I’m an avid journaler. Without noticing it, I’ve been journaling in some form for a year or two now: what started off as scribbled to do lists in a planner turned into a small and daily form of therapy. Whilst the Believe Training Journal got me more in tune with the act of writing, recently it’s been my five minute journal that’s been having an impact.
I decided to incorporate this with more discipline after listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast episode on his morning routine. He uses either the actual Five Minute Journal (a great product that I’d love to try someday), or his own Morning Pages. The idea? To simply get your head down on a page. This is the key, which I’ve only just come to appreciate- it’s not necessarily productive or crafted, or even inspirational but just an opportunity to get your monkey brain down on paper so you can get on with your day.
So now every morning before I leave for work, I set a timer for 5 minutes and open up Notes on my Mac. This is the most minimalist way I can find of doing it- no fancy app and no structure; just keep writing for five minutes. This practice has become a part of my routine and whilst it’s early days, I think it’s gonna make a difference to my productivity and life.
A few takeaways though:
- You often have to write exactly the thing that you don’t want to write.
- Sometimes sitting down for five minutes of gentle introspection will be painful and you really won’t want to do it. Sticking with it helps though.
- If I sit down to do this before drinking my coffee, I literally just sit there staring at my coffee and neglect to do the actual writing.
- It doesn’t have to be productive
- It can literally just be a bunch of bullet points of things that you’re worried about.
- Sometimes it’s the days when you want to write the least that are weirdly productive. But also, sometimes those days just plain suck.
- I tried the very yogic thing of setting an intention for the day- but it turns out I’m not that zen. So I save that for my yoga practice.
- Routine is key. It’s on days that I sleep in till 12 and don’t do my morning routine that I feel the worst.
- Rushing is not conducive to a good session. If I’m too busy to do it in the morning (read: I slept in), I’ll open up Notes on my phone and write on my morning commute. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
All in all, a daily practice of journaling (in whatever form) has had a really positive impact on my life so far. I’m a person who gets through issues and roadblocks either by talking about them or by writing shit down. We’ve each got our own ways of coping with life, and this seems to be mine. What’s yours?
Do you journal? Are there any other methods or tools you use?
Lots of love,