writing-in-journalI wanted to let you know about something that’s been very beneficial for my time management and my ability to accomplish my daily goals.

Last week, I made a commitment to writing in my journal as one of the first things I did every morning.  The only thing I would do before I wrote, was drink a glass of warm water.

Why write first thing?

Through research I learned that we are most productive as soon as we wake up and if we write down our goals for the day in a journal, we are more likely to get them done.

An example of an entry goes something like this,

Today I will…

Read one chapter of the customer service book

Draft meeting agenda

Prepare worksheets for meeting

Write project work plan

What I’ve noticed is my mind is goal-oriented right from the start of the day.  For the most part, I have accomplished what I have set out to do.  Even if an unexpected interruption occurred, I was still able to go back to my list of goals for the day.

In addition, journaling has been really helpful to reduce my procrastination.  An article I read in the New York Times stated,

“Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond.” Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem,” said Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa.  “the primacy of short-term mood repair … over the longer-term pursuit of intended actions.” Put simply, procrastination is about being more focused on “the immediate urgency of managing negative moods” than getting on with the task, Dr. Sirois said.

We all do it.  The solution, forgive yourself and move forward.  Write down your goals and make your distracting temptations more inconvenient.  Once you have written your goals for the day, schedule your tasks and activities to accomplish them, into your calendar.

How do I know this is working for me?  Well, for over a month, I have wanted to visit a friend on a Saturday afternoon.  But, because I had unfinished work from the week, I was always doing work on Saturday.  Last week, as a result of morning journaling, I was way more organized and had time to visit my friend on Saturday afternoon!

What do you want to accomplish today?  Leave your emotional ghetto by writing it down and getting it done!

~ Lisa