Why Make Time for Journaling When You Are Busy

 

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image by katiew

 

Sometimes, when I’m really busy, stuck with a never ending to-do list (okay, that’s all the time, but sometimes it’s genuinely a problem), journaling feels like a waste of time.

Not the activity itself, but the act of stopping, to write things down, when I could be “productive” and ticking things off my list. I’m sure you have those moments too.

If journaling feels like self-indulgence in a busy time, it’s almost certainly the perfect time for you to stop and journal.

Read that last sentence again. Yes, I do mean it.

If you are too busy to journal, if you feel like you are drowning in everything you need to accomplish, that’s the time when you need to journal the most.

It will help you do three things:

Assess Your Situation

You need to stop a moment. Take a step back, and assess exactly what you are dealing with. In your journal, write down everything you need to accomplish, and the consequences if you don’t. The most severe the consequence, the higher the priority. This exercise will give you your priority list. It will show you what is urgent and important. 

It will also give you, in black and white, the exact scope of work ahead of you. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you are overwhelmed. Once you have a clear scope of work ahead of  you, you can plan your tasks one step at a time. That’s where the next step comes in.

Figure Out Possible Courses of Actions

Once you have your priority list, look at the easy wins. Some items may take you very little time to finish. Get them out of the way. Crossing off a few things on your list will give you a psychological boost. Now, look at the rest.

Are there any items that could be delegated? If you are collecting information, could you get your colleagues to pass all the relevant information? 

Can you break down major tasks into bite size chunks? 

Can you postpone any of these tasks? 

Remember, everything is manageable. If you focus, prioritise correctly, use your journal as a brainstorm tool to cover various action scenarios, you will know exactly what steps you need to take to accomplish your tasks. Then it’s just a matter of focusing, and getting things done.

Review Lessons Learned 

This is for after you’ve completed your tasks. Look at the first two steps, and think about how you ended up in a situation where things got so overwhelming? Was it mere chance (it rarely is), did you take up a lot more than you should have, or did you not manage your time well? Dig into the reasons. 

Write down what  you could have done differently, and what you could have done better. Then use this information to avoid similar situation in future. Use these lessons to not only manage your time, but manage your tasks, and manage your planning. 

Journaling is a powerful tool, but only if you use it correctly. When you are really bogged down by things to do, utilise it, and it will give you clarity – which is a key to productivity. 

 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY

Apply these steps with your current to-do list. 

 

 

 

Ask the Readers: What Do You Do When You Are Feeling Down?

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image by pinksherbet

Every one has days when they feel a bit down, or a lot down. Even when your life’s going well, some days, you just feel that edge of depression.  I’m not even talking about clinical depression here. In the case of the actual illness of depression, I would highly recommend you consult a doctor. But for the purpose of this post, we are talking about regular depression, and ups-and-downs that are part of being human. 

Feeling down now and again is simply a part of the ebb and flow of life. 

How do you react when you feel down? What’s your solution? Is it reaching for chocolate (oh yes please), shutting yourself off from everyone, going to sleep, getting angry, getting moody? What’s your reaction?

When I feel down, I either just read or I go to sleep. These are my usual reactions. Depending on the reason and degree of that feeling, I also journal. Well, I definitely journal – but whether or not I do it right then depends on why I am feeling depressed. Some areas, such as the ones that are work related, tend to propel me into journaling faster, but if it’s more emotional reason, then I tend to postpone journaling. 

What about you? What do you do when you are feeling down? 

 

365 Days of Journaling – Download Free Sample

 

365 days of journaling

 

If you want to try before you buy….you can download a free sample, first 15 pages, of 365 Days of Journaling from the subscriber’s area. Simply enter your email address in the sidebar to the right, or the homepage, and you will be taken to the Free Goodies area. 

If you are already a subscriber, just enter the same email address again (don’t worry, you won’t be double subscribed), and download the sample. 

The full 365 Days of Journaling is available for purchase here

 

 

 

Journaling and Solipsism

 

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image by seaturtle

 

Solipsism is a theory, a philosophy that claims that only the self exists, or can be proved to be exist, and nothing outside the mind could be proved as real. 

The theory started off in Ancient Greece and since then has seen plenty of debate. However whether or not it’s true, the merits of the actual theory are not our concern at this point. Our concern is about the idea of journaling.

A lot of people, especially those who don’t keep a journal, consider it an egoistic self-indulgent. A place where you go to revel in YOU.

Journaling is not an activity to become more self-centred. It’s an activity to become more self-aware.

You see the world through your eyes. There is no denying that our individual opinions, our view of other people and the world in general, are coloured by our subjectivity. Being self-aware means being aware of how our personality colours our viewpoint. Being self-centred means thinking our viewpoint is the absolute fact. 

While journaling, you are focusing on YOU. You are focusing on how you think, what preoccupies you, what your goals and dreams are, and what’s happening in the world around you. But even as you do all of that, what you are actually doing, is writing about how the external factors – family and friends, your boss, your job, the weather, the tax man – are influencing your life. It’s not about denying reality outside of your mind, it’s about accepting its influence.

There is a saying: no man is an island. It doesn’t matter how much of an introvert or a loner you are, the fact is, there are other people constantly influencing  your life. In a similar manner, you are influencing their life. We are all interconnected – and I’m not even talking about any philosophical or spiritual connectedness here. I mean, we are all interconnected, in a very practical, tangible manner. If you want to see an example, look at something like Linked-In. It will tell you, how many people are in your network, and in your extended network, simply based on the people you know, then the people they know, and so on. 

Journaling is about being aware of these ripples of influence. 

When you journal, by focusing inward, by focusing on your self, you are not obsessing over the fact of your reality, you are instead focusing on understanding, accepting, and then hopefully improving your self. Every person, who focuses on their individual potential, contributes to the world’s potential. Because guess what – the world is made up of each one of us. 

There are the ripples again. Every action each one of us takes creates ripples that affect the world. So if you thought you have no impact in the world, think again. 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Think about the ripples you create, and write about how you are influencing the world. 

 

 

 

 

365 Days of Journaling (WIN A FREE COPY)

 

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image by libookperson

 

If you are an email subscriber, you would have already heard about the upcoming 365 Days of Journaling, an e-guide that will be available through the Kaizen Journaling Academy. I’d plans to release it in July, unfortunately, life got a bit chaotic so I had to postpone the release. 

Kaizen Journaling Academy has already offered several e-courses. But now, I wanted to create something that was available to you to work with at your own pace, and in your own time. 

365 Guide to Journaling is a collection of 365 prompts that will go beyond your average journaling prompts. You’ll be able to explore your inner world, your outer world, and everything in-between. You can revisit the prompts any time you want, and each time you go back, chances are you will get different insight.  

365 Guide to Journaling is suitable for both beginners and advanced journal keepers. If you are a beginner, it will give you an easy-to-use format, and a prompt for each day of the year. If you are an advanced journal keeper, it will give you fresh fodder for your journal. 

The official release will be next Thursday, on August 15. But before that, I would like to do a contest, as is our tradition here with release of new products. 

For a chance to win a Free Copy of 365 Days of Journaling, tell me in the comments below WHY you want to win a copy of 365 Days of Journaling. 

P.S. – All the beta testers did an amazing job giving their feedback. You will receive your free copy in a few days. 

 

 

5 Reasons Journaling is a Life Changing Skill

 

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image by 76winger

 

If you thought journaling was just about picking up a pen and pouring words out on paper, you would be right. But if you thought, that’s all journaling was, then you would be wrong.

Journaling is a skill, and one that could be improved. You can get better at journaling by doing it, and also by learning from other sources such as this blog or Kaizen Journaling Academy. But in this post, let’s focus on the importance of this skill.

 

[typography font=”Old Standard TT” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]5 Reasons Journaling is a Life Changing Skill[/typography]

 

Self-Awareness

Journaling is a very effective vehicle for multiple layers of self-awareness. The most basic step of awareness is that through journaling, by dumping everything that’s on your mind to paper, you are giving a voice to all your thoughts, especially your subconscious thoughts.  What might otherwise be repressed, or get lost in a frenzy of fleeting thoughts, is captured and recorded for you to reflect on.

Another form of self-awareness through journaling is gaining an understanding of your values and beliefs. The things that you so often write about in your journal are usually things you dislike, or things you love, or want. They all say something about you, and about what is taking up many moments of your life and of your mind. Journaling makes you more self aware because it gives you an opportunity to understand how you view the world, as well as how you view your self.

Finding Patterns

Finding patterns is a kind of awareness, yet important enough to have its own mention. For all of us, there are issues or things that we keep circling back to in life. Whether it’s because that’s what we are drawn to, or that’s what we are avoiding – whatever it may be, life is full of patterns, and so is our psychology. Journaling over a period of time, especially over several years, will help you see the patterns you keep coming back to. What are the issues that you obsess over now, that you obsessed over two years ago? What doesn’t seem to change or improve? What are the things where you keep going over the same ground over and over again?

Once you know the pattern, it becomes so much easier to do something about them.

Clarity Of Purpose

Do you believe your life has a purpose? If that seems too high-and-mighty, how about goals? Some people feel sure that their life has a purpose. A particular way in which they are here to contribute to the world. My purpose is to write. But it’s also my goal. Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about life purpose, you can focus on your ambitions and your goals, things you want to achieve. Journaling can help you clarify it.

What are the things that you write about? What setbacks and success? What frustrates you? What is it that you want? What dissatisfactions you talk about? What, in other words, do you want out of your life?

It’s not the kind of clarity that comes overnight for most people. Even if you believe in life purpose, most of us did not grow up with the knowledge of that purpose. It takes time, life experiences, and reflection to come to that conclusion. It takes a combination heart and head. Journaling helps the two meet quicker, and surer. When you gain that clarity, you not only have your instinct, but you also have the black and white evidence – through your words – of how you came to that conclusion.

Better Self-Expression

By journaling, you are also practising writing. The actual process of pouring words out on paper, expressing yourself to make sense of your thoughts, makes you a better writer, and makes you better at expressing yourself. Self-expression is a useful skill in everything from personal communication to corporate communication.

Track Development 

Journaling is not just about dumping your feelings on a page. It’s a way you can track your personal development. It’s a tool you can use to see how your goals developed over time, what did you achieve and where you failed? You can also look at how your skills improved, what worked and what did not. You can learn from your past mistakes, and repeat the things that worked for you. Life happens when you are not paying attention, and so it’s easy to lose track of the journey that you’v already taken. By looking back through your journals, you can ensure you don’t miss out on the important lessons you’ve already learned, and also how far you’ve already come.

 

These are just 5 reasons why journaling will change your life. Treat it as a skill, practice it regularly, and you will see more results than you ever thought possible.

 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY: 

Take one of these 5 steps, and write about how journaling can be a life changing skill for you.