Why Make Time for Journaling When You Are Busy



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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. 



Apply these steps with your current to-do list. 




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