We all live in a 24/7 world with more things to do than time to do them. In our culture we often confuse activity with productivity – leaving us stressed and frazzled. I will go out on a limb and say that 50% or more of our activity (certainly mine) is unproductive. What if there was a different way? It’s called a leadership journal, and I recommend it to all my executive coaching clients. The Harvard Business Review has quoted research that shows performance improved +18% when people had a chance to reflect on their learning. Here is how to do it in 10 minutes or less.
Benefits of A Leadership Journal
Many articles and research studies have noted the benefits of keeping a journal. Benefits include:
- Reducing stress
- Improving well-being (according to research, regular journaling strengthens immune cells)
- Solving problems more effectively
- Becoming more self-aware
- Resolving disagreements with others
- Clarifying our thoughts and feelings
Where my clients get stuck is in finding the time to get started. So, here’s what I recommend to them.
The Leadership Journal Rule of 3’s
The “Leadership Journal Rule of 3’s” is simple. It will take you less than 10 minutes a day to get started. You can even bullet point if you’re short on time. Here’s how it works.
- Three things I’m grateful for today
- Three things I did well today
- Three things I learned today
Easy right? And also very powerful as a leadership practice.
The Power of the Rule of 3’s
- The power of gratitude – Gratitude is a very powerful leadership practice. It allows us to focus our lens on what is already working well in our lives and careers. Multiples studies show practicing gratitude improves health, makes us more resilient, and improves relationships.
- The power of strengths – Paying attention to what we did well helps us build our confidence and tune into our strengths. It creates positive energy and fuel for us to move toward big goals. Our minds have a natural tendency to focus on our fears about what could go wrong. This practice allows us to retrain our minds to focus on our capabilities which allows us to achieve our goals and dream bigger dreams.
- The power of learning – Our ability to learn from our experiences (both positive and negative) is what differentiates the people who succeed vs. those who give up. Our learning can be about what works or doesn’t to help us prioritize and be more productive. It can be learning about how to manage others and ourselves. The possibilities are endless when we bring a lens of learning to our daily experiences.
I hope you will give yourself this gift of reflection. I challenge you to create a routine for just 10 minutes a day to invest in your own leadership growth. If you really want to keep yourself accountable, start this practice with a group of friends and colleagues. Share the gift with them.
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