I used to think that the most useful tool that has helped me be productive over time was task managers. I used Franklin Covey products for years until they did not become easy to use digitally. I still love them despite that I have moved onto other products (Look for other posts in the future). However, I realized recently that it was journaling which is the key. I came to this thought recently when I had a chance to go back to the University in which I received my graduate degree (www.kennesaw.edu) a decade ago. One of the key components of the new student’s goal setting tasks through their MBA program is around journaling. I probably journaled before this, but I believe this is when it became very formal. I believe this is a foundation for any attempt to accelerate productivity. It has helped me personally balance the three or eight hats I wear in life.
I combine my journaling into several components. Part stream of consciousness, part gratitude, part spirituality, part action mandate. I believe that the major focus is to create journaling as an important habit, daily. What I am proposing sounds difficult to most if journaling is not part of your habit today. Most of us have a regimented day that has very little wiggle room. You probably have heard this before, but sometimes we can begin sometime new by taking a new activity in small -bite sizes. From my perspective it gives me a moment to open my thoughts and my mind to the possibilities of the day. Those thoughts should link to my mission and my goals (paying homage to Franklin Covey).
Sometimes my journals allow me to think about a specific thing that is important to me, service. I can’t recall where I heard this but there should be a moment in each day where we do something for others. The cool thing is that we can decided who. It could be family, someone at work, or someone in the community. I believe before this, my task lists and my thoughts were more inward looking each day. Not intentionally but we can sometimes become so focused on checking boxes, and proving ourselves to other we may forget that there are others that need us. I usually start my journal thinking about this, which can set the foundational mindset for the day. Start thinking about this and place a five-minute timer to gather your thoughts. I am going to share some of my personal favorite tools for journaling in this space in the coming days. Some will be digital and some will be analog. I will share my opinion on each of these and I hope you will share some of yours as well.