Last Updated Apr 28, 2011 3:23 PM EDT
Well, it will take you just 10 minutes a day, and the payoffs include greater effectiveness in your job as well as in your career.
Teresa Amabile, a Harvard Business School professor and expert on the creative process, blogs that keeping a business diary can help you in four ways:
- Focus. Journaling provides introspection on our strengths and weaknesses, and helps us identify where we like to be most engaged (and thus successful).
- Patience. Looking back through your personal time machine allows you to recall how you overcame obstacles and teaches the power of patience in getting things done. Amabile quotes a former student: '''I am always encouraged to look back and know how far I have come in a year's time, and how major obstacles seem to become minor speed bumps in hindsight.'''
- Planning. Work projects are rarely accomplished in linear fashion, so your diary will reveal how your work goes forwards, backwards and sideways. This knowledge will help you plan realistically for the future.
- Personal Growth. Regular work diaries can provide a new perspective on on ourselves as professionals and what we need to improve.
Ask Judy Yi, who responded to Amabile's post with her own journaling method.
"I use my Outlook (digital calendar) as a work journal. I create a "private event" and write brief notes to myself, particularly my reflections of the day. I also use this time to record finalized projects or specific outcomes and achievements. When it comes time to complete my semi-annual performance review, I do a search of these journal notes and re-read my history... "
Read Amabile's detailed post, Four Reasons to Keep a Work Diary, on HBR.org.
Do you keep a work diary? What does it do for you? Also, what do you use to make your comments?
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