Journaling is not a new concept but for productive-minded people who feel that their every action should have an outcome to show for it, journaling may seem a bit of a waste of time.
After all, all these written words are not going to be shared with an audience, or put into any kind of format with a measurable ROI, so why should you bother with it?
Let’s think about it this way – as an entrepreneur or solopreneur, your thoughts and mindset are more valuable than you may imagine. They may be your most valuable asset, in fact. So much of what you contribute directly to your business comes directly from your own brain. So it makes sense to nurture your mind, your flow of thoughts, your natural creativity and your inspiration.
But how should you do this?
One simple daily practise: journaling.
Reflection through journaling is intentional thought dedicated to evaluating observations and experiences, considering alternative outcomes and interpretations and attributing meaning to inform decisions in the future. Research shows that people who engage in reflection are happier people and higher performers than those who do not. It makes sense.
5 ways journaling can benefit you as a solopreneur, plus business journaling prompts
How can journaling for solopreneurs improve your productivity and creativity as a solo business owner, when you are trying to wear all the hats, remember all things and still keep your goals in sight?
Journalling for solopreneurs allows you to braindump the noise
By writing down all the thoughts, tasks, and to-dos that are on your mind, that are floating around in circles, you remove your need to remember these things. These can be business-related or personal. By getting them out of your head and onto a piece of paper, you free up your thoughts and more importantly, allow you to visualise and organise your thoughts.
This can be performed at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, as a “start of the week” brain dump session. Or even more long term, such as setting up goals for the year.
Get clear on your top priorities
Priorities can be a tricky thing to nail down. You may think you know what they are, but by journaling consistently, you may find that your priorities are being influenced by outside factors. These may not be aligning with your own personal and business goals.
Outside factors could be anything from worrying about what other people think and expect of you, to unexpected events that pop up, or listening and mimicking what others people’s priorities are.
Reflecting on your priorities and digging into the why behind each one, will give you clarity and also allow you to keep them foremost in your mind when making business decisions.
Journaling inspires creative flow
Freewriting is a good practice for inspiring your creativity. Freewriting is a certain type of journaling when you are writing with no prompt or goal.
While this exercise may sound aimless, freewriting can help you break through a creative block and help you process your emotions and even boost your immune system.
If you think this sounds far too simple, for people who are used to clearly defined tasks, it can be a bit daunting. How do you know if you’ve done it right or when you’re finished?
Luckily, there is no right or wrong way when it comes to freewriting. As far as how you know when you’re done, you can either go by time or length, writing for a set amount of minutes or pages per day. It’s okay if you don’t think the writing is any good. It’s not supposed to be! Freewriting is not meant to be a first draft of anything, but rather a practice that cultivates consistency and creativity.
Journaling brings clarity around your blockages
You create a judgement-free space when you journal. No one else is going to be reading this, your innermost thoughts. In this way, you will find that by letting your thoughts flow unhindered, you may discover blocks you never knew existed in your mind.
Or on the other hand, perhaps you are aware of a certain block, be this creative or not. By allowing your thoughts to flow onto paper, you may be surprised by what comes out!
Journaling allows you time to slow down
For many entrepreneurs, this can be almost unfathomable. A time in my day when I do… nothing?
When you make a point to sit down alone, reflect on the day and slow your mind, you create space for better thinking, creativity and problem-solving. These are some of the most valuable assets for entrepreneurs, as already mentioned.
One of the most difficult things about journaling for solopreneurs is simply getting started. Our tip: put pen to paper and use some prompts to help you out. With practice and consistency, you will find it easier and enjoyable and above all, freeing and energising!
Business journaling prompts ideas:
- This coming week, what are you working on?
- What would you like help with this week?
- Are you working on anything (a blog post or new offer) that you need some market research for? Form a question.
- What milestones did you reach last week?
- If next week went completely as planned, what would you get finished?
- What was the best thing that happened last week?
- Any challenges you struggled with?
- What did you learn last week?
- What was your favourite discovery last week?
- Do you know of any opportunities or resources that others might find interesting?
- What is something FUN that you want to do next week?
- What is something that you want to create next week?
- How was your work-life balance last week? What would you change about it – if anything – this week?
- What are you most looking forward to next week?
- What things are you most grateful for from last week?