One minute shift from frazzled to focused

They say that when you’re struggling to grow your business, it’s the perfect time to get a coach. And you say – great idea! I’ll hire one when I start to make money.

They also might say they’ll start going to the gym – as soon as they lose some weight.

I’ll start keeping a journal – as soon as I have more time.

But what happens?

We never have more time! There is always something to do. A tight deadline at work.  Extra soccer practice before the end of season game. Head colds. Gifts for teachers. Just catching up with emails can feel like a huge task.

Journal writing feels like one more task that we are interested in…but not committed enough to actually…well, commit to.

It feels too indulgent. Too nice-to-do but not need-to-do. Too doing something for myself which doesn’t fly when there are meals to cook, full laundry baskets, and music lessons to get to. (Yup, this can be the same reaction to time to workout. Or spending the money to hire a coach.)

If you’re feeling like this about journal writing, or anything in your life, it might be time for a gentle nudge toward a new perspective.

You know what happens when you go to the gym as you are, without telling yourself that you have to lose weight first? You feel great about going! Your energy is up,  you feel like you’re actually accomplishing something instead of wishing you were accomplishing something.

When you hire a coach? Same thing. You invest in yourself and you have someone helping you focus, holding you accountable, and viola! Your work in the world starts to flourish.

When you take care of you, you do a better job taking care of others. What if you gave yourself one minute – just one minute – to journal today?

What can you do in one minute? Brain dump all of the tasks that you’re keeping in your head into a master list. Get them out of your head and on paper. They are much easier to tackle when they are written down and you can focus on one at a time. Before your minute is up, rank the items on your list. Number one is your most important item, number two is next, and so on.

Warning: if there’s a lot in your head, this might take three minutes. However, writing down your next steps and focusing diligently on one step at a time will get more done. I call this your Journaling ROI and it works. I promise.

This kind of writing doesn’t lead to massive life change, personal exploration, or healing. But it does lead to regaining a sense of accomplishment and productivity in your life. Not just with the things you have to do – or feel like you have to do – but with the things you want to do.

It moves you from feeling frazzled to focused.

It gets you focused on one thing at a time, maybe even eliminating distractions so you can work a little smarter. Instead of chasing 20 rainbows you narrow it down to one that actually has a pot of gold at the end.

So, what’ll it be? Do you have one minute to give yourself today and see what kind of ROI you generate? Happy one-minute journaling!

Sara Marchessault is a writer, publisher, teacher, and mom who is on a mission to increase joy on the planet. Through the practice of self-reflection, we become aware of what brings us joy and what does not, and we make choices to move forward or stand still. Journal writing is a powerful reflection tool that can help any of us move forward, even in the darkest of times. For ideas on how you can get the benefits of journal writing without always keeping a traditional journal, check out Sara’s book, Beyond Pen & Paper: 33 Experiments in Journaling.

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