27 Apr Starting a Business Journal
Research has shown that the best leaders regularly take time out to reflect. It’s important to get a sense of perspective and bring it to your decision making on a day to day basis. But sometimes the pace of life is just so frantic that it can be hard to make the time to really listen to yourself. Keeping a journal can give you that reflection space. It can help you to stay focussed, organised, self-disciplined and productive.
I’ve started regularly using a business journal and it’s really starting to transform the way I think. This, combined with a few of my other favourite things; listening to TED talks; podcasts; great reads and positive thinking; is helping me to be more resilient. It keeps me focussed on my long term goals and brings them into my every day planning and thinking.
Journals can help you to flesh business solutions out. It makes things seem more real and allows your ideas to grow and expand and it can help you to see the flaws with plans so you don’t waste time on them. It also allows you to learn from your mistakes. You can reflect on something that has happened and think about how it could have had a different outcome so you know better next time.
Journaling allows you to be able to look back to when you’ve felt full of energy, completely in flow, full of creativity and brilliant ideas and you can see what you were doing around that time, who you were with and what you were reading. The self-reflection that’s involved in journaling helps with motivation and self-discipline.
Putting things in writing seems to solidify promises that you make to yourself and your goals stay in the front of your mind. There’s something really satisfying about writing about your successes as well and that can be powerful and motivating.
And it’s really easy to get started you just need to buy a journal and a pen – either a blank one or a prompt-focussed journal (we’re developing some new ones at Zyra in the coming months so watch this space!). Bullet journaling is becoming a really popular journaling method and can combine your to do list, planner and has space for your thoughts, reflections, artistic talent and ideas. There are loads of articles online on how to do this if you are into all that, but if you just want to keep it simple all you really need is a pen and a notebook.
Commit to reflecting for 10-15 mins a day (once you start you’ll often spend longer just because you can get so much out of it). Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, pick a time that works for you every day and it’s probably also a good idea to keep your journal in a safe place so it stays private.
Just write about whatever comes to mind; no censoring; no judging. Journaling can help you to hold yourself to account for progress you made that day against what you planned and to plan your following day. You can write things you’ve learned, things you’ve experienced and new ideas.
There is also scientific evidence that writing by hand can help with mindfulness, this is because writing by hand requires a different motion than typing and it increases activity in the brain’s motor cortex, an effect that is similar to meditation. It also gives you space to slow down and take some time out and if like me, you work on a computer all day, it just makes a nice change.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony – Ghandi