Striking a balance between work and personal life is the key to maximising productivity, progress, and joy. Where our smartphones and apps help us to stay connected to the digital world, an old-school diary helps us to stay connected to the actual world, and can actually benefit our wellbeing. If you’ve moved away from paper diaries in recent years it might be time to consider a diary to improve your wellbeing.
The World Cancer Research Fund International found that lack of sleep, weight gain, and a dip in productivity in both adults and children are linked with excessive screen time. Using a diary to record your thoughts by hand can lead to much higher fact recall and retention, which can help you feel more productive, uplift your mood, and enhance overall well-being.
An experimental study conducted at Michigan State University revealed that writing can help our brain ‘cool down’ when we’re anxious or stressed. The art of handwriting has several benefits, ranging from critical thinking, idea production, to memory building. By forming letters or taking notes with a pen or pencil, we are connecting to what we are writing, which activates neural pathways and pushes our brain to focus and retain information.
Maintaining a diary or having physical access to to-do lists, notes, and deadlines has the potential to enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieval of information. When you type, your fine motor skills are used in a different way and you’re at risk of “mindless processing” of information. Using a pen and paper provides a richer sensory experience than typing on a keyboard. Not only does it boost memory and comprehension, but it also increases working memory capacity, which may reflect improved cognitive processing.
A paper diary or a planner will allow you to write down everything relevant to your personal or professional objectives and initiatives. Journaling 15-20 minutes per day is enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver function. Writing in a diary is simply a method of thinking, planning, monitoring, and evaluating your actions – for increasing workplace productivity.
According to Duke University research, the average mobile phone user gets an average of 65 to 80 notifications per day? Writing by hand improves your capacity to retain knowledge, grasp new concepts, and be more productive – with the added benefit of eliminating technology distractions.
Doodling to remain focused
Drawing or doodling in a diary has shown to offer several benefits, including improved memory and assisting in calming down during stressful situations. Diaries don’t have to just be for taking notes or making to-do lists; you can fill them with mindless doodling or your greatest artworks during a meeting to help you remain focused and motivated.