Did you have secret diary when you were a kid? One with a key that you wrote in religiously and tucked away in a secret spot? I can still see mine.
Well, it turns out that many successful people recommend keeping a diary or journal as a key to their success. Why? The act of writing can be therapeutic, spark new insights and creativity, and a journal can keep you accountable! With respect to accountability I haven’t found anything in the electronic realm as powerful as the old crossed off paper to-do list. If I really want to ensure something gets done I find writing it down in my journal keeps it top of mind.
Last time I wrote about creating a bucket list of things you want to do and also remembering to keep track of great stuff you’ve already done. Previously, I wrote about noting 3 things you are grateful for, specifically “what-went-well?” (for more on this topic read Flourish by Dr. Martin Seligman, known as the Father of Positive Psychology) at the end of each day, and identify and eliminate time and energy zappers. A journal, yes a paper one can be a great tool for this kind of planning, reflection and growth.
Besides keeping you accountable, a journal can also help you fine tune your plans for the day, help you improve by reflecting on what went well or didn’t go well, and why, serve as the perfect place for mind mapping ideas or challenges, capture doodles which have proven benefits for stress relief and enhancing memory, and give you a visual check on your Work.Life.Balance. Whew, that’s a lot!
A daily journal can be a perfect complement to your electronic calendar, that you can either take along with you during the day, or just leave on your desk as a planning and reflection tool for morning and evening. I love getting up in the morning, making a cup of coffee and heading to my clean desk with my journal and a favourite pen to fine tune my plans for the day.
Here’s a secret! Viewing your life through a positive lense and writing about your life with a positive attitude, is proven to contribute to better health. So try to focus on the positive!
On that note, if you haven’t yet watched this great video by Shawn Anchor on happiness at work it’s worth watching. Just click on the Take 5 icon below. (12 minutes, fits nicely into a coffee break and you can stand up and stretch while watching).
ps. Sign Up for our free WorkLife Wednesdays to receive links to great tip sheets, planners, Take 5 Break ideas and more.