How I use Journaling as a business tool
It might not be the most conventional tool for business, and I'm pretty sure it's not taught as part of an MBA but believe me when I say that journaling has transformed the way I run my business.
I have always been a bit of a journal keeper, although for a long time it was very much the kind of 'Dear Diary, Today I [insert long and not very interesting recollection of day here]" journaling.
it was only after my own coach suggested I might find it useful that I tried a more intuitive way of journaling - since then it has become a tool for me to tap into my unconscious mind and discover what being authentic means to me.
So of course, it made sense to start using journaling to help drive my business forward and today I am going to share my practice in case you fancy trying it too.
First off, let me start by sharing what I use for journaling:
Over the years I have tried all sorts of different options but found that this is what works best for me (it might not be the same for you but you have permission to play and experiment).
I use a Moleskine notebook simply because I like the paper quality and I can get hold of one easily from Amazon. I have tried expensive and fancy journals but find that they become too precious to use.
Whilst sometimes life gets int he way and it doesn't happen, I try to journal every day. Most days I break it into 2 parts:
Before I start work, I sit down at my desk and get out my journal. Sometimes I light a candle, and I always start with a few deep breaths. Then I start writing. It's that simple. Complete stream of consciousness, I don't edit or worry about what my handwriting looks like. I let the words fall out into the page as fast as I can. I scribble, I don't finish sentences, I just let the thoughts flow as they come into my head.
The reason I do this because if I start each day by emptying all of the crap from my head, I am free to create my best work.
Sometimes I write pages and pages, sometimes not so much.
I also sometimes take time to explore a problem I may be encountering through dialoguing. Now, this may sound a bit woo-woo but it really does work and the next time you are facing a problem I recommend you try it.
Start by writing your problem out in the form of a question, for example:
"I have the opportunity to collaborate on 2 projects, but can only find time for one. What should I do?"
Write down whatever comes into your head and keep going, questioning and then answering with whatever comes up.
By doing so, you are tapping into your intuitive self and will find that the answers you get feel right and authentic to you.
I try and spend five minutes each night before end to jot down a quick gratitude list. This leaves me feeling content, even when I didn't think my day was particularly productive.
This process helps keep me focused and helps to make sure that I am running my business in a way that feels intuitive and authentic to me.