At the start of the New Year, you probably had the best intentions about journaling more often (along with going to the gym five times a week and eating more fruits and veggies). But as the year progressed and work got busier, your journal may have begun collecting dust on the shelf along with your running shoes.
If this sounds familiar, don’t feel guilty; you’re in good company. It can be a juggling act to find a few moments to yourself to write, but by taking small, manageable steps each week, you can learn how to keep a journal even in the busiest times in your life.
1. Keep a Notebook With You at All Times.
Buy a small pocket notebook and keep it in your purse or pocket so you have it wherever you go. Treat it as a blank canvas for all of the creative ideas, writing prompts or half-formed thoughts you have throughout the day; scribble them down so you have ready-to-go inspiration when you sit down to journal later. The hardest part about learning how to keep a journal regularly is often finding material you are excited about.
2. Find 10 Minutes.
If you try to find an hour or two in your day to write in your journal, chances are, you will convince yourself you don’t have the time and won’t end up writing at all. Instead, carve out short blocks of time in your week and write for 10 to 30 minutes. You will feel less pressure to write a lengthy masterpiece each time, and as you get back in the groove of writing, it will seem a little less daunting with each entry.
3. Take Advantage of Lulls.
Make a note of the periods of your day where you have built-in breaks or downtime. For example, the 30 minutes on the commuter bus to work in the morning, the 15 minutes waiting at school to pick your children in the afternoon, the 20 minutes between step one and step two of preparing dinner. Bring your journal with you and write during the lulls in your schedule. You will find yourself noticing these tranquil moments more often and gradually teaching yourself how to keep a journal on the go.
Sometimes the “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy” response is just a reflexive action because we’ve been conditioned to believe that taking time for ourselves is “so selfish.” After all, there’s a whole lot of stuff going on in our subconscious. Like those powerful inner critics we created who tell us making time for ourselves is such a bad thing because you should be out saving the world, etc. What about just taking a page with your Journal and asking “How do I create time to Journal?” or choose a question that feels right for you.
How to Keep a Journal in the time strapped life we lead? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments section below.