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7 Bona Fide Benefits of Having A Work Journal

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Benefits of work journal

What’s common between Warren Buffet, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Branson? They all have a journal where they write down their thoughts and goals. Journaling is one of the reasons why they’ve stayed at the top.

You might think having a diary and listing all your thoughts is childish, but it’s not. Whenever I talk with colleagues or team members, I advise them to start a work journal. It’s done wonders for my career and is an easy hobby. Here’s why successful people take time to use a work journal.

Defining Journaling

Journaling is the habit of writing down your thoughts and emotions in a notebook. Sounds simple, right? However, it’s not just writing on the fly. When you start a work journal, you take time to record your day and how you react to everything in it. What you focus on can vary from person to person.

For example, Warren Buffett uses a journal to make his annual investment reports. His style is different because he doesn’t do a traditional, formally written analysis. He takes time to write down stories and encounters that have shaped his financial decisions over the years.

The beauty of journaling at work is that you can focus on all the good and bad emotions. You can celebrate small successes and distinct achievements, from a finished report to a well-deserved promotion. You can also write about frustrations with your project, colleagues, or workspace.

What matters is that you take the time to process the information as you take down your notes. Once you do, you give yourself time to re-examine what you previously thought. This type of reflection is why journaling is one of the most recommended tactics for stress management.

7 Proven Benefits of Journaling

Now that you know how journaling happens, I want to show you why it’s so important. As someone who writes in his work journal every day, I know that the habit has made my life much easier. Here are ten proven benefits of a work journalk that will help you understand its importance.

1. Effective Coping Mechanism

Psychologists and therapists often recommend their patients do writing exercises and diary entries. The reason why it’s so popular is the fact that having a journal can help against stress and depression. Studies on journaling have shown that children and adults develop increased stress control and tolerance. Participants from a children’s hospital reported that over 85% felt the writing exercise was effective.

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The reason why is simple: journaling helps you process information. Sometimes, emotions can sweep us into acting rashly or feeling extremely upset. When you write down and list what bothers you, it helps your brain reassess the situation. You might realize that you weren’t behaving correctly. Alternatively, you may discover that your reaction is justified. Once you express what’s bothering you, the stress slowly disappears, and your mind can breathe again.

2. Planning and Organization

Remember what I said about Warren Buffett and his work journal style? What makes his unconventional habit useful is that it helps him reflect and plan ahead. Warren uses stories and memorable moments to reinforce new strategies for investment. He might learn that one company isn’t doing quality work and write down how he feels about it. This way, he can plan ahead and prioritize cutting losses or changing the company’s direction.

You can follow this same method by writing down your daily tasks. I always have my team members list their goals for that day. Whatever quota or job they plan to do, writing it down helps them find a direction for their work. This strategy can help them focus their priorities on what needs to be done, like reports or follow-ups.

3. Improved Memory

Recording your thoughts for the day also helps your memory. Because you process information thoroughly, you’ll be able to sharpen your mind. Your brain gets a mental exercise as you write, improving your memory and focus.

Journaling at work can also help associate specific ideas with events. For instance, writing down your first day at work will influence how you view your job. You know you’ve found a positive work environment if things are better than expected. On the other hand, if things are getting stricter and harsher, you might need to reconsider your current role.

4. Reflection and Self-Discovery

The more I’ve written down in my work journal, the more I’ve understood how I want to be a leader. Thanks to my writing, I’ve reflected on how I’ve behaved and how I can remain accountable. The more I write, the more I realize who I am and what I need to do.

You can also start doing this when you start a work journal. As you write down your work experience, you’ll reflect on how you’re reacting and why you do that. People who don’t know where they want to go can find purpose when they take time to reflect. Ultimately, we sometimes need a moment to think for ourselves. This way, we can start moving towards our financial and professional goals.

5. Creative Ideas and Plans

A journal at work is also an excellent way to start analyzing problems. Say your boss wants you to plan a new marketing campaign. These plans can require a lot of thought and creativity to succeed. If you start writing down your ideas, you can filter through all the options to try and strike gold. Remember to write down whatever comes to your mind. What seems stupid or obvious might be the best solution overall. You could also try drawing or mapping out ideas. By building a roadmap of your plan, you can quickly connect the dots on which options work and how they can help each other.

6. Improved Physical Health

So far, I’ve explained how journaling at work can be a mental asset. Recording your thoughts and concerns can relieve a lot of mental stress. However, it can also help you physically. Aside from practicing penmanship, journaling can reduce high blood pressure and stress-related ailments. Because you write down your stresses and fears, you develop more patience and emotional control. This control can help you stay relaxed and calm when facing hard times or irritating problems.

7. Inspiration

I always tell my colleagues that I have two lists in my journal. One is a list of the goals I have for the future; the other is a list of all the things I’m grateful for. Because I have this in my journal, I can always use it when I need guidance and motivation to keep working. You can use this trick to push yourself beyond your limits. Whenever you feel tired or uninspired, take a moment to peek at your work journal. See how far you’ve come and why you’ve stayed at your job. This reminder could give you enough strength to make one more project or report.

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Tips to Kickstart Journaling At Work

You now see seven bona fide reasons that people, including me, keep journaling at work. The habit has changed my life and made me a better, more focused individual. That’s why I always recommend it; perhaps you’re now considering it too.

If you want to make it a new hobby or you want to restart an old habit, here are some tips to help you start journaling at work

Find a Time and Place to Write

Like any routine, where and when you start a work journal is essential. Having the right place means having a quiet space to focus on listing your thoughts. For example, you can write in your journal every morning at your desk. You could also write it before bedtime at your home.

Furthermore, you can try getting some earbuds or listening to relaxing ambient music if you need some peace. Songs like lo-fi or jazz can help you drown out distractions like loud neighbors or barking dogs.

Start Small

You might think that having a work journal means filling out an entire page a day. That goal may be too tough to do, especially for first-timers. I recommend starting with a simple list, like the one I use. Writing down what you’re grateful for and what you want to achieve can be a good reminder for the next time you write. Also, it’s okay if all you can muster is one sentence. Jot it down. In time, this one line will grow and expand to fit all the things in your mind.

Pick Your Journal

Where you write also covers the type of writing you encounter. I’m a big fan of using pen and paper. The feeling of writing down your thoughts helps me relax and think. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try writing it down through your tablet or phone. Whatever style you prefer, make sure you keep the habit. You must reinforce the behavior and make it a routine in your daily schedule.

Check Out Prompts

Sometimes, you might draw a blank and find yourself unable to come up with a topic for the day. Journaling at work can sometimes lead to a block or dead end. If you ever get stuck, you can break out of the slump by writing about where you are. Look around you and feel the air, the sound, and the room itself. Observing your surroundings can be a good start for your next entry. You can also check out recommended prompts like this list from Create Writing Now or these suggestions from Psych Central. Samples include:

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  • What kind of day are you having, and why?
  • What are your most prized possessions?
  • What’s a country you’d like to visit? How do you imagine your time there?
  • How would you like your life to be when you’re older?
  • Does your work drain or overwhelm you? Why? Is this something you can change?
  • What part of your workday do you most enjoy?
  • Describe one or two significant life events that helped shape you into who you are today.
  • Describe two or three things you do to relax.

In Summary

Journaling at work is an effective routine that many successful millionaires and celebrities use. Writing down your thoughts can help you process each situation better. It also improves your mental skills, explores your personal beliefs, and challenges your creativity. Starting a journal at work can lead to multiple psychological and physical benefits. Once it becomes a routine, writing on a work journal can help you examine your life and plan for the future.

Article Sources
  1. Bailey, K. (2018, July 31). 5 Powerful Health Benefits of Journaling. Intermountain Healthcare.
  2. Create Write Now. Accessed on July 14, 2022. Journal Prompts – Journal Ideas to Inspire you. 
  3. Foster, J. (2022, February 25). Examples of Highly Successful People Who Journal. Create Write Now. 
  4. Life made EC. Accessed on July 14, 2022. Benefits of Work Journals. 
  5. Raypole, C. (2021, May 16). Ready, Set, Journal! 64 Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery. Psych Central. 
  6. Tartakovsky, M. (2022, February 22). 6 Journaling Benefits and How to Start Right Now. Healthline. 

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