Productivity Journaling: A Great Time Management Hack
In this post I want to talk about “Productivity Journaling” and how YOU can use it the same way I do:
To track my energy levels, increase my focus on what matters to me, STOP doing things I dislike doing, and track my results towards my most important goals.
Daily journaling is one of my ABSOLUTE favorite things in life and what I mean is NOT that I love to JOURNAL, because writing actually kind of hurts my wrist after a while…
What I mean is I love the INSIGHTS that come to me when I’m keeping a journal regularly.
I also love that I get more CLARITY about what I LIKE and DISLIKE throughout the day and the week.
How Journaling Helps Overcome Your Blocks
Keeping a journal has helped me overcome my blocks at various points in my life and figure out what’s causing me any frustration or anxiety that I’m currently feeling.
For example, several years ago simple daily journaling and reflecting helped me realize that I was nearly working myself to death every day trying to grow my SAT and ACT test-prep business and not taking care of myself.
Because of that insight I was able to gradually institute changes that have greatly increased the quality of my life since then –
All because of an easy, little daily journaling habit that EVENTUALLY helped me realize what was right in front of my face: I was working too hard, and it was making me unhappy.
How To Use Your Daily Time-Management Journal
For YOU, I think daily journaling is going to be good for finding your priorities and your times of peak energy.
By tracking what you daydream about - what you WANT to do during the day - you can do what I did and gradually prioritize your time to better focus on stuff that really makes you happy.
Or, if you already KNOW your priorities, journaling is great for researching your own ENERGY LEVELS - on a daily and weekly and even a yearly basis.
For example, I keep several varieties of journals that help me direct my daily energy.
Over the years I’ve become more of a morning person, but I for long time I still THOUGHT of myself as a late-night person - and it took months of journaling to gradually realize that, actually, I had CHANGED –
What I REALLY looked forward to now was getting up early to make coffee, breakfast, and start to work on my business and music projects.
So that’s one MORE thing I learned through a simple journaling habit that boosted my time-management and my quality of life once I had the insight.
Here’s another one: years ago I learned, again through personal daily journaling, that I am simply UNABLE to work 7 days a week over and over again without a break.
Some of my entrepreneur heroes may be able to do it, but I don’t think I can.
So, I scheduled in a MANDATORY “off day” for myself on Fridays and EVENTUALLY I even learned to keep to it.
I am able to make the other 6 days of my week more productive because I make sure to rhythmically include some mandatory break-time for myself - I can do anything except work on Fridays.
Why Keeping A YEARLY Journal Is Awesome
On the yearly basis, I kept a second, VERY simple and easy yearly calendar-journal that only had enough room for about half a sentence or about two bullet points per day.
After filling this yearly calendar up for two years, I realized that I had a lot of low points during the Winter but that generally around New Years’ I would start to really happy and excited again.
Eventually I could put 2 and 2 together and realized that at the start of winter, business was slow and it was stressful knowing what to do.
But after new years, my business gets very busy, which takes some of my worries off my mind and puts me in a better mood.
That also indirectly reveals how important my business is to me - if it’s doing well, I feel happier, and vice versa.
So yearly journaling can be great for finding your high and low points and learning important lessons for yourself over time in that regard.
Celebrate Your Progress, Results, and Success
Daily and Yearly Journaling has many further uses, but I’m going to cover a third one right now.
Journaling is great for RECORDING and CELEBRATING progress.
Many people report that once they start tracking their daily results (in fitness, business, school, or whatever), they start to actually GET BETTER RESULTS because now they’re paying so much more ATTENTION to whatever it is they are measuring on a daily basis and that ATTENTION helps them IMPROVE faster.
It can be homework assignments completed per day, college apps completed, or whatever.
Whatever you’re tracking in your journals will DEFINITELY improve over time.
Three Topics To Track In Your Time-Management Journal
So journaling can be used at the BEGINNING and the END of your day to track three main things:
Number One: Your priorities. Your likes and your dislikes. What was fun and what was miserable during the day.
Number Two: Your energy levels. When do you feel and perform the strongest during each day, week, and year?
Number Three: Your results. What did you accomplish today? What results do you choose to measure?
Start Small In Your Journaling
Intimidated? Don’t be.
Start small - quick and easy daily journaling is a good time-management exercise even for people who don’t like to write, and keep in mind that NOBODY but you will ever see what you write.
Still feel resistant to trying it?
Well, if you really want to improve, you need to try some new habits - that’s why you clicked on this article!
I STRONGLY encourage you to try out my recommendations out if you want to see real improvement.
Daily journaling at whatever level you can commit to is ALWAYS a good thing - so many great leaders, writers, businesspeople, astronauts, artists, motorcycle racers, or you name it - have kept a journal of some kind.
I PROMISE you won’t regret trying this daily journaling habit out for 30 days, seeing how it helps your figure out your time-management priorities and energy levels, and you can always drop it if you don’t like it by then.
Does It Work For You? Let Me Know!
Do you keep a daily journal? And, has it ever helped you learn something useful about yourself?
Before you go on to the next post, head to the comments section and tell us if you’ve ever tried daily journaling before, and what happened!