If you keep a journal (or are just dabbling at it), and if you also happen to be quite methodical and/or perfectionist, one constant temptation is to catch up. I frequently suffer from this.
You want to make sure that your journal contains everything of importance, or that it contains everything. You want to make sure that all things, conversations, places, people you find interesting, or that somehow impact your life, are recorded. This is particularly the case when I go travelling, or attend events, and have incredibly full days where lots of things happen. The downside of lots of things happening is that it’s really difficult to find the time to journal, particularly time to journal a lot.
The temptation to catch up remains. I jot down what I can,when I can with the intention of doing a detailed catch-up later. I start from day one, in great detail. However, what happens is that by the time I get home, I am super busy with my regular life, and there are present-time events to record. I am also usually unwilling to spend both thought and time on things that happened last week (unless they were really significant), and so I end up with a partial glimpse of a particular time which has detailed information about a day or two, and hardly anything for the rest of the time.
Fortunately, I have learned from these past mistakes. Now, I rarely try to catch up. The impulse to do so still remains, but accepting that I may not do it, I now jot down information daily as time permits, without attempting to write EVERYTHING. If I manage to write further details later, great. If I can’t, then I don’t worry about it.
If you are going to be a regular journal keeper – without breaking the habit – and if at the same time, you have a very busy life that does not allow for an hour of reflective journaling every day, then lose the obsession to catch up and your journals, and your peace of mind will be better for it.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY
Share your views / perfectionist tendency on “catch up” in your journal in the comments below.