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OFW guide: How keeping a journal can help you be productive

September 8, 2012 8:30pm
For many people, keeping a diary or journal may be a thing of the past.

However, the business site Forbes suggests that a journal still has a great value in everyday life and could even help boost our productivity at work.
 
In a Forbes article, Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile said a journal can help people keep track of important information.

Writing these information in your journal will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses – including the minor ones which are easy to forget.
 
“One of the big reasons to keep a diary is to record small wins that otherwise might slip through your memory,” she said.

“It’s also helpful to record major setbacks – or minor ones that recur – so you can think about how to get rid of inhibitors blocking your progress,” she added.
 
She also said a diary will help you gauge your progress over the period of time.
 
Amabile listed four tips on how your diary can increase your productivity:
 
(1) Start small
 
Write your goals, achievements, and setbacks in a diary but there is no need to spend a lot of time doing so.
 
Instead of writing big future plans in your diary, start with your daily life.
 
The important thing is to keep journaling consistent and habitual.

You can start by listing information for 5 to 10 minutes daily. You can even list the information as you receive it.
 
This will ensure that small details are not missed and diary writing doesn’t bore you.
 
(2) Keeping up to date
 
One of the challenges of maintaining an accurate diary is keeping it up to date.
 
Sometimes, you will be so busy that you wouldn’t have time to write some entries. When you do have the time, you may be too tired to write.
 
It is thus important to make your diary entry writing a habit during the times that you are least likely to be disturbed.
 
Whether it’s during your morning coffee break or before you hit the sack at night, choose a time when you can easily unleash your thoughts into your diary.
 
(3) Being too pessimistic
 
People usually tend to rant about all their problems in life when they are given a blank slate to put their thoughts in.
 
To prevent this, avoid writing negative things in your diary. Focus on your goals and achievements.
 
If you have to write setbacks, just stick to the details and straighten out the facts without adding emotional side comments.
 
Remember that your diary is not a place to vent your problems but a tool to gauge your progress.
 
(4) Look back at the past
 
If you have written continuously on your diary for a couple of months, it would be a good idea to start reviewing past entries.
 
This will give you great insight on what you should improve on and what you are already good at.
 
It will also make you aware of past blunders and help you avoid repeating history. - VVP, GMA News