One thing that made an positive impact on my productivity was journaling. It may sound silly for some of you, and it certainly did for me, but it made a noticeable impact on my productivity when I started doing it. I do my journaling every day in an app called Day One, however it will work with any other tool where you can make templates (e.g. Notion). It takes just a couple of minutes every day.
Our brains forget most of the things we see or do after a couple of weeks. Journaling lets me capture to some extend what I’ve been feeling that day or moment and what I’ve done to reach my goals in life. It’s fun to read back what you were thinking 6 months ago and where you stand now. You can’t get further in life if you don’t reflect on the things you’re doing today.
Most people think time moves so fast because they don’t remember most of the things they do. Journaling helps in slowing down the time to some extend.
Basically I have two templates, with a set of questions I fill in at the beginning and end of each day:
- What should your highlight of the day be?
- What am I looking forward to today?
- What thing under my control would make today even better?
Reflection at the end of the day
- Three wins of today.
- One new thing I’ve learned today.
- One thing I could have done better today.
- Am is resisting something? What?
- Short story about a moment today.
- What should be the highlight of tomorrow?
- A topic where my unconsciousness can think about.
I have been journaling for a couple of months now, and here is what I got out of it until now:
- Setting the course for the day (I have an highlight to work on every day).
- I am more likely to do something when I write it down.
- By writing “Three wins of today”, it forces me to focus on the positive things of that day.
- It forces me to write down the things that I’m procrastinating. That way I visually see the thing that I push forward. When I notice that I write down things that I’m procrastinating down three days in a row, I will do it the next day.
- It lets me capture what happened that day which I probably wouldn’t remember three months from now.
I got so much in return for the couple of minutes I put into journaling. Just try it for a month and see if it makes a difference in your life as well. The least you will gain is a timeline of your life, which is nice to see when you’re 10 years further in your life.
And remember: You won’t notice progress without reflection.