Habits of Success: 5 Reasons You Should Keep A Work Diary
Your work diary is a little more than a book which contains the master-mind plan of how you intend to catch the lunch-thief(complete with stick figures and a flow-chart of the nabbing process). It, actually also is a book/e-document, which contains daily entries of the vocational achievements, challenges, milestones and opportunities we encounter each work day. I'm currently in the process of developing this habit of keeping a work diary and if you choose to do so as well, we'll be doing ourselves favours and could really change the way we work and network!
One reason you might want to skip this diary-keeping business would be the unlikely event that someone might find it, make copies and/or send out dropbox links of your documented ramblings about your boss and Tim (will get to him soon). Other than that, work diaries are a splendid idea. Studies show that people who keep work diaries have a greater sense of well-being, find it easier to find employment after being laid off and have a stronger immune system. Here are some other reasons to keep a work diary:
1. It provides the timeline of how you became a Rockstar: Keeping a record of your milestones helps track your progress and gives you a pat on the back when you read it later. My old work diary contains an entry about my first encounter with Microsoft Access. A few weeks later, I had become so comfortable using it. I haven't used it since then, but the experience shows that milestones sure help us mark our small, moderate and huge achievements and tell the story of our rock-stardom.
2. Keeping a work diary builds your immune system: What goes into your work diary? Everything; triumphs, setbacks, promotions, missed promotions, Tims*(we will get to him soon), milestones, situations that made you beam, situations that made you cringe. Research shows that writing about stressful events/cringe-moments builds stronger immune function and physical health. Scribble away!
3. Makes you wonder how you survived working with Tim (and validates your sterling inter-personal skills)
Tim (not his real name), was this gentleman I worked with once. I really applaud myself for being able to be productive with him around. He complained. ALOT. About everything. Hands down, the most consistent complainer I've ever met. I think he's married now. Ol' Tim.
4. Brings back awesome habits
Remember when you were as productive as Noah because you listened to soothing music as you worked and kept your frazzle at bay. Some work habits make us more productive but we sometimes lose them. My diary says I used to have a 7-minute quiet-time with God at lunch! Trying to rework that into my lunch-time these days. What work habits have you lost? Would you like them back?
5. Builds your professional and social network
I reconnected with somebody recently, after noticing her name scribbled on the back of my old work diary. I also found a few business cards inside the cover pocket. I have now made these connections virtual through LinkedIn, chatted with them and we are all caught-up with each other's lives.
Diary-keeping tip from my friend: "Write honestly and positively. Always write how to improve the situation and understand how your emotions maybe positively channeled into the resolution."
Also, write for 5-10 minutes every day. Making it too long might seem daunting as a daily task. Easy does it.
p.s If you are going to write about Tim, then you might have to keep a secret work diary...with a lock and key. And when you do catch that lunch-thief, please publish your flow-charts and techniques. I think a few people would benefit tremendously *eyeing all lunch-thieves* Lunch-thief, your day is near.
Do you keep a work diary? Have you ever had your lunch stolen before? Tell us! Plus find out the benefits of taking your lunch to work.