Did you know that a key to boost productivity at your spa or massage practice just might be in writing? I’m not talking about writing a to-do list, though it can help -- but only if you are sure you are including tasks you know you’ll be able to accomplish. The writing I’m referring to is journaling. Journals not only document things we have done, they help to clarify your actions and in turn drive productivity, says Craig Jarrow, author of the “Time Management Ninja” website.

In “5 Ways a Journal Can Make Your More Productive,” Jarrow suggests that journaling can help you:

  • Gather your thoughts: Regardless of what you write – things you’ve done or want to do or want to remember – journals are a great place to gather your thoughts.
  • Hold you accountable: When you start journaling, the ideas just keep coming, according to Jarrow, who says he often finds himself adding things to his to-do list.
  • Hear your inner voice: Journaling is like having a conversation with yourself. You ‘get in the zone’ and thoughts just start flowing – thoughts you didn’t even know you had on your mind.
  • Ponder what’s most important: By putting things down on paper, it helps to clarify what is really the most important thing to do.

If you want to give journaling a whirl and see how it helps your productivity, Harvard professor Teresa Amabile, co-author of “The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work,” tells Forbes:

  • Start small: Even five or 10 minutes is enough to get started
  • Create a ritual: Try to journal the same time each day so it becomes a habit.
  • Don’t overlook the positive: Don’t make your journal a venting tool; aim to write something positive each day. It can help you get out of a rut.
  • Review the past: Don’t just write about the day’s activities; look back in time and record other events in your life so that your ideas and insights begin to emerge.

Here are a few other recommendations to help you get going and be successful:

  • Try not to self-censor, say anything
  • Ask yourself questions
  • Keep it simple
  • Don’t worry about letter perfect grammar
  • It’s OK to skip a day or two, just keep at it.
  • Don’t give up!

Also about writing your journal long hand or using the computer – the choice is entirely yours. Journaling is about writing down your thoughts for your sake and the sake of your business. Publishing is an option.