Hey there, I wanted to tell you about an experiment I’ve been doing in the past week or so.
I got inspired to start to start journaling again, but this time in a very specific fashion.
I’m not talking about something like writing diary entries or such, this is something more directly related to productivity.
The kind of journaling I propose goes something like this.
Keep a very small, moleskine-like notepad with me at all times, in the car, in my jacket pocket, everywhere. It needs to be small because you really want to keep it with you at all times. Maybe several copies in case you’re the forgetting type.
Then, whenever you notice your mind cluttering up, you take it out and just start scribbling.
Short bullet points of no more than 2-3 lines each, just jotting out those thoughts that are starting to gum up the works. Now, you might not even notice it at first, but soon you will.
These thoughts may be generally of three categories:
- Inspired ideas you want to instantly do something about – at the very least jot it down so you can take action when it’s more appropriate for you (but still during the same day)
- Negative or intrusive thoughts – you really need to get these out of your system before they start to affect your outlook, attitude or emotional state (which in turn immediately affect your results). Write these down on dedicated pages – and throw them out or at least cross them out when you’re done!
- Fleeting but important thoughts – this category may be harder to recognize at first, but they’re equally important. These are different from the inspired ideas in that they are just something that happens to you during the day; some observations about yourself, your work or other people. You need to get these down too, so that you’ll stay in the moment.
Later in the day, take time to review what you jotted down, and make action plans or just gloss it over. Two things are important in this stage:
- Don’t get hung up on any of this. Just let your eyes go over what you wrote, and if something grabs you, get into it. If not, just observe how your thoughts have been today.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT review any of the negative thoughts you may have put down today. You don’t want to re-ignite any of the bad emotions you got rid of by writing them out.
If you do the journaling and the daily review, it’ll take max. 10 minutes of your day. In return, you’ll get clarity and presence of mind, unsuspecting idea gems, and a very satisfying view into your thoughts and days!
It’s well worth it, I guarantee it. Go on, try it!