Journaling may sound like an old-fashioned hobby best left to melancholic, Victorian-era explorers or edgy teenagers complaining about their parents. Still, it’s actually something that everyone should be doing, and especially entrepreneurs, says HighKey Holdings co-founder Luke Lintz. He speaks at length about the importance of journaling every day and setting up the next day the night before so that the new day can be taken on with a sense of calm and focus.
Journaling is often a hard sell to extremely busy people, like business owners, because it’s a task that doesn’t provide tangible returns, and its value isn’t immediately apparent. However, here’s why it’s something that every business owner needs to do:
Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to combat the ever-changing chaos that running a business and generally just living in today’s busy world entails.
Creating value doesn’t necessarily mean doing something that will result in direct financial gains. Keeping a journal is a way to help focus thoughts and process ideas and emotions. It doesn’t matter that no one will ever see these words. In fact, that’s the point. More than this, it provides entrepreneurs with a way to stay productive, because they’re making space for that to happen in a structured way.
“Having an exact plan the day before is a very effective strategy to combat procrastination. The main reason for procrastination is a lack of clarity and direction. Out in the real world, you have to create this direction yourself in the form of an exact plan and make sure your daily goals correlate with that plan. If you have a clear outline of what is needed, procrastination is unlikely,” Luke explains.
Words are the only way people can make sense of the world around them, including its many strange twists and disappointments. Business owners often feel very lonely, as they have to work obscene hours and deal with a lot of different expectations and problems. They have to go about it alone because no one is ever going to put the same level of energy into their company that they do. Not only is that exhausting, but it can lead to a lot of thoughts and feelings being bottled up because it feels like there’s no one to share them with.
It doesn’t take a psychologist to say that’s an unhealthy way to live and that it can lead to severe mental health dips down the line. Entrepreneurship is always an effort in resilience, and if a leader is not on top of their game, then their productivity suffers, and the business suffers as a result.
“The biggest tip that I have for productivity is harnessing your focus—staying focused on your long-term goals. You must understand what you want to achieve in the long term and remind yourself of those goals daily. Staying focused on your goals develops a purpose and allows you to craft a long-term path of short-term goals that you can checkmark along the way. Doing this effectively gives motivation, a feeling of accomplishment, and happiness,” Luke remarks.
With so much distraction in the world through smartphones, social media, co-workers, friends, and family, it can become very difficult to enter into a state of focus daily, which is where self-reflection via journaling comes in. This is so important, Luke explains, because he knows from personal experience that a state of complete focus makes him more productive than he ever knew was possible.
Entrepreneurs also learn many hard lessons throughout their journeys, regardless of what paths they choose. Those experiences cannot be valuable to them; however, until they take the time to reflect on them. Luke tries to take a more structured approach to journaling to help process through the things he learned and felt that day, as well as the things he has to keep in mind come the next day.
However, there is no “right” way to journal, and people should try and experiment to see what works for them. By doing introspection and journaling regularly, Luke is able to focus his efforts and maximize the time he has every day, and that’s exactly what successful entrepreneurs do.