6 Ways Journaling and Keeping a Planner Benefits Productivity
If you're looking for ways to improve your productivity, journaling is a great place to start! Journaling is an excellent way of clearing your mind and getting organized. It also helps you better understand yourself and what's going on in your life. Keeping a planner will help you stay on top of deadlines and appointments, not to mention it will make the process of maintaining productivity that much easier. These two simple things can have a huge impact on how productive you are throughout the day.
We are all given the same 24 hours in a day, it's what we do with those 24 hours that make all the difference. Although there are many ways to improve productivity, this article discusses the benefits of keeping a journal (or planner) and how that can help boost your productivity and assure that you are using your time wisely.
1) Start each day with a morning routine to help you get organized.
Begin your day by writing down your top three goals. But don't stop there, prioritize them 1-3. By doing this, you're avoiding the "to-do list" trap. What I mean by this is, when you make a to-do list, you frequently default to the easiest tasks to complete, not the most important.
When prioritizing your goals you create awareness around the goals that need to be accomplished in order to move the needle. Not only are you laying out in front of you what needs to be done but you are telling yourself that these are important, if you accomplish nothing other than these 3 goals, progress has still be made!
2) Organize tasks by category
Learning how to maintain focus is key to boosting productivity. it's important to highlight the fact that focus diminishes as time goes on. There are a few ways to combat this, one of which is changing task categories. For example, you might set a timer for yourself to work on your blog for an hour, when the hour is up you transfer into a goal you set for yourself in graphic design. The act of changing categories can help you refresh your mind and reach another peak level of focus, ultimately, enhancing productivity.
Staying within a single category and attempting to maintain focus all day is an uphill battle. This little trick will help you establish new starting points throughout the day.
Consider 3-4 main categories that you desire to be more productive in.
This can be:
Once your personal categories are established, now you can make sure that when you feel your focus and productivity diminishing with a certain task you rotate to the next one.
3) Set a time for work and leisure each day
Along with the previous point, making sure to set time aside for leisure is just as important, or more, for your overall productivity.
Oftentimes, when we consider making changes to become more productive we simply look at what we can do within work.
But in all reality, giving yourself scheduled leisure time will improve your output when tackling the tasks you need to accomplish.
Just as the previous point of "category hopping" helps refresh focus and productivity, creating leisure breaks works the same way.
This doesn't have to be a full hour-long workout, it can simply be a 10-minute walk, soaking up some sun, basketball, meditation, brief exercise, yoga, etc.
4) Plan out your week ahead on Sunday night so you can start the next Monday prepared.
Give yourself direction.
Establishing weekly benchmarks is a surefire way to give yourself direction on a daily basis as the week continues. Include to-dos, deadlines, and projects in your planner that are due soon or this week.
Now, as the days move on, you have a better understanding of what exactly you're working towards. You need to avoid the state of limbo that sometimes you find yourself in; spinning your wheels with tasks, unsure of where exactly they are leading to.
Take 10-minutes on Sunday to lay things out for yourself.
Bonus: After your weekly planning, place this sheet where it will be seen so you remain mindful of the direction you are headed.
5) Reflect: Use a journal to reflect on what went well and what could have gone better. Keep track of what you've done each day
This is probably the most overlooked component of productivity.
Productivity isn't built overnight.
You look at productivity as moving forward. But what if all you need is to look backward?
Let me explain, you don't learn from experience. You learn from becoming aware of your experiences. And awareness is built through reflection.
Reflecting doesn't need to be a long process. Simply asking yourself "What went well today?" and "How can I improve, moving forward?" will give you the awareness of how you can improve in order to enhance your productivity.
As simple as it sounds, if it's good, repeat it. If it's bad, don't repeat.
This reflection helps you accumulate small wins with compound outputs, ultimately, helping you become more productive.
6) Use a bullet journal for organization and creativity
Creativity is a lost art. With so many distractions at our fingertips it seems that many fill their time with distraction as opposed to creativity. But the fact is, you have the ability to tap into your creativity.
"But I'm not creative"
... You can be! And this is important because finding your creative niche gives you something refreshing and exciting to work towards!
The good thing about creativity is, you don't need to work hard at being productive to become productive. When it's something you want to work on, you'll find joy in the process.