In my search for boosting focus and energy, I found an interesting source: A Daily Journal.
This post is not to address why this works, so much as how to get started.
I really had not seriously considered making a journal part of my daily routine, until I read Michael Hyatt’s post on The 7 Benefits of Keeping a Daily Journal.
That got me started, and now I cannot recommend the habit enough!
Whether you use a high-tech or a low-tech solution, it really doesn’t matter. There is tremendous value in increasing your energy levels and productivity when you take the time to stop and reflect. The best way I know how to do this, is to keep a journal.
The idea may sound intimidating to some, but I found it to be rather easy by using a journal template that I created. In my template, I simply list five key areas that I use every day to structure my thoughts.
Make it Simple: Use a Template
I keep my journal in a software program, using an app on my phone.
Evernote is great because the content is hosted via cloud based storage. This means that whether I’m taking notes at my computer, on my phone, or any other location – I have access to all my data. I also don’t have to worry about what happens to my journal if I need to replace my phone or computer (this just happened to me last month!).
After reading Robert D Smith’s “20,000 Days and Counting” about a year ago, I started titling each journal entry with the number representing how many days I have been alive. For Example, today is day 12,207.
My faith is important to me, so my template starts out with a segment reflecting on a reading from the Bible. I usually will just paste a verse or two and leave a few comments of reflection for myself. Read something thoughtful or inspiring during this time to help shape your thoughts for the day.
The next section I have is titled “emotions.” In this section, I write a few thoughts about how I’m feeling at this particular moment, or in a global sense, how I feel about the day coming up. This also allows time and space for me to reflect on what’s happening as well as clarifying the thoughts of what I would like to see happen.
Next, I have my wife’s name where I write thoughts about our relationship and good memories that I’ve had over the past 24 hours.
Then I have my sons name listed, where I comment on what’s going on with our relationship, important milestones, and anything else worth commenting on that has happened in the past 24 hours.
The last section on my journal template is titled “work” and this covers more than just my day job, but any endeavors I have happening. This is also where I reflect on the progress of any projects I may have, and my personal thoughts about related items.
I find that writing in the journal is much easier when I use a template. The template allows me to use these different categories to help focus and think about what matters most, and prompts my thoughts about what is important to me.