To Be an Effective Leader, Keep a Leadership Journal

You can see many notable people such as Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Numerous prominent people, entrepreneurs and authors kept journals. Great leaders are known to journal. The benefits of journaling will be discussed, as well as how to cultivate this wonderful habit in order to become a great leader.

Journal versus Diary

Journals differ from diaries. Journals allow you to document your experiences, emotions, sacrifices, and feelings at all times. You can keep a log of events and a journal allows you to analyze them. The diary can be described as a personal, focused journal with a date and time. The diary is confidential. Because a diary is only a part of a journal, it is not the same thing as a diary. A journal can be used to record your thoughts and feelings. 

While a diary documents more day-to-day activities, whereas a journal is more current and detailed, a journal is much more general. While a diary may contain your personal details, whereas a journal contains professional information and other pertinent information. While a diary allows you to record your activities each day, whereas a journal lets you keep track of your thoughts and provides feedback that can be used for behavioral improvement.  Simply put, a diary contains information about external events. A journal, however, contains feelings and emotions. Diary writing can be focused on writing content, while journal writing is focused on writing.  

Journaling can also improve self-awareness. Warren Buffett uses a unique routine to improve his self-awareness. He records the reason for his decision and also anticipates its results. He reviews the reasons for the investment and the expected outcomes. This is done several months later or many years. Warren Buffett evaluates every decision that he makes.  You should keep a log to record the lessons learned, and another journal to evaluate and plan for implementation.

Benefits of journaling

It can be difficult for people to record important things regularly. They may feel it’s a waste of time or find it hard to write them down.  Some people don’t find time to write and neglect the journal. If people believe that writing is a time-waster, it’s a falsehood.  

Journaling helps you to manage time and keep your eyes on the task at hand. This helps you to align your goals and follow them. This helps you prioritize your priorities and make it easier to focus on what matters to you. You become more focused and it instills perseverance and patience. This helps to improve your focus, organization, and ability to make good decisions. These are the days of information overload and it is essential to prepare a ‘To-Do’ list to work on only what is essential. Journaling has many other benefits.

  • This helps to remove any negative thoughts and create positive ones. 
  • You can manage your time more effectively if you understand how to prioritise your tasks and prioritize them. Stephen R. Covey rightly remarked, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”
  • You can capture ideas, record them for execution and improve your execution skills.
  • This helps to organize your thoughts and gives you clarity about your priorities.  
  • You can distinguish desired activities from unwanted ones by using it to separate the cheese and chalk.  
  • This allows you to go back in time and find the relevant information you need whenever you wish. While you can’t bring back the past, reading your past life events will help you recall them. 
  • You can unleash your creativity. You feel relieved from boredom. You don’t feel lonely because you feel that you are with a reliable, trustworthy, and confidential friend.
  • You can use your thoughts to generate ideas for new work. 
  • This helps to develop the habit and flow of words. It is possible to write blogs and articles. To improve your writing skills, you can become a highly successful professional.
  • Because it allows you to express your thoughts and relieve anxiety, you can also use this journaling tool to help reduce stress. James Pennebaker (University of Texas at Austin) claims regular journaling can strengthen immune cells known as T-lymphocytes. Another study has shown journaling reduces symptoms like asthma and arthritis. Pennebaker feels that writing about stressors helps one to deal with it and thus reduces the effects on their physical health. People can either talk to family and friends or write when they are feeling stressed. Writing helps relieve stress and ensures good health.  
  • It builds resilience. You are able to manage stress, volatility and uncertainty effectively. 
  • Sometimes people forget important things. Sometimes they have trouble recalling past events. This problem is overcome by the journal.
  • Consistent journaling will improve your odds of success. It helps you to stay clear on the goals and actions you are pursuing. Brian Tracy rightly said, “Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.”

Writing allows you to release emotions and thoughts, rather than keeping them locked up. Each day we get approximately 50,000 thoughts. Some are enjoyable while some are unfavorable. You will have the ability to take amazing ideas and capture them throughout your day. This allows us to analyze how we behave, think, and act. It will allow us to see how our behavior has changed over time.

“I don’t journal to ‘be productive.’ I don’t do it to find great ideas or to put down prose I can later publish. The pages aren’t intended for anyone but me. It’s the most cost-effective therapy I’ve ever found.” – Tim Ferriss

My Journaling Experience

Since childhood, I’ve cultivated many habits. When I turned 18 I joined Indian Air Force. I added new habits to my life. Since childhood, journaling has been a habit that I have cultivated. When I was 15, I started to exercise regularly and had a desire to be able join the Indian Air Force. 

For many years, I’ve been following these habits. My physical health is maintained by going to the gym and my mental well-being through journaling. My negative feelings and emotions are eliminated by going to the gym and replaced with positive ones through journaling.

I found journaling helpful in helping me to focus on my goals, and the follow-up actions. It helped me be more persistent. Reflecting back, I can see the improvements in my thinking and behavior over the years. I remember how it felt those days. Journaling is a wonderful way to create the future by connecting the past and present.

You can quickly capture and write down your thoughts by journaling. These ideas will always be available for you to reference when needed. One example is that I keep a journal and separate them into various areas. These are the things I use to refer back and integrate into leadership training programs. My audiences are able to take the material with them and it becomes easier for me to present it effectively. Journaling dialogues well-punched is something I do when I watch films. They are adapted for my training programs.

Ralph Waldo EmersonHe was undoubtedly one of the greatest notebook-keepers ever. There were 263 different notebooks he kept on various subjects for many purposes. Emerson’s notebook collection grew so large that he needed a 400-page index in order to find the information he wanted. Then he created indexes to specific subjects and an index for people who were mentioned in his notebooks (839). Even his indexes had their own indexes. 

Develop the habit of journaling

How to cultivate this habit. It may initially be hard to write. However, once you begin writing it will become easy. Ernest Hemingway once remarked, “I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. The truth is that you have written every time before. All you have to do is write one true sentence that you know.’ 

Finally, I decided to write one sentence and move on. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say.”  Set aside a specific time or place to write to enable the words to flow naturally. Don’t think of grammar, structure, or syntax. Note down any thoughts that come to mind. Before you go to bed, write something on your mattress. 

Mark Twain, for example, wrote his journal in bed. Write your journal first thing in the morning to get more creative juices flowing. Bruce Rhoades remarked, “Write in a journal in the morning to be more organized during the day.” Remember, when to journal depends solely on your mood and biological clock.

Writing a few lines every day can help you improve your writing and serve as a record to refer back to in the future.  It is much better to write than think. Things will disappear if you forget to keep them in your head, but what you record in your journal stays with you forever. This helps you follow up. Remember that a shorter pencil is better than a longer memory.

Don’t wait for an auspicious day to start a journal. You can start journaling today to improve your personality and behavior. 

The Immortal Art of Journaling

It makes you immortal. You leave your mark. Your ideas and insight are left behind. Even after your departure, it leaves an impression that others can follow. It is easy to forget that people live and die. If you keep a diary and give it away, others will be able to see that you have lived in this world. It is easy to see prominent personalities who kept their own journals. You can learn the techniques and tools to create a rich habit of writing regularly and become a leader. 

Keep a Leadership Journal to Be an Effective Leader originally appeared on Addicted 2 Success.

Keep a Leadership Journal to Be Effective Leader appeared first on Addicted2Success.

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