Journaling has surprising benefits for professionals. Whether you use pen and paper or an online platform, journaling can help you tune in to yourself and your habits—and chart a path for improvement.
Take a few minutes—no more than 10—to write down your thoughts when:
- A training session or learning opportunity ends. Jot down everything you learned to cement it in your brain. Also, use your journal to look back and refresh your memory.
- The workday is over. Reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Not only does that give you a sense of accomplishment for your successes, but it allows you to think about how to prevent or overcome failures going forward.
- You have an idea. Keeping a journal nearby allows you to quickly jot down those great ideas that pop in your head at random times, ensuring that you don’t forget them.
- Stress gets to you. Venting about a problem you are having often helps. If you can’t vent to a real person, spilling your frustrations out on a piece of paper can help you refocus. Sometimes the act of writing it down makes you realize that you are blowing things out of proportion or spurs you to come up with solutions.
Note to managers: Looking for an inexpensive gift for your staff members? Present them with a journal and a copy of this article to encourage them to adopt the practice of journaling.
— Adapted from “Journaling for Professional Development,” Mind Tools Staff, www.mindtools.com.