When first posed with this challenge, I wasn’t too excited.
It felt like it was one more thing to put on my to-do list that was going to take precious minutes away from the millions of other things competing for space in my day.
Not that I think journaling isn’t important; in years past I spent periods really getting into journaling. It felt therapeutic, and I loved stream-of-thought journaling where you just write and see where your mind takes you.
Sometimes I would come up with great new ideas, and sometimes I discovered things about myself that truly changed my direction and internal dialogue.
To me, journaling is time to sit quietly and focus on the thoughts swirling around in your head.
The problem is there is very, very little focus in my days now (hello, life with twins and a two-year-old).
To spend even 10 minutes journaling is basically impossible…
Some might say “you’ve always got 10 minutes,” and for the first time in my life I can truly say, I don’t.
Especially not 10 minutes of quiet, focused time to just write.
So I decided to just journal “my way.”
I would start to write and if any off-topic thoughts popped into my head, I’d write them down. And if I had to stop in the middle of writing, I would. And if I lost my train of thought (which happens constantly), I would just move on.
I didn’t want to be reprimanding myself the whole time I was journaling about not being able to do it “right.”
So I just…did it…
I tried to just write, reflect a little, brainstorm a little.
But when more interuptive thoughts entered my head, like “we need to start giving the babies solids” or “I need to buy highchairs,” I let them come and wrote them down.
And to make sure I could find that thought later, I put a circle next to things I needed to buy and a star next to things I needed to do.
Now I can go back and compile a big list (I do love lists!), or at least know the thought is there somewhere and I can actually go back and find it.
As I “journaled,” I found that the thoughts swirling around on repeat slowed down a bit, and I took comfort in knowing those to-dos were written somewhere.
And even in the chaos, some great ideas were sparked. I stumbled upon some new challenge ideas for BBB and got some clarity on what direction I should be heading in work-wise.
And I took note of what thoughts seemed to pop up again and again.
In a short period of distracted time, I got a free therapy session and organized the to-dos in my head.
So after a week of journaling, here is the big question: would I continue to do it?
The answer is at times.
Though some people say you can always find 10 minutes in your day, it’s not that simple.
If it was, I’d have a six pack (10-minute abs, anyone?!), I’d have a clear mind (meditating only takes 10 minutes!), I’d be healthier (smoothies, anyone?) and I’d have porcelain skin (10-minute masks).
My point is, it’s hard to carve out 10 minutes, but I think at times journaling can be worth it.
And weirdly, it’s especially worth it when I’m feeling scatterbrained and least focused. It’s actually the perfect thing to do.