Journaling for Work

Journaling for Work

For the past week, I've been trying journaling for work. Personally, it's been a massive improvement from no records at all, and I would be happy to share my experience with you.

Goals

Firstly, I sat down and outlined things I needed to consider.

  1. Reduce the stress of uncertainty
  2. Use flexible working hours efficiently
  3. Motivate myself for the day and for the day after
  4. Make sure I continuously improve my work by little

Approach

Creating a checklist was the first idea I had. They make a straightforward tool for describing processes, and I figured one can see working day as a process on itself.

The first iteration essentially described what I already had:

  1. Check E-mail, Slack, and Jira for new tasks
  2. Create a list of work items for the day
  3. Do the work

Then I revised it multiple times to reduce uncertainty and friction. The techniques applied included:

  1. Breaking down tasks to atomic level
  2. Rewording them so that they make more sense and inspire me
  3. Including easy steps towards making my work and myself the better versions I always wanted

The Result

Date

- Planning
  - Review E-mail, Slack, GitHub, Jira, etc. Anything to follow up?
  - Meetings
    - Schedule if needed
    - List meetings for the day here
  - Tasks
    - Pick priority tasks for the day
- Delivery
  - Focus on priority tasks
  - Make notes for everything else
  - Track time in Toggl
- Sign-off
  - Celebrate accomplishments
  - Reflect and refine for tomorrow
- Notes
  - ...
- Achievements: ...
- Joy: ...
- One small thing for better tomorrow: ...
Journal Template as of August 2022

Implementation

While any kind of text-editing software would work, I picked Notion because it has several features that would simplify the work significantly:

  1. Template buttons to duplicate text in a single click
  2. Automatic date stamps with @Today tag
  3. Link previews with Jira and GitHub integrations
  4. Cute Emojis 😇 to add some fun

Takeaways

This approach won't solve all productivity problems, but it helped me organize my work on a scale of a day very well.

It's been an interesting little project and I will definitely continue to seek ways of increasing my productivity. At the end of the day, it's all about making the most of our lifetime, isn't it?

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