Why do successful people tend to use work journals? It turns out that journaling at work can have a powerful and positive effect on your professional (and personal) life, including improving creativity, reducing stress and boosting productivity!
One study published in the Harvard Business Review asked hundreds of employees across seven different companies to keep a simple work diary to record emotions, stress and goals.
After studying thousands of work diary entries, can you guess what the researchers found?
“Keeping regular work diaries, which took no more than ten minutes a day, gave many of our research participants a new perspective on themselves as professionals and what they needed to improve.” according to Professor Teresa Amabile of the Harvard Business Review
6 Science Backed Benefits of Journaling at Work
Journal writing has long been considered a great 'self-care technique'. But a designated work journal is also an excellent place to map your career goals, mark your successes, foster personally and professional growth, manage day-to-day stress and more.
Let's take a look at what a work journal can probably do for you.
Journaling at work can improve your focus and help you reach your goals
Writing about work in your journal helps you mark career goals and record 'your wins'—as they happen. It can also be a way to add a daily dose of positivity, and this simple activity can have long-lasting benefits. Experts say that people who write down goals in journals are “significantly” more likely to reach them.
Journaling can reduce high blood pressure.
One study explored how writing in a journal could impact the lives of people with high blood pressure. Researchers discovered that writing down your emotions can reduce blood pressure and have long-term benefits for circulation.
Journaling can help you capture more creative ideas.
Whether you are writing a huge report or balancing spreadsheets, keeping a journal with you at work to collect the good ideas that pop into your head throughout the day and get them down before they get forgotten. Which brings us to our next point;
Visual journaling, with doodles and drawings, can improve your memory
Researchers have found that drawing or doodling in a journal offers significant benefits as well, enhancing memory and helping you calm down during trying situations. Journals aren’t just for handwriting, you can fill a visual journal with your own art. You’ll almost certainly find it relaxing and inspiring even if your work is not fine art level.
Journaling about challenges at work can reduce related stress.
Decades of research discovered that writing down your struggles can ease negative physical and mental effects of stressful events. Expressing your frustrations and fears on paper actually helps you release the trauma on the page. Let yourself unwind and be free on the page, a perfect way to let go before your afternoon meetings.
Journaling can help you minimize bad habits and stay productive.
If you are in a job that has busy times and slow times, there is always a temptation to scroll through social media or give in to other digital distractions. To remain productive, experts suggest creating a “productivity journal” for work, tracking your habits and focus during the workday.
Ready to begin your work journal or work diary? Start by choosing a journal or notebook, with a page layout and cover design that is both functional and fun so you’re more likely to stick with it and get the most out of work journaling. You can find lots of them at outlets like Staples and Amazon, from the very serious to the rather whimsical and fun.