October 30, 2017

101: Keeping a work journal

Journaling, or keeping a diary, isn't just for angst-ridden teenagers anymore. Upper-level executives find developing the simple habit of keeping a journal each day helps their leadership skills by bringing new insight into areas of decision-making, partnership dynamics and more. Here are some potential advantages to jotting down your day's events as a new best practice.

Brand-new perspective brings benefits.

Keeping a journal offers insight into yourself you may otherwise not have, said Jessica Stillman at Inc.com, potentially opening up areas where you may otherwise be stuck. She quotes Madeline Stilley, who began keeping a journal, writing at the end of her workday. "This tool assisted me in pinpointing communication errors, enhancing relationships with colleagues, and learning to be a better listener … It improved my awareness and decision-making," she said. The practice, she said, can take less than 10 minutes a day.

It eases you into recovery from a work day.

"Journal sessions are your post-work reflection time. Account to yourself what you got done that day and what needs to be moved to tomorrow," writes Success.com's Benjamin P. Hardy, taking pride in what was accomplished. That way your time away from work can truly be focused on your partner and family. Keeping a work journal can help you create balance: The simple act symbolizes leaving the work day behind, he said.

Patterns emerge, creating crossroads.

We're all busy. So the kind of big-picture reflection resulting from keeping a work diary is something many of us don't make time to do. Some themes coming forth through journaling may be negative, but could be the onus for change. "A few sessions writing in your journal could lead to a breakthrough that gets you to change careers," companies, or even go into business for yourself, says BusinessInsider.com.

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