Do you maintain a diary, or a journal?
I do, but I have only been writing to it intermittently. I’ve actually had a four month gap since my last entry.
I know, my bad.
I’ve come to accept that gaps can happen from time to time. I easily get wrapped up in a project, such as writing a book. These daily emails can also commandeer my journaling time.
The problem is that once you break a habit, it’s easy to keep the habit broken.
It’s strange reading through my previous journal entries. A lot of the issues that were on my mind in July are still on my mind now. I write about both work happenings and personal happenings. To me they are both part of the same package.
When you’re writing a journal entry, it can feel in the moment like a waste of time. You have so many other things to be doing. So many tasks to do. So many things to work towards. You have mouths to feed. Journaling feels like a distraction.
And yet, reading back through your journal entries can be immensely valuable. Patterns start to emerge. Themes emerge that you were not really paying attention to.
Your unconscious mind is a wonder of nature. It chugs away in the background, processing information. Every now and then, it tries to whisper something to you.
You need to find a way to listen to the subconscious conversation going on in your head, and journaling is one way to do this. You can never truly listen when you are busy, or ‘at work’. It has to happen in a quiet space, early in the day.
If you don’t have a quiet space early in the day, you should try making one. It doesn’t have to take long. My journal entry this morning took five minutes.
I actually journal in Evernote, which is the system I use to store all my notes. I have Evernote on my phone, which means I can actually journal while I am still in bed, if I want. Sometimes I’ll just upload a photo from the previous day, and make a few notes on the thoughts in my head.