In This Episode…
In yesterday’s episode I re-committed to keeping a Journal as part of getting back on track to making the changes I need to incorporate to become even more productive. In this episode I explain what I am going to journal about and how I am going to do it.
Edited Episode Transcript
Hi, it’s Michael Tipper and welcome to today’s episode of the Profit Productivity Podcast.
Now, yesterday in episode 038 I talked about how my commitment to my micro commitments was indeed micro. I explored the importance of the small changes I was trying to make, what I’m not doing at the moment that I said I’ll do, the impact that’s having and why that’s the case.
I came to the conclusion that I’m probably trying to make too many changes at once. I’ve probably not got enough clarity on what I’m trying to change and I don’t have a system for changing my behaviours.
I realised wrapped up in that, one of the things I’d let slip was journaling.
Yesterday I recommitted to journaling again.
I have been writing in my journal a lot over the last three or four months, but I’d let it slip because it wasn’t a habit I’d ingrained in my behaviours. So I recommitted to doing the journal because I know it’s a way I’ll be able to reflect on the processes I’m adopting and identify any changes I need to make.
I can also use it to track and reinforce the changes I make when I do actually make them.
This episode is just about me moving forward with the journal.
Why a journal? Well I’ve known about the importance of diaries for a long time. I mean, my angst-ridden teenage records of what going on back then saw me through those difficult years.
I even remember the entry I wrote when I discovered my girlfriend had gone off with my best friend which broke my heart. We’re still friends today – not my best friend, but my ex girlfriend – and I regularly remind her of that, especially when she asks me for a reference when she is changing jobs!
So the use of diaries to capture how I’m feeling is something I’m familiar with. I’ve got at least 10 books just filled with my thoughts and ideas from times when I’ve been journaling. So I know its value.
I was first introduced to journaling for professional growth rather than just express how bad I was feeling about life by Tony Robbins in his Personal Power audio programme.
That was the first time I really discovered it in the context of developing myself. I’ve kept some form of journal sporadically over the years. Normally I’ve found I tend to start journaling when I’m experiencing difficult times and need to reflect to find a way to move forward.
I think every time I start a new journal, it’s a case of, “Oh, I’m at a difficult place again”. Pretty much every journal, if I go back and have a look at them, all started that way. So I’m used to capturing my thoughts but I’ve got to change the way I do that.
My recent exposure to some very successful people through reading books like Tribe of Mentors or Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, reveals journalling is a consistent habit of people who are achieving great things in all walks of life.
Many of those people use a journal to keep them on track, to keep track of their goals, to reflect and to capture ideas.
There’s all sorts of things that you can use it for. Personally, I’ve used it to reflect my experiences and track my progress. I’ve used it to brainstorm ideas. I’ve used it capture knowledge and quotes. And of course every so often I have a rant.
There are many types of journal exercises you can do but I’m not going to explore those in detail because I have a specific purpose I want to use the journal for.
Now my vehicle for journaling – I have used paper notebooks in the past and they’re in a box somewhere in the bottom of a cupboard. Unfortunately they’re not easily reference-able without me going in and skimming through them one by one.
I switched to an electronic form a while back and have been a avid user of Evernote six or seven years now. I have been journaling in that sporadically and it’s the vehicle I’m using at the moment.
But also I do quite like handwriting stuff. I’m an avid mind mapper. I like sketching out things. Whilst my iPad does have the ability for me to do those things directly into Evernote, I still like the paper and pen feel. So a few months ago I invested in an Everlast Rocket Book.
It is one of those books where you need special pens to write on the special, reusable paper. You can scan your notes into Evernote and then wipe the page clean and reuse it for your next set of notes. I have one of those, but I stopped using it after a few weeks even though it was a great way to electronically capture and store handwritten notes.
At the moment, I’m back to using paper now.
So the vehicle I’m going to use for my journal is Evernote because I do like typing in my notes. But I’m also going to re-incorporate using the Rocket Book into that as well.
What am I going to use my journal for?
Well, I’m going to capture my thoughts on the day and reflect on what went well. I’ll do a review/reflect/revise process, which I talked about in a previous episode. That will capture my learning from experience and identify any changes I need to make.
I’m going to be a bit more proactive with those changes now and not just react to something that goes wrong in the moment. I’ll identify trends using the journal for that.
I’ll also ask the two questions, “What worked really well?” and “What would I do differently tomorrow to make things even better?”
In terms of when I journal, the thing that came out of yesterday’s conversation with myself was recognising I’m leaving it too late at the very end of the day.
Usually I leave it until I’m to go to bed. This is not the best time, especially when I’m tired.
I’m going to commit to journaling at 18:00 every day, which is going to be the transition point from when I’m finishing my working day to what ever I do in the evening.
So I’m going to start off with that.
I will use the journal to reflect on how I’m journaling and I will get this behaviour embedded into my daily routine. And then I can start using it to get the other stuff I’m looking to change embedded as well.
So that’s Today’s episode.