Journaling is one of those activities that plenty of people around the world turn to as a way to work out personal problems. It’s a method of self-discovery and working towards personal growth. But did you know that journaling can also be used to effectively boost your business prowess? It’s an ideal habit to form if you’re an entrepreneur looking for the next big business idea.
1. Harness The Power Of Freewriting
Freewriting is the most important part of journaling. It’s when you sit down with a blank page and just start writing, letting loose a stream of consciousness on the page. Yes, it is aimless but it can help you to push through creative blocks because you aren’t working towards a specific goal. Your brain is free to come up with thoughts and you record them then and there. Allowing your brain time to just open up and be free can give it the power to come up with something amazing.
2. Force Yourself To Slow Down
Journaling needs to be done old-school with a pen (or pencil) and paper. No typing, no speech-to-text. Writing by hand is often a lot slower for most people when compared to their typing speed, and it’s considerably slower than speech-to-text and other writing programs. This means that you can spend more time engaging with the thoughts that come out when you’re freewriting.
3. Remove The Distractions Of Technology
By disconnecting from the digital world when writing on a piece of paper, you’ll find that there are fewer distractions preventing you from focusing on your thoughts. It’s far too easy to check your email or reply to a text when you’re writing on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Each time you step away from the task at hand, take time to re-engage with it when you come back. This breaks your flow and your ability to think clearly.
4. Free Up Space In Your Mind
When you put your thoughts and ideas down on a piece of paper, you’re free to let go of them and make room for new ideas. With enough practice, you’ll learn how to let go of the thoughts and ideas that aren’t serving you at the moment and focus on the ones that you know can help you. This also creates room for new, better ideas to pop into your head.
5. Spot The Bad Ideas Easily
Rolling an idea around in your head is very different to seeing it written out on a piece of paper. You can often see immediately if an idea has merit or if it needs to be tossed out. What started as a great theory can often get shown up as something that isn’t practical as you explore your true connections to the idea through freewriting. Your journaling habit could save you years of wondering and possibly even save you money if you started investing proper time and effort into the idea before realizing it wasn’t going to work.
6. Make Connections Between Disparate Thoughts
Journaling is all about just putting your thoughts down on paper. Once you’ve done the writing, you can go back and read through your thoughts and ideas, and see if any of them actually link up. Two vague thoughts could have real merit as a business idea when you connect the dots between them. Seeing them written out may be all the inspiration you need to create one solid concept that has great potential.
7. Create A Record Of Your Ideas
Tracking ideas is essential for a busy entrepreneur. You may have hit on a great business concept, but the market wasn’t quite right at the time or you were too busy with another project to give it the time and effort it deserved. Your journal will serve as a record of your ideas, meaning you can go back and read through your thoughts when you’re in a space to find the next big thing you want to start.
Being able to go back and read all of your thoughts and brainstorming around a business idea is also great for learning. You can see where you struggled, what went right and what went wrong, as well as how your mind developed the concept and ran with it. This is incredible data for helping you move forward into your next business.
8. Let Go Of The Need For Perfection
Striving for perfection in your business ideas and endeavors is natural for any entrepreneur. However, sometimes you have to learn to let go and let things happen. It isn’t always going to happen the way you planned it and it isn’t always going to be perfect.
What you can do is learn to accept this and how to pivot when things don’t go according to plan. Journaling can help you with this concept because the entire idea behind it is to let go of perfection and just be in the moment. This is often where the magic happens.
9. Get Out Of Your Rut
Just like every aspect of life, you can easily get stuck in a rut when it comes to business. Through freewriting and journaling, you can let go of where you are and get your brain to think about problems in a different light. You can encourage creative thinking for new ideas by using your non-dominant hand to write or try writing in different colors.
10. Explore Topics That Are Causing Issues
Journaling doesn’t have to be a complete free-for-all when you sit down to do some freewriting. You can give yourself a topic to get yourself started. Just remember, this is not always where you’ll end up because your brain will go to the most important issues it’s facing. However, you can try out some business-related topics to help you focus your stream of consciousness writing. Try topics like examining a business you admire, or particular consumer problems you’ve noticed recently.
Who knows? The next million-dollar idea could be just a few journal entries away. If you don’t try it, you’ll never know.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.