of benefits for just 10 minutes effort each day!

Find out how to journal effectively – and intelligently – in our article.

Question: Do you keep a journal? What tips do you have?

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11 comments on “Why Busy People Should Journal”

  1. I've journaled for awhile now. My career coach suggested I start doing it and I was reluctant at first. After I got into it I saw the value fairly quickly. The system that works best for me is to make an entry in the morning and again before bed. In the morning I write about my energy and motivation level. Briefly write about what I intend to accomplish during the day and what I think will be my challenges. Then at night I reflect on how things went, how my mood affected the day and I recount at least one lesson-learned. The lesson-learned was the one item I thought I'd have most trouble with. Do we really learn something from every day??? Turns out we do. I like to re-read my lessons every once in awhile.

    1. It's great to hear from you Gord. Sounds like you have a very wise career coach. Is there one lesson that stands out or maybe one that tends to get repeated over time? I think for me, a lesson that I'm still very much in the process of "learning" is patience. It never ceases to amaze me how many ways this lesson presents itself and gladly I am getting more successful each time.

    1. Hi Susan, I know others who have said before that journalling does not work for them, particularly when they have very busy lives with lots to do. Yet, when they took a few minutes as they were going to bed to write our five good things that happened during the day, they found it had a positive effect. They slept better (funny enough!) and were able to see some of the good things that happened the next day. It just helped shift their perspective on things.

  2. I have a journal and I write in it whenever I need to sort something out in my mind. Rather than my thoughts swirling around my head, writing helps me to kind of anchor them and move forward. It also helps me unwind and relax, particularly when I put on nice music. It's my relax time to get in touch with me.

  3. Like Bree, journaling helps me sort things out in my mind. I gain clarity and it gives me some objectivity. By reading through my journal, I'm also able to spot trends in my thinking, judgment and decision making - good trends, as well as bad ones. When in situations, I can then hold red lights up to myself if I see I'm going down the familiar road of one of my bad trends. I guess it heightens my self-awareness then...

  4. I have been bullet journalling for over a year now, and it has improved my productivity. You can make it as 'journally' as you want to. I keep a running 'to do' and my schedule, and keep notes for one-to-ones and meetings. What's great about it is that you have to create an index of what is in the journal, so when it comes time for year end appraisals, I'm able to easily see all of the notes taken during 1:1's and team meetings. I've taught a few people at work how to do it, and they're hooked.

    1. Hi Wendy, I recently heard about bullet journalling from a client and they love it. They explained how they used it and it has given me some ideas to use myself. I have just bought a bullet journal and with start to 'play' with it ... hope it improves my productivity as well!

    1. Thanks for your question Farheen. I'm curious, for what purposes are you asking this question? If it is for academic referencing purposes, Mind Tools would be considered as a corporate website. Journal articles are generally peer-reviewed academic articles and are found either in print or electronic formats.

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