So much time and so little to do! No, wait! Strike that! Reverse it! With the global impact of Covid-19 recking havoc on all that we hold dear, these famous words uttered by Mr. Willie Wonka just don’t sound as sweet. I won’t bore you with the facts and figures of our current nation-state. I will simply say that we are all in this together – waiting, watching, wondering what’s next, and doing our best to fill our days with activities and work that are both productive and life-affirming.
As the media continues its onslaught of information and updates, most American workers are nearing at the point of exhaustion. Some are frozen by fear, some are confused and working from home for the first time ever, most in need of some mental release or outlet to let go of the chaos in their minds.
Don’t know how to explore your beliefs and values during this time of crisis in a productive and business-centric way? Why not write them down! “One of the most effective ways to reduce stress with journaling is to write in detail about feelings and thoughts related to stressful events, as one would discuss topics in therapy, and brainstorm solutions.” (Very Well Mind)
The simple act of writing can help you work through tough personal decisions and challenges that will impact your business livelihood. For more on the positive effects of journaling and tips to incorporate the activity into your daily business practice, I turned to tech entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Peace Out (Kaywalo Inc.) Andrew Corona. Through infusing daily journaling into his busy schedule, Corona can let go of the mindless chatter in his head and remain steadfast and focused on what matters.
Can you explain some different styles of journaling and which one(s) you feel serve the business community best?
There’s a lot of different styles that are all good options. Depending on what you are looking to achieve (through journaling) or what you do in the business world. Here are some good examples:
- To get organized: A bullet journal is a month/week/days-long with an index, task lists, events, notes, and reflections. (I recommend this one for the business world). You can buy one premade like Panda planner or create your own on a piece of scratch paper and create the best format for you.
- Tune into your creativity: It doesn’t have to be text-based. A multimedia sketchbook or scrapbook that you can fill with designs, photos, and other art counts.
- If you want to sleep better: Nighttime journaling can be a great way to “let go” of everything and “close” the mind from what has consumed your attention for the day. It could be a simple line paper where all you do is write everything that is on your mind. It doesn’t even have to make sense – the point here is to use it as an emotional or creative dump session. I highly recommend using this type of journaling to improve your mental health.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Use a fitness journal to track your daily/weekly/monthly workout and diet progresses. I prefer using an app for this, like, MyFitnessPal. They do an excellent job encouraging you to follow through and even reward you for hitting certain milestones.
The purpose of journaling is to help you take control of your life and to view the progress from Day 1 to Day 1000. You can do the traditional pen to paper or type in an app, the options are there for you to decide what style(s) work best for you.
How do you go about establishing a journaling habit and a healthy self-reflective routine?
Keep it simple and just write. There is no right or wrong in journaling. If the idea is daunting or seems like heavy commitment, I recommend starting by writing a one-sentence journal. Very low commitment, like Q&A a day or daily affirmation.
What journaling tools (online or paper) do you recommend and why?
Everyone is different. What works for me may not work for someone else but if I had to recommend one or two, it would be Evo and Panda Planner. They both provide an online and offline option with the purchase of their paper planner. What I love about the Evo is before you can make a purchase on their website, they have you complete a questionnaire to understand your brain type. After you receive the results, they will recommend a certain planner based on your individual results.
How does someone who has never journaled before in their life overcome that voice in their head telling them that this is a waste of time, or why would I journal, or this is silly or stupid?
One way or another we already incorporate journaling in our lives. Usually in the worse sense such as using your Apple or Google calendar. Journaling is only an extension of that process you have in place. I recommend, to ask yourself first “why” and “what” that you’re looking to get out of journaling before starting. Once you know your reason, keep it simple. Create a one-sentence journal to start and then work your way up.
In your experience, how has journaling helped you to be more productive in your business and in your personal life?
In business, journaling has pushed me to maintain a level of productivity that I never had before. My business journal is a planner where I track my tasks, my appointments, write down my daily affirmations and reflect on yesterday’s or last week’s or month’s progress. On those tough days, I reflect on my progress to see where or how far I’m come and reminisce on other times where I persevered through other hurdles.
In my personal life, it is everything. I depend on my journal as an emotional dumpster to let go of whatever thoughts that are currently racing through my mind. This has helped me stay present in life. It has helped me stay focused during the workday. It has helped me accept the past and prepare for the future. I love my journal.
Want to Learn More…
Once given the all-clear by management, Andrew will be hosting an interactive journaling workshop entitled “Elevated Breakfast” at Downtown Works. The focus of this 1-hour morning session is to help entrepreneurs hold themselves accountable, get organized, and mentally prepare for each business day.
Also, participants will leave with an overall understanding of how journaling can aid in personal productivity and becoming their best selves within a structured system(routine). The date and time of the workshop are TBD.
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