5 Valuable Reasons Why You Need to Keep a Work Journal
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Last summer when I was struggling with my business, my husband would come home and ask me how my day was.
Our conversation would go sort of like this:
“How was your day?”
“Good, I feel like I didn’t get a lot done, though.”
“What did you do today?”
“I did this, and this and this, but none of that really felt productive.”
“But that was all productive, you did more work than I did today at my job! I’m proud of you!”
After a while, he started urging me to write in a journal for work.
I finally obliged and started writing down what I had done that day, and how I was feeling about it all.
What happened was my outlook on my days started changing, and I started giving myself more credit for the tasks I was doing.
Sometimes us entrepreneurs don’t think we’re working hard enough, long enough, or good enough for our business.
Keeping a work journal can give you a different perspective and improve your work progress and productivity in your business!
Here are five important reasons why I believe this is true.
Reason 1| A work journal allows you to track your progress
I had a tough time seeing that I was doing anything, even though I was busy all day. Writing down a list of the things I’ve done that day, otherwise known as a To-Done list helps me identify if I focused on the right tasks, if I’m on track for my goals, and whether or not I could have improved my performance.
Reason 2 | A work journal lets you monitor your productivity
If you write down what you’ve gotten completed as you go throughout the day, you can see which important tasks you have done, or still have yet to do. You will also be more focused to get those more important tasks done before you either get distracted or need to put a fire out.
My problem was that I didn’t see that I was being productive. I felt like I was spinning my wheels. Writing down the tasks I had done gave me a clear picture that I was actually working and making progress towards my goals.
Reason 3 | A journal lets you learn powerful lessons and hindsight
You may be missing important work lessons about your business if you aren’t writing down how you feel, your accomplishments, or goals. It’s hard to see certain lessons if they have come and gone, and you can’t go back and revisit the past as effectively in your memories.
With a journal, you can take a peek into the past by reading your previous entries. For me, I was able to look back at projects that I had struggled with, and I gleamed powerful lessons from reading them.
I can take a look at previous entries, compare the distance from where I am now, to where I was when I was struggling, and it gives me a better view of the roads I’ve travelled down.
I can more easily see the mistakes I’ve made, or actions that I took which ended up being successful, without me knowing at the time if it was the right decision.
Reason 4 | Where you are + where you want to be = desire to close the gap
Writing things down helps you see the distance from your goals, which can actually be helpful to you. James Clear (https://jamesclear.com/implementation-intentions) wrote an article that talked about writing down your goals, which drastically improves your chances of success by being intentional about them.
In fact, the British Journal of Health Psychology did a study about intentions, which found that being intentional with your goals by writing them down increased your chances of completing the goal by a whopping 91%!
Even famous author Brian Tracy says that if you write down your goals, you are automatically moving yourself into the top 3% (otherwise known as the top 1% of income performers) of adults in the world.
Reason 5 | Venting helps you process your internal thinking
Writing down how you feel about your current work projects, ideas, struggles, and successes helps you mentally process the situations you’re experiencing.
It allows you to step back a bit and see what’s working, not working, and sometimes can help you come up with the solutions to fix things that your mind may not have thought all the way through sitting inside your head.
Being able to slow down and write what you’re feeling allows you to actually listen to what’s going on in your thoughts and your mind. Since your thoughts are such a big part of your lifes experiences and outer environment, it’s important to listen to them.
We spend all day being so busy and distracted by everything and trying to make sure we got everything on our list done that we tune out our inner thoughts just to get things done. We have a bad habit of pushing them aside so that we can focus on the tasks at hand in our lives.
It’s okay to slow down and listen – in fact, that’s where our best ideas often come from!
By slowing down and writing your thoughts on paper about what’s going on in your business allows you to go back and rethink of strategies you had chosen to do. It lets you process things going on in your business that you’re dealing with, and it prevents you from making decisions that are reactionary instead of proactive.
I urge you to try using a work diary for your work.
Especially if you work from home as a solopreneur or entrepreneur, you get too many benefits to not do this, at least to try it out for yourself!
For the 5 minutes it takes, you get so many benefits from keeping a work journal:
- It gives you a bird’s eye view of your day, week, or month
- Helps you to monitor focus and productivity
- Work through the problems externally instead of internally pushing them aside
- Helps you to notice the gap between where you are and where you want to be
- You learn powerful lessons by the amazing perception of hindsight
Don’t confuse a work journal with a planner – but I recommend you make it simple and try to get a planner that has a section to write your journal items in, so you don’t have to worry about completing both or having a ton of notebooks lying around (please don’t look at my desk).
I recommend you start with our free journal template here! Print out two weeks’ worth of days and see if you like it.
After the end of the two weeks if you enjoy it, go out and buy yourself a journal that you love, with features that get you excited to use it.
I also do custom journals so if there is one that you need specifically to fit your needs I am happy to oblige, just put a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Journal Request” and we can get it made for you!
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