Journals are typically a private place for you to air out your thoughts, feelings and fear. They’re also typically found far outside of the workplace.
It turns out, though, that this notion should be ignored, as the benefits of journaling extend far beyond your personal life. The following five reasons prove it. Need more convincing? You only need to journal once a week to reap the benefits.
- You’ll Chart Your Goals and To-Dos
You probably have a list of yearly goals somewhere in your employee file, which means you don’t look at it or reflect on it often. If you keep them on a page in your journal, though, you’ll always have them in mind. This means you’ll be more likely to work toward them as the year progresses and have something to show for yourself at your next yearly review where you’re likely to be rewarded for all of the work you’ve put in.
You’re sure to find yourself adding to the list as you mark items off, which means you’ll be ready for the next time you sit down with your boss and come up with a set of year-long goals.
Of course, recording and achieving your yearly goals is a journaling benefit that will take a few months to pay off. For now, you can use your journal to help yourself decide what’s most important to tackle in the days and weeks ahead. Having all of your to-dos in one place, rather than scribbled on Post-Its and stuck to random surfaces in your office, will make you more likely to tackle them.
As an added bonus to your boon in productivity, finishing a to-do list feels pretty great, too. Having your journal on-hand as a place to record and cross off tasks will bring you one step closer to this level of satisfaction.
- You’ll Be Able to Solve Problems Better
Work is stressful and, sometimes, our emotions get in the way of our better judgment. As such, you might find yourself making decisions that you later look back on and regret. That’s where your new journal will come in: To sharpen your problem solving by helping you sort through your thoughts and emotions and arrive at a solution.
After writing down your problems at the office, you’ll be able to see and digest them more clearly. Once your thoughts are organized, you can see through the fog of your emotions and find a solution that’s right — versus right now. It’ll also help you to better solve issues in the future (more on that later).
- Your Communication Will Improve
When’s the last time you really thought about how you were going to say something before you said it? Chances are, it’s been a while. That’s because, in today’s world, communication happens instantly. We simply don’t spend as much time gathering our thoughts and perfecting the way in which we’re going to present them to others.
A journal allows you to put your ideas together at a much slower pace. Writing by hand and really thinking about what you’re planning to say will let it come through, whether you’re writing an e-mail to a higher-up or planning the talking points of your next sales pitch. No matter what you do, know that writing is a great way to improve all forms of communication.
- You’ll Reflect on Your Setbacks
Some things that happen at the office are just bummers, plain and simple. It’s natural to feel sad or disappointed when things don’t go the right way, but dwelling is not going to get you anywhere. Instead, take your disappointments and scribble them down into your journal at the end of a long day.
As you write, you might find yourself delving beyond the surface and seeing more than just the mess-up: You might realize what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future. That’s valuable insight that you can put to good use the next time a similar issue arises.
- You’ll Find Small Victories
After a long day at the office, you’re sure to remember the big moments: presentations given, deals signed, projects finished. While these are certainly fulfilling milestones on which to reflect, they don’t happen every single day. Sometimes, days without big accomplishments can feel like a waste, especially if a setback occurs within the same eight hours.
Writing down everything you’ve accomplished at the end of the day can give you a more well-rounded takeaway after a day that seems lackluster. You’ll think about and remember some of the smaller things you achieved, which will leave you feeling a lot better about the day.
With a brighter outlook, you’ll leave the office in a better mood and come in the next morning ready to try for another feel-good day of work to top yesterday. Now that’s a competition that you’ll be happy to win.