The idea that keeping a diary or journal can improve productivity is not new, studies over the years have revealed that writing down our thoughts can benefit mind & body.
Keeping a diary or journal comes as second nature to some people, others need a little prompting, if it’s something that’s crossed your mind but you’ve not got around to it here are a few suggestions to get you started
- Find a nice notebook – think about the size, will you be carrying it around or will it be locked away in the office? Do you want to combine your appointments or just make notes recording your own dates.
- Make it personal, add a few photos or famous sayings that inspire you
- Create a routine – decide what time of day you will be writing & stick to it
- Write the date & time of day in full – some say it’s an idea to note your mood
If you still need more inspiration then take a look at The Top 4 Tips on How to Start a Journal which has some good detailed practical advice.
Researchers at Harvard Business School produced a paper revealing that 15 minutes of reflection at the end of the day leads to better productivity. They split a bunch of employees into 2 sections, for 10 days one group spent 15 minutes after work making notes & recording the events of each day. When their performance was examined the note takers proved to be around 22% more efficient & productive than their colleagues.
Professor Francesca Gino from HBS said
“When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy,”
“They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they’re doing and what they learn.”
When we write about our life experiences, taking time out to keep a journal it can have positive effects in situations like
- Increasing students grades
- Improving our memory
- Increasing our chances of finding work after redundancy
It appears that folk find it can also work as a mechanism to relieve stress & strains of the day as well as providing a point of reference, using it as a reminder of accomplishments or mistakes that they don’t want to repeat.
The act of Journalling has been practiced over the centuries by writers, inventors, world leaders & icons like Churchill & Picasso. Apparently Richard Branson once said “my most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook,”
A journal doesn’t have to be in book form, some bloggers use a variety of platforms to record their thoughts but in doing so sacrifice their privacy. If that is a step too far there are a number of apps you could try like RedNotebook or Day One
If you are feeling more adventurous you may be also surprised to learn that journaling is a great way to learn a foreign language.