‘We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.’
If you are someone who is obsessed with reading and listening to podcasts on how to increase your productivity, manage your time well, and be on top of everything, there are very good chances that you have come across journaling and how important it is to inculcate this habit in one’s life.
Let’s find out what science has to say about this.
According to a study conducted by Harvard Business School, participants who journaled regularly had a 25% increase in performance than the ones who didn’t. The researchers concluded reflection to be an important mechanism behind learning. Another study conducted by The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships concluded that journaling reduces emotional distress and lays emphasis on one of the most important lines in Anne Frank’s Diary, ‘Paper has more patience than people’. Anne didn’t write every day. According to her father Otto, she wrote only when she was upset or dealing with a problem. Journaling, therefore, is an important coping mechanism for many.
Journaling is an important keystone habit in improving one’s productivity exponentially.
It is more difficult to lie while one is writing and hence it is advised to write down one’s tasks and goals at the beginning of the day and what one has achieved at the end of the day to increase one’s productivity. There are also good chances that you’ll be more honest about your shortcomings and what one needs to work on while putting it down on a paper. The simple act of taking out time, sitting and writing down your thoughts helps one reflect and learn from the day, every single day. In tough times too, journaling helps in processing one's trauma better. It gives one a chance to rant internally, thus alleviating some, if not all, the stress or worries.
If you are new to journaling and don’t know where to start and a blank paper terrifies you, don’t worry. You can start by writing down one line a day. This could be something that you learned that day or something that you read or heard someone say and had a great impact on you. You can also start by tracking your daily activities and productivity. You could track your workout routines, your daily tasks, the decisions that you take throughout the day or something as mundane yet important as how many glasses of water you consume or the number of hours you sleep.
You can journal at the start of the day or at the end of the day. At the start of the day, you can prepare yourself for the things that you’d need to tackle while at the end of the day you can review your day and reflect on how you responded to everything you faced.
There is nowhere else that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his or her own mind, so constantly give yourself that retreat and renew yourself. So, Happy Journaling!