It's a new year and you will accomplish more this year than ever before.
Why can we make this prediction? Because you will be using our tips to make better use of your time and your talents.
The first step is to get a calendar. You might even find them drastically reduced even though the year is just getting
Select a format that
will be convenient for you and your tastes. Fortunately, there seem to be an infinite selection which suggests that
people are different.
minimum, get something that will allow you to make entries and record your thoughts and actions.
Not only will you make a note of what
you have done on a particular day, but you will make notes of things that need to be done and the deadlines.
Consider having two or three calendars. Keep a small one in your purse,
one on your "work" desk and one on your "personal" desk. This may help your mind focus and categorize
Many people benefit from writing down
what they have done each day. This can help you focus on your accomplishments. If done correctly, it can also
help you determine if you are really accomplishing anything. Looking back over several days, have you moved forward
or are you standing still?
On the other hand, some find this a
tedious waste of time. For those, making a few notes on the calendar each day is more effective.
To get organized, you must eliminate the clutter; both mental and physical. You may protest and say
that you do your best work surrounded by clutter. Step back to analyze that statement.
Are you using the clutter to protect
yourself? Is it a wall that you use to shut out everything else? If so, then you may be using it as a crutch.
Or, is it just that you don't want to make decisions about what to keep and what to throw
away, so you just keep it all. In either case, is there a better way to deal with the situation? You will have
to decide, because if you want to be organized you will have to eliminate the clutter. Otherwise, you are working against
yourself and the result is counterproductive.
means that you don't waste time searching for something or moving things out of the way to get to what you need.
That takes time and effort. It also means you may conclude that something is just too much trouble. The activity
is not too much trouble, but getting to the activity is too much trouble. Don't you see, how this will impact what
you get done?
If you aren't yet convinced,
let's start in your kitchen. Say for example, you are really hungry for something in particular and you head for
the kitchen to prepare it. Then you recall that you must move a dozen pots and pans to get to the right cooking vessel.
Then you realize that you will have to go through all the same trouble to put things back. Suddenly, it just isn't
worth the effort and you go away disappointed and probably still hungry. To assuage your feelings you and to try to
satisfy the craving, you consume an entire bag of candy followed by a can of peanuts! Now, you are really miserable.
Contrast this with going to the kitchen,
reaching in to get the pot you want, preparing the item and thoroughly enjoying the experience and its memory as you replace
the clean pot and go on to something else. You've now been satisfied, invested an amount of effort and time that
was equivalent to the satisfaction all because you were organized and free of needless clutter.
Who ever said you have to wait until Spring to do your Spring Cleaning? Why not do it now
and be ready for Spring or, be ready for anything that might come up between now and then. January is a great time to
get rid of the old and overcome the predictable let down that follows the Holidays.
So, what does this have to do with keeping a journal? All of the suggestions relate to getting organized
and eliminate the clutter from your space, so that you can eliminate the clutter from your mind. As you write things
down, it allows you to prioritize them. You may find that as you write something you feel a release and can let go of
it now. Has this been taking up needless space in your mind? Are you now able to free up that space for other
more important things because you have written it down somewhere. The power of the pen is often overlooked.
Gratefully, there are ever increasingly efficient and convenient tools that you can use to keep your journal.
Feel free to use them as the goal is to write down or document your thoughts, your concerns, your activities, accomplishments
and goals (to do list). This will free up your mind to work more efficiently and spontaneously.
Now, let's look at journaling another way. It can be an artistic expression.
As an added bonus, you will find that over time you will have assembled your memoirs.
What is the difference between a diary and a journal. In some ways a journal could be considered a
more mature approach to a diary. The journal contains your thoughts and emotions where as you use a diary to report
We suspect however that a diary kept regularly,
morphs into a journal. How can you report the events of your life without expressing your reactions or thoughts? Therefore,
your diary may be a journey to more mature journaling.
possible exception may be the British term "diary". The British use the word diary as Americans use the term
calendar. So, in this case a "diary" or "calendar" is a record of appointments. It may contain
notes regarding a meeting, outcomes or who attended.
of your journal entries as a conversation with yourself. It is an opportunity to have an intimate discussion with your
innermost self and your more conscious, cautious self.
can be a very useful exercise that can reduce stress, inner conflict and improve your understanding of your actions. For example,
if you examine your automatic response to situations you may discover that your actions are based on some long forgotten event
in your childhood. If you conclude that your behavior is irrational, you can change your behavior and eliminate the
continuing impact of an event that is no longer important to you. Talk about getting rid of the clutter in your life!
In order to achieve this level of sophistication and effectiveness, your journal
must have some type of structure. Otherwise, it is just a collection of random thoughts. This might be effective
in getting something off your mind but it lacks the depth you could achieve if you forced yourself to organize your thoughts.
Properly done, the journal can help your realize an inner wisdom that may not have surfaced at a conscious level. As
you become increasingly familiar and comfortable with this inner wisdom, you can allow it to influence your day to day life
in a powerful way. You will have more confidence in your instinct. Think how much more rapidly you can react when
you don't have to deliberate with yourself but can listen to the inner voice and act accordingly.
The structure can actually be very simple. Realistically, it must be a format that is comfortable
and convenient for you or you won't use it. If you find you are not using your journal on a regular basis or that you
dread the experience, reexamine the structure and see how you can make it a more pleasant experience.
However, if it just isn't working for you, put it aside. This may not be a tool or technique that
is useful to you. Or, as in many things, perhaps the timing isn't right.
At it simplest level, the journal should contain calendar references, such as
dates or times. At a more complex level, however, the journal can contain some means to cross reference your entries.
Depending on your personality, this could be a method to categorize your entries. The categories could be listed in
some central place in the journal. For example, you might have entries you label as interactions with friends, interactions
with family, challenges at work, relaxation, or current events. You might even find it useful to color code them using
different ink for each category. In this way, you can code your entries and refer back to them at will.
Understanding this can help you avoid situations or anticipate how a situation
will affect you.
Think about what a powerful tool this
can be. Knowing in advance what your reaction will be can allow to think about your next move(s). It is rather
like a chess game. Not only are you thinking about your next several moves on the board, you know what they will be
before you make them.
Let's take this process one step
further. Begin to journal the reactions of other people that you have regular contact with.
Do you begin to see predictable patterns over time? For example, if you present something to your
boss in a certain way is his reaction positive? negative? Does your husband respond with enthusiasm to a request put
in a particular way. Is the timing important?
that you can see the relationship between your behavior and those you interact with, you can now modify your behavior in such
a way to enhance the probability of getting the desired result! You'll agree that this has been a very productive
month of tips from Lady Personified as you have received a graceful tool to accomplish your goals with minimal effort!