As an executive coach, I’ve seen some pretty amazing results of leadership journaling.
The simple practice of journaling has great benefit for leaders (you can read more about that here, in my last post.) At the most basic level, journaling prevents your important mental notes from being lost, but did you know it also improves your thinking?
Consistency is important, especially as you work to make it a new habit. Many leaders write their journal entries by hand. Electronic entries can be more efficient, but slowing down to manually write helps with processing thoughts and easing tension.
If you prefer to journal electronically, there are a number of digital apps that allow you to journal from anywhere at any time.
In his Beginner’s Guide to Digital Journaling, Bakari Chavanu lists his four favorite apps, including Penzu, which allows you to express your private thoughts by providing password protection (for both your journal and individual entries).
Whichever method you choose, schedule your journaling time at a specific time of the day, and make that your commitment to yourself. If you are journaling once a day, the best times are before your day begins or after your day ends. I find that ten to fifteen minutes is all you’ll need. It’s much more difficult to squeeze this into the middle of an already busy day.
Another reason to journal on off hours is to avoid being interrupted. Do it in private. Again, the idea is to reflect on significant thoughts. These are things you won’t be sharing with anyone—this is a safe world, for your eyes only.
The best journaling is not self-censored; it is spontaneous and transparent. There’s no need for proper grammar or spelling. Be honest with yourself. Let the thoughts flow freely. The more candid you are, the more you will help yourself. Don’t use this time to judge or criticize yourself. Make it a positive time to learn and grow.
What do you think? Are you getting maximum benefit from journaling—is it a routine? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 561-582-6060; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.