Keep a Work Journal to Fuel Your Success!

track your progress at work

Journals. We use them for many reasons: to write down our daily thoughts, to track what we’re eating, to list our dreams and our fears, to remember who we were at different stages in life.

Here at TalentCove, we believe that keeping a work journal to track what you’re getting done, should be added to the list. The ability to actually see your progress in front of your eyes helps you feel fulfilled and motivates you to want achieve more.  When you log these small, daily accomplishments or ‘small wins’, you boost your ‘inner work life’ (the mix of emotions, motivations, and perceptions that is critical to performance).

If you want to improve your performance and productivity, sometimes the simplest solution is also the best. “A journal can help you learn things about yourself, and help you see patterns in your own reactions and behaviors,” says Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile. “That can help you identify your greatest strengths – and weaknesses you might want to work on.” (Source).  If you are motivated and happy at the end of the workday, it’s a good bet that you achieved something, however small.  Logging your daily accomplishments can therefore have great impact!

daily work accomplishments

 

Stay on Task

Use a work journal while working on specific projects. Stay motivated during the process by recording what you have done every day. This is especially valuable when you feel you’re not getting anywhere.

Grow

Teresa Amabile shared her top reasons for keeping a work journal: (1) focus, (2) patience, (3) planning, and (4) personal growth, on Harvard Business Review’s blog. She noted for many of the research participants, “keeping regular work diaries offered a new perspective on themselves as professionals and what they needed to improve.”

In a comment on the same HBR Blog, Executive Coach and CEO of Dark Matter Consulting David Kaiser, Ph.D praises the idea of journaling, “when I have an “a-ha” moment, or a great conversation, or when I have been banging my head on the same problem for a long time, I write it down, and I review my journal once or twice a week; this helps to reinforce new thinking, and I can look back to see the progress I have made.” He adds, “when I am working on a project that takes a while to unfold, it can be hard to see the finish line, or the progress made, and the planner pages help me to see how far I have come.”  Making progress visible contributes to your growth.

Share Progress

Another reason why you should keep a work journal is so you can look back on all of your accomplishments, and areas where you need to grow.  This is especially useful when meeting with your manager for a review or an informal check-in. Having a running log of completed tasks and highlighted achievements will make the review process much smoother and substantiated with real-time examples of your work.

Stay Motivated

Glen Stansberry, Co-Founder of Gentlemint, wrote about the connection between journaling and feelings of good performance. He stated, “focusing on what we have done—the wins—in our day rejuvenates. Going to bed looking at what was accomplished can be a massive motivator to help start the next day, and can keep us from closing the day on a sour note.”

Additionally, keeping a journal offers mental health benefits, fosters creativity, and helps you build better habits. Visit LifeHacker for more examples of the advantages of journaling.

Need an easy way to track your daily accomplishments and see what progress you made this week?  Take 30 seconds each day to log your small wins, by using the TalentCove app to achieve more and be successful at work!  Trust us, you’ll feel good about yourself.

We invite you to share how you track your progress in our comments below!

-Lolly Fitzpatrick

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