How Keeping a Journal Sparks Creativity and Improves Productivity

For anyone that calls himself or herself a creator, when asked “how,why,what” they don’t have a problem answering “It’s all in my head”. This is true because for a long time I never wrote down anything (i.e. documenting, planning, etc) I was able to execute any task without the use of anything because my notes existed in my head. Everything from start to finish.

As creator I came to a point in my life when I wanted to be more productive, organized, and efficient. During this time I had a hard time deciding how I would approach this. I could jump in and just hope to remember everything like I’ve with done everything else in the past.

The problem with that is forgetting things, no matter how in detail you might think you are, you will forget. Some of my best ideas were never written down until it was executed by someone else, then I would remember.

At the top of 2019 I decided to grab a bullet journal and began documenting everything. Even those there are best practices for using a bullet journal, I went against that and just started to write.

Creativity

Every idea or creative thought I have is written down. If you’re never short of great ideas write them down. It’s important to record these ideas because there may be time when you may have 10 bright ideas come to mind in an hour. There’s no way you’ll be able to get to every idea. So if you write them down you can always come back to them, especially when your mind is fresh

A common use case is when I have to diagram workflows, architectures, etc.

Accountability

Writing tasks and goals are great ways to hold you accountable.

Creating a list of micro tasks can help achieve a greater goal. For example what if you want to build a clubhouse, while you want to finish it all in a day, that isn’t ideal. The first day’s tasks may include, drafting, cutting wood, constructing. The next day’s tasks could be painting, decorating, and building furniture. The last day’s tasks could just enjoying the fruits of your labor from the previous days.

The separation of tasks across multiple days not only builds to your ultimate goal but gives some room for error if needed, while maintaining your sanity.

Intention

I list my intentions. Intentions are like roadmaps to where you want to go. “I want to lose 10lbs in 3 months”, “I want to cook more”, “I want to save $100 a month”, “I will run my first 5k”. Intentions are mindful goals that requires momentum to achieve. It’s a good idea to keep intentions written somewhere they’re easily visible. They can be written in a different color, size, or even on colored post-it notes attached to the pages. This strategy keeps intentions top of mind because it’s the idea of “Thoughts becoming things”.

Goals

Writing my goals create better habits and keep me motivated to get them accomplished. Goals will also keep you accountable. Accountability is important here because excuses are easy to come by, so write down your excuses too. When you have your excuses written you realize how ridiculous you sound when you read them. A good idea is to add a due date to each goal you’re trying to accomplish. Doing this will help you focus and understand if the goal is attainable or is a reach.

At the end of filling the journal and accomplishing several you’ll find that you’re more productive and motivated to more. Also reading back through some of your notes are interesting because you see what mind state you were in at the time.

Shelling is what they call me. A forward thinker debugging life's code line by line. Creator, crossfitter, developer, engineer

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