10 reasons to journal when working from home
For some working from home means an increased workload, problems with setting boundaries, feelings of stress and overwhelm. For others working from home brings isolation, anxiety and sleeplessness. Despite some of the advantages of working from home like flexibility and the absence of a daily commute, many people report experiencing most of the above challenges. Journaling can help you organise your thoughts, declutter your mind, assist with problem solving and balance your perspective.
Journaling brings clarity of mind
Getting those anxious thoughts out of your mind and down on paper gives you the opportunity to then reflect on what really matters to you and what perhaps, when you see it written down is less of an obstacle to well-being than you previously thought. Knowing this brings a different perspective, which can help you look at your challenges with a more open mind.
Setting boundaries when working from home
Setting and maintaining boundaries can be stressful when you’re working from home. Whether you’re alone and find it difficult to switch off or whether your children need your attention, whatever your own obstacle to setting boundaries, journaling can help. Your brain needs opportunities to recharge. You need mental breaks to function optimally. Use your journal to write down your options to create boundaries and recharge your mind ie take a walk, move to a different room for a certain period every day, allocate some meditation time, sit in your garden.
How’s your productivity?
Have you set goals? Are you reaching our goals and deadlines? Many report decreased productivity as working from home continues long term. Deadlines are not being met. I suggest using your journal to record how you use your time. Check in with what you have written and ask yourself this question: How are my actions helping me towards reaching my goals? The Stop, Start, Continue method works well here – Stop doing the actions that are not bring you the outcome you need. Start doing the tasks you may have set yourself but are putting off for some reason. Continue the actions that are working well for you. Make changes, improve productivity and use your journal to measure your progress.
Journaling helps you get rid of stuff that bugs you
What are you tolerating in your life that brings you worry, stress or anxiety – or simply bugs you? When I’m doing a list of things that bug me, I write at the top of the page – What Bugs Me? Your list may include seemingly minor niggles like a cluttered corner of your house or office that you know you need to sort out. It may also include rather large annoyances, such as a colleague or family member who is so negative, they drain your energy. On your list is everything that without which, your life would be better. These can be eliminated with huge benefits to you such as decreased frustration and stress, clearer thinking, more time, better health and energy – a better life.
The first step in eliminating what bugs you is to write a complete list.
When making your What Bugs Me list, aim for as many as you can. Try for a minimum of 10 and up to 20 for a more complete picture of what you need to eliminate from your life. There’s no right or wrong. If it bugs you, write it down.
When you have completed your list, I suggest eliminating the easiest ones first. Some people like to tackle the biggest problems first but I have always found that de-cluttering the actual What Bugs Me? list gives me a greater sense of progress and satisfaction. This then motivates me to tackle bigger issues. You can look forward to your clearer, less-frustrated life where you have more time, energy and joy.
To Do lists
Whether it’s exercise, food habits, work, writing lists down helps clear your head. When you have written something down, you don’t need to remember it anymore. If you write your What Bugs Me? list first, your To Do list may be shorter – even if it’s not shorter, it will certainly be more relevant and focused.
Journaling is a practical solution for problem solving
Everyone has problems. We all do and say things that make us feel bad. Thereafter comes regret, guilt and overthinking. Sometimes, the shame of what you did wrong can take over your thoughts and often, you may not feel comfortable sharing your feelings with someone else. Journaling, writing down your problem, how it came about, how you feel about it allows you to process those annoying thoughts. Share these thoughts in your journal and take them out of your head. Feel your emotions, cry if you need to. Then reflect on and write down all of the options you have to make things better. This will help you decide what to do and how best to move on – no need for further overthinking.
Journal with your children for a positive experience.
I recommend writing down 5 things you’re grateful for every day, like a good night’s sleep, a walk, a nice coffee, a challenge overcome. Depending on what age your children are, 3 things may be enough for them. It can be fun too. The whole family benefits.
Record good ideas
How often do you have good idea when out walking or perhaps just before you fall asleep. When you go to write it down, the idea has disappeared from your brain. Working at home means we have fewer inputs to spark our imagination. There are no shop windows in which to spot the latest style or gadget. We don’t pass interesting buildings or bump into friends for a quick chat en route to work. Certainly, no coffee conversations with colleagues where we can swap ideas, thoughts and feelings. Lack of travel and experiences means we have fewer inputs now to nudge our thinking. Keep a journal handy, beside your bed, on your desk, in your bag for ideas and ‘aha’ moments. You can then read these notes to spark creative thinking when you’re stuck.
Ask yourself some thought-provoking questions to aid your self-awareness and reflection. Times are uncertain. Life will change again.
Use your journal to plan how you want to live your life in the new normal.
What aspects of this quieter life would you like to hold on to – if any? What will you change? https://waywordsjournals.com offers free resources to help make journaling easier. Go to https://www.waywordsjournals.com/resources/ for our Thought-Provoking Questions template to help with your reflections.
Journaling can improve sleep quality
Even before the pandemic, sleep disorders affected as many as 35% of adults. Working from home means less exercise and open air, unless you make a consistent effort to get out and about every day. Increased snacking, caffeine and alcohol, along with pandemic uncertainty are all contributing factors to insomnia. Anxiety and worries keep us awake. Get the worries out – write them in your journal. Nightly, before you sleep, write whatever comes to mind for 15-20 mins. Out of your mind, on paper. Close your journal, relax, let go, and – sleep.
Sleep quality is something very close to my heart as I have suffered from insomnia in the past. I exercised more, cut down on caffeine and alcohol, ate healthily and even though this all helped, there were still nights when I woke at 2-3am and getting back to sleep was out of the question. Anxious thoughts and worries kept me awake. I was prepared to try anything to rediscover a normal sleep pattern. I began a meditation practice and started journaling at night. What works best for me is to write down my worries and how I feel about them first, then to write my daily gratitude list so my mind is in a positive place. Finally, I’m sleeping 7-8 hours most nights. I recommend experimenting with your writing. Be curious. Find out what works best for you.
See your journal as a safe space, a friend with no agenda, an accountability buddy. Journaling is most effective when it’s done consistently. Whilst uncertainty is the only certainty in 2021, and this is a cause of stress, journaling can assist you to manage your thoughts and help you feel better.
Visit our Thought-Provoking Questions template here to help with your reflections.