9 Career Benefits of Journaling

Journaling can provide many benefits to your career, both in the realm of personal growth and productivity. A work journal contains information about your daily work activities. This includes tasks that you are working on, problems that you face, and solutions to those problems. It can also include ideas that you think of while working or to benefit your productivity.

Keeping a daily work journal will allow you to keep track of your thoughts and ideas at work. You’ll be able to put the pieces of your thoughts and feelings at work together to better understand yourself, your coworkers, and the problems you face. If you aren’t doing so already we’ve given plenty of reasons here why you should start journaling. If anything it’s a great way to go back and review where you were and how far you’ve come along the path of life.

Episode Breakdown

Personal Growth

08:20 Increases Focus

Keeping a journal on a regular basis requires discipline. Journaling is a good place to start building discipline that will spill over into other areas. You’ll begin to notice that you have the drive to do things you’ve been putting off.

“You become more disciplined because you are acting more disciplined.”

Regular journaling shows the inconsistencies in your life. In little time the things that are hindering you will become clear. On the same note, the things that are improving your life will be highlighted. This allows you to remove the negative and increase the positive.

Decision making ability improves with regularly keeping a journal. You will be able to easily see the results of past decisions, good or bad. Plan out what to do in your journal by looking at the results of past decisions. This will help you keep from making the same mistakes.

11:50 Achieving Goals

By writing down your goals you are adding significance to them. The more detailed the goal the stronger the psychological blueprint for achieving it. By flagging something as important you’ll notice opportunities to accomplish it.

Research by Dr. Gail Matthews found that writing things down makes you more likely to achieve them. You are 42% more likely to achieve goals by writing them down. She also found that participants were 70% more likely to achieve goals if they sent weekly updates.

“It’s about using what you know about yourself and journaling can help you learn that.”

You can keep track of the details of what you want to do. SMART goals can be written and tracked. In your journal you can break your goals into individual tasks. Looking back at where you were and where you are helps see if what you are doing is going toward or away from your goals.

16:55 Improves Memory

Journaling helps to cement details in your memory. You get better about storing information by writing it down. Similar to the way taking notes in school helps to recall the information.

Information starts in short term memory and then gets transferred to long term memory. Short term memory holds information in small chunks and decays quickly. Long term memory is limitless and remains as long as needed. The more that information is repeated or used the more likely it is to get transferred to long term memory. It’s easier to store information related to other memories or information.

You recall information easier by having more connections to that information. It’s not a matter of having the information there it’s about the connections. Think of each piece of information as a node, the more connections the stronger the node. This is why you remember things better when associated with a strong emotion or sensory system. Journaling provides tactile and visual experiences that add connections to the information.

20:55 Improves Ability to Communication

Journaling is a form of written communication. Most of the time it is just for yourself. Blogging can be a form of keeping a public journal.

Putting your thoughts on paper can help you organize and articulate them. You can start with a stream of consciousness or with a pattern you follow. The more you write in it you will see a pattern emerge in your thought process. By following a pattern in your writing you will even be able to influence your thinking.

The process of articulating your own thoughts over time helps communicate ideas. You will have a better understanding of how you think. It will also allow you to express your thoughts in a clear understandable manner. You can also practice how you will express your thoughts and ideas before interacting.

28:20 Inspires Creativity

Julia Cameron states that everyone is an artist. The problem isn’t that you aren’t creative it’s getting to that creativity. Journaling can help you get to that creativity.

“He’ll say something about fishing and that will trigger an idea.”

Stream of consciousness style of journaling is one of the best ways to get creative juices flowing. This brings out the ideas that you have within and loosens you up.

Creativity in one area can lead to creativity in other areas. You should have hobbies outside of technology to better understand and work in tech. Using different areas of your brain or just relaxing can inspire great ideas. Many developers will go for a walk or do something non-technical when stuck to “clear their heads”.

Improved Productivity

35:45 Keeps Track of Ideas

Keeping a daily list of what you’ve done and are planning to do helps know what you’ve accomplished. Think of this like a written personal SCRUM (doing, done, impedes). This can help if you have to send in periodic reports to management.

Measure and track what is important with your journal. Use a work journal to track ideas that come to you while in meetings or even while coding. This can be useful as we tend to forget things if we don’t act upon them immediately. It also provides a place for storing ideas until you can get to them later.

Regularly reviewing your ideas helps better discern the good from the bad. By going over your ideas you’ll get an understanding of your mindset when you wrote them down. You’ll also find that your ability to clearly express the idea improves as you know what you’ll want to read later.

38:18 Improves Problem Solving

Journaling eases the decision making process. You are able to keep a record of previous decisions and their consequences. This helps you to know what has and has not worked in the past. You can also write down ideas about things that might come up and think through potential situations.

“It’s like looking at old code, it’s just code for life.”

It offers new perspectives and helps to prevent self delusion. A regular journal will point out areas where you are stalling progress. It also brings to light areas where you are procrastinating. It’s harder to make excuses when you’re tracking your progress regularly. Finally, it allows you to see where you are spending your time and effort.

Writing down your problems and the solutions makes it easier to solve similar problems. Like with decisions you are able to track problems and the solutions that did or did not work. This will help when you face similar problems in the future.

Journaling shows relationships and wholeness instead of separation. Instead of disjointed thoughts and ideas you’ll be able to see how your solutions and decisions relate to one another. When making new decisions you’ll be able to better understand how that will effect other areas.

42:00 Maximize Time and Efficiency

Tracking your daily or weekly tasks and goals makes creating summaries and reports easier. You can review your journal when creating reports to management. This is also a good way to look back at the work you’ve done during a sprint. This helps you understand how much effort you are able to put into future sprints.

You can use your work journal to assist in creating documentation for your code. It has a record of the problems you faced and the solutions you found. Your journal will also have your thought process when creating the code your are documenting.

Journaling also helps to improve your memory retention and recall. This helps you to save time looking things up. It also makes creating documentation easier as you’ll have a record of why you did something.

Finally, you’ll be able to compare your time estimates with your actual time on a task. We as humans are terrible at estimations especially when it comes to our time. Tracking tasks and how long it took to complete them will provide insight in how to effort similar tasks.

45:55 Improves Team Interactions

Keeping a record of ideas and solutions as well as interactions can help prevent argument. You’ll be able to show what was said or agreed upon. You’ll also be able to point to what was not agreed upon.

“That also has a nice side effect of keeping the wrong people from driving the process.”

Writing down your frustrations privately prevents outbursts. Working through your problems on paper will help you to get the emotions out before confronting others. Emotional honesty increases as you become more self aware from tracking your thoughts and feelings.

Identifying toxic people in your work environment allows you to think about how to deal with them. Toxic for you may not be toxic for everyone. You may need to change to another team or not work as directly with the person.

IoTease: Article

The 4 Stages of an IoT Architecture

The Internet of Things has become more than just internet connected devices or making regular things “smart”. Larger companies are getting involved in the IoT world. Energy companies are using IoT sensors in their plants. Nurseries are using connected sensors to monitor soil and moisture as well as control when to water plants and crops. What started out as something for hobbyist has become a part of business for many companies. This article talks about 4 stages of business architecture for incorporating IoT. It starts with the networked devices then goes to data collection, aggregation, and conversion. Next is preprocessing of the data before it is eventually analyzed, stored, and action taken based on it. This article talks specifically about Edge IT for the preprocessing but there are multiple options available. Check it out to understand how businesses are looking at using the Internet of Things.

Tricks of the Trade

Make sure your goals are things that you can control. If your goal is something that another person controls, you won’t feel good when you don’t achieve it. The point of setting goals is to set points of control, not to give them up to other people.

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