Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind. – Natalie Goldberg
For the last two years, after waking up, the first thing I do is journal writing. It is because every morning there are thousands of thoughts running through my mind which tends me to do the hustle. Whereas I believe no one has ever gained anything from hustling.
Whatever people have achieved in life is through patience. Journal writing helps me to discard all the useless thoughts and allows me to concentrate and focus on important work.
I learned the technique of jotting down my thoughts on paper from the series of Yogi Raman. He calls it ‘weekly wins’. Every day, I write down what is influencing my personal and professional life. By writing routinely about thirty minutes, I get to know about myself better.
An Experiment On Journal Writing
In 1963, an experiment with the graduating class of Harvard Business School was performed. They asked the students if there was anyone who does regular journaling and writes down the goals for themselves.
3 percent of the class had actually written down goals. After twenty-five years, the scientists again got in touch with the class of 63, to find out how they had done in their life.
They found that the 3 percent of the students who had the habit of writing goals seemed to be happier, doing what they love and leading a successful life. While the remaining 97% complained they often get tired and do procrastination.
The Most Important Thing In My Journal
I usually use two or three journals, depending upon the type of task and ideas. In one of my journal, somewhere I wrote down a quote of Michael LeBoeuf that I recall, ‘Waste your money and you’re only out of money. Waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.’
The above quote has inspired me from time-to-time. I always try not to waste my time because it is very precious.
The first page of my journal is divided into eight parts. These eight parts are the eight hours. I’ve made a commitment to myself to work eight hours a day.
As the Pareto Principle states that roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of our work. As a writer, my most important 20% of work is spending time on reading and writing.
I wake around 6 in the morning and the first two hours I employ myself in reading books and making annotations. I add five new words every day in my vocabulary too. I don’t write the new words for the sake of it.
I write down the new words as if I’m telling a story to someone. I fill around three pages in order to allow the words absorb in my consciousness.
In the afternoon, I read for two more hours and then in the evening I sit down for writing. Sometimes, I don’t write and just think. Sometimes, I talk to myself. Truly, seldom I type my thoughts on the screen. But thinking and talking to oneself is the most important work of a writer.
I take several small breaks in these eight hours. I go for the walk. I sit in the parks, alone. I never miss listening to the evening Azaan from the nearby masjid. As the muazeen speak out Allah-uh-Akbar, I close my eyes and feel the infinite power.
After checking out all the eight hours, sometimes seven, I reflect upon my day. I’ll know that I have not wasted my day and spent my time developing my skills and self-discipline.
The Impossible List In My Journal
Once a month, I create an ‘impossible list’, such as to write one thousand words every day or to read one book every day or to spend whole the seven days in the library.
Most of the time, I achieve the goals I state in my impossible list. It makes me more productive and assures me that everything is possible through sheer determination and hard work.
I write about the infinite world: Who made it? How are we here? What is the purpose behind our birth? Why do philosophers suggest us to live in the present? Why do saints talk about meditation? Is there a God in heaven and Satan in hell?
No doubt, journaling is one of the top techniques that have improved my life. The main advantage of writing down all my questions is that it fills me with intense curiosity. I try to find the answers. This benefits me in learning and updating myself with the changing world too.
Points To Help You In Journal Writing
Below are a few points that can improve your productivity through journaling.
- Create a to-do list every day.
- Remember 80% of your result comes from 20% of your work.
- Write down your most important work on the top of it.
- Give priority to your important work.
- Every day, do something that will stretch you. For instance, if I’ve planned to write 500 words every day, I go an extra mile and write down 1000 words.
- Write at least a hundred words in your journal. It’s your journal so write anything without caring about anyone.
- You can write down personal and professional problems, monthly expenses, phone numbers, holiday plans, a list of ‘want to read’ books.
In the end, I humbly want you to not just write but commit yourself to the action. There is no bigger happiness in the world than seeing yourself achieving goals and improving your life.