5 Ways Journaling Makes You More Productive
Oct 12, 2017
Remember the diary you kept back in fifth grade? All those entries that started with "Dear Diary" may be adorable to look back on, but the younger version of you may have been on to something big with all that journaling.
Keeping a journal or diary can be a great tool for staying focused, organized, and increasing your productivity.
In fact, a Harvard Business School study found that employees who journaled at the end of the day experienced a 22.8% increase in performance compared to their peers who didn't journal.
Whether you’re looking to find more focus, make a big decision or add a little positivity to your day, journaling can be the key to becoming less stressed and more productive.
Give Yourself Props
When you think back on the past year, which personal achievements stand out to you? Exciting moments like a promotion at work or perfect exam score might come to mind, but sometimes it can be difficult to remember all those smaller moments when you felt successful.
Every small win in our jobs, at school, and in our personal lives deserve a moment of positive reflection to remind us of what all our hard work is going toward. Maybe we mastered a new program at work, learned to communicate better with our roommates, or saved enough money for that dream trip to Cabo.
But it’s easy to get caught up in working toward the next goal without taking time to give ourselves some props.
Keeping a journal can help you recognize and remember all your "wins" throughout the year. By recording achievements in your journal — both big and small — you can see all the ways that you’re making progress in your personal and professional goals.
Get Stuff Done
Beyond getting you lots of compliments from friends, classmates and colleagues, your cute new journal can be the gateway to staying on top of your goals and getting stuff done.
Writing out your daily to-dos every morning can help you organize and prioritize tasks so you don’t miss a single meeting, deadline, or lunch date.
Beyond that, writing down your goals — rather than just day dreaming — has proven to make you more likely to achieve them. How’s that for a productivity hack?
Plus, rather than getting sidetracked by stress, research shows you can find a sense of clarity and control over your anxieties when you write about them. So don’t be afraid to let it all out — your journal won’t judge you!
Staying productive means rising to new challenges — be it at school, work, or in a creative endeavor. Journaling can help you keep your memory sharp so you can process and retain new information and experiences better.
According to a Harvard Business School study, "Learning from direct experience can be more effective if coupled with reflection. Reflecting on what has been learned makes [your] experience more productive."
So be sure to write down those interesting facts, new words, or unique experiences in your journal to help you utilize those ideas or experiences in new, creative ways in the future.
Find More Gratitude
While you may have used your middle school diary to vent about too much homework or a too-early bed time, using your journal to jot down the things you’re grateful for can actually have a powerful impact on helping you stay positive.
Studies show that writing down just 3 things you’re grateful for every day can clear your mind of anxiety, boost your mood, and help you find more appreciation for the people and experiences that make your life great.
From a nice compliment from a coworker, to an incredible cup of coffee to the smell after a rain storm, taking time to catalog the little pleasures in life can help you start the day on a positive note and make it easier to not sweat the small stuff.
Make Good Decisions
If you’re still not convinced about the many powers of journaling, a journal can be an excellent decision-making tool.
Reflective writing has shown to improve critical thinking and decision making.
When you write down your thoughts about a big decision you’re up against, it makes it easier for you to analyze and process the pros and cons.
Whether you’re considering taking a new job, moving to a new apartment, or planning your next vacation, a journal helps you untangle your thoughts so you can make a clear, conscious decision about your next step.
From staying positive to staying organized, journaling can help you stay on track so you can continue to slay like a total #ladyboss at school, work, or in a side hustle.
But sometimes our plates are so full, we lose sight of how to balance our work and play. Learn how to strike the perfect school-work-life balance >