The Journaling Series: Time efficient ways to journal
Time Efficient ways to Journal
Journaling is a powerful tool for self-development. It can help you to work through issues you are facing, plan and prep for goals you want to achieve, pinpoint patterns in your thoughts and behaviours, and ultimately get to know yourself and your experience of the world better.
There are lots of ways to get the most out of your journal in terms of when and where you choose to write, what type of journal you choose to use and whether you use prompts or free flow. But there are other factors that you can consider to make journaling as enjoyable as possible. One of the most common questions we get around journaling is how to find the time to journal, so in this article, we are looking at time efficient ways to journal.
Time… it often feels as though we have so little of it. With busy jobs, busy home lives, busy social lives, it is so easy to feel as though you are simply too busy to sit down and write each day. But I am here to tell you it is still possible to journal each and every day – it might take some practice, but you can do it.
First of all, begin by paying attention to where you spend your down time. Are there any moments in the day in which you find yourself scrolling on your phone? We waste endless hours of our time on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter. Next time you notice yourself scrolling, make a note of the time of day, your location and how long you were scrolling for. This is not a guilt forming exercise, but an exercise to help you check in on where you are spending your free moments. If you have time to scroll social media, you have time to journal!
The two favourite times of day for most people to journal tend to be first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Think about whether one of those times might work for you. Do you wake up early and have time between your morning routine and leaving the house? If the answer is yes, then morning journaling might be for you. If you find yourself relaxing in front of the tv each evening, could you assign 10-15 minutes of that time to journaling before you find the remote?
Identifying your routine and checking in to see if you are spending your time in the most efficient way possible is key to doing more of what you enjoy in your busy lifestyle. Despite morning and evening being popular times for journaling, this is about finding a time that works for you, test out some different times of the day and see what feels best. A great way to stick to a time and place is to ‘habit stack’. Habit stacking – a term penned by James Clear - is where you find something that you’re guaranteed to do every day – such as brushing your teeth – then set yourself up to journal immediately afterwards. By creating a new habit on top of a habit you already have, you’re more likely to stick to it.
Once you have found the right time to journal, find your journaling style. Short, to the point journal entries actually tend to be the most beneficial. So, the more time efficient way of keeping your entries to the point and guided by prompts can also lead to you getting the most out of your journal.
There will, of course, be days when you truly don’t have the time to write and, on those days, focus on one thing of your choice. My suggestion in this instance would be to practice gratitude. Always try to write down three things you are grateful for each day. No matter how big or small, keeping up momentum in this way will be hugely beneficial to your journaling practice and wellbeing.
Our Mind Cards: Journal Edition have a huge number of journal prompts to help you keep your journaling as time efficient as possible. Simply choose a card each day and keep your journal entry focused around the question on the card of the day.
We have also designed both our Mind Notes and Morning Notes journals with time in mind. Both of our journals are undated – so you can start whenever you want – and have short entry spaces to ensure you are keeping your entries as efficient as possible. Remember, journaling is not about storytelling, it is about logging your daily thoughts and feelings about using these logs to pinpoint patterns. Once you have identified the patterns you can start to use them to make positive change.