How Writing Things Down Helped Rack My Productivity Up

The plentiful benefits of journaling

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Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

There is one simple cure to most problems we have. It’s free, it doesn’t take much time or energy, and you can do it from the comfort of almost anywhere you are. That cure is called journaling and I’m here to tell you how it transformed my life.

Now you have probably heard about journaling — like I did in the past before learning its many benefits or like my best friend did when I introduced it to him recently. Maybe you even occasionally write things down: on your phone, on a piece of paper you found crumpled inside your handbag. Most of us, however, don’t do journaling correctly and in so miss out on the many rewards it can bring.

At the beginning of 2019, mid-January, I happened to enroll on a journaling mastery course by blogger and author Benjamin Hardy. I didn’t expect too much from it. Just hear what he says and take it from there, I thought. But Hardy explained in an enthusiastic way how important it is to journal every morning and evening to meet your goals and achieve success. That enthusiasm turned out to be contagious and it was some minutes before I went to retrieve the still-empty planner notebook given to me as a birthday present a couple of years earlier. It bears a nice, positive “Make It Happen!” writing on its front cover, and so, it all looked like it was meant to be.

The activities I engaged in since starting the course were if not life-changing (yet), transformative definitely. Every half an hour or so after waking up and before going to bed I’ve been dedicating to my newly gained habit. I write everything that springs to my mind: things I have done on the day, interesting conversations I had, new people I met, plans for the next day and even goals for the coming months — if I feel like it. In the morning, I usually do a briefer journaling entry.

Since starting doing this, I have noticed how much more I manage to do in a day and how sometimes when it feels like I have a million things to do, which can stress me out and put me in a panic mode, I realize I only have five and three of them I can do within the first hour — that’s a proven fact.

But remember: journaling will only work its magic if you do it properly. That means disallow notifications on your phone or, better even, put it on flight mode. The trouble of social media is that it puts you in a reactive mode and, instead of pursuing your ideas and goals, your mind reacts to the things your Facebook feed is overborne with. And you know for yourself those aren’t always the most top-quality stuff your brain needs.

Physically write things down if you can because I believe there is some magic in the pen-and-paper combo. And remember to do it at least twice a day: in the morning, before you look at your emails and social media and in the evening right before you fall asleep. Plenteous benefits can also be drawn from the summarizing weekly or monthly journaling sessions.

If you’ve taken up journaling recently, let me know how it changed your life. And don’t let social media steal your future successes and disrupt your harmony.

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