One of the challenges many of us face as business owners are how to focus the day.
You want to be at your best. You want to be productive, make good decisions for your business, and still have time to actually live your life.
Striking that balance can be difficult.
One of the tools I’ve found helpful as I focus my own day is the Five-Minute Journal.
Using the Five-Minute Journal can help you figure out what matters most to you in the day.
It has also helps you reflect on your accomplishments at the end of the day. Here’s how it can help you:
Start with Gratitude
One of the things I like about the Five-Minute Journal is that it starts you off with gratitude.
The very first thing you do each day is list three things you’re grateful for. I like this because it immediately forces you into a positive mindset for the day. You’re basically required to think good thoughts.
In my case, I often list people. You can find people you’re thankful for, as well as express gratitude for your opportunities, health, and other items.
The benefits of gratitude go beyond just helping you get in a positive frame of mind for the day. That’s important since it can help you tackle the tough projects and feel better about most situations. However, it isn’t everything. Other benefits of gratitude include:
- Better physical health
- Improve mental health
- Enhance emotional health
- Better empathy and an increased emotional IQ
- Sleep better at night
- Reduce stress
- Improve relationships with others
All of these benefits can be good for your business and for your life. The Five-Minute Journal forces you to acknowledge the good things in your life first thing and helps you figure out a better mindset. It’s the perfect way to get a positive start to your day.
[Related: Could Journaling Help Your Business?]
What are the Three Most Important Things to Accomplish?
It’s easy to get bogged down by your to-do list. I know I often feel like there are too many items on the list.
Instead of trying to do everything all the time, narrow it down to your top three priorities.
This is what the Five-Minute Journal can help you do. After listing out what you’re grateful for, you turn to your most important daily priorities. Take a couple minutes to think about what you want to accomplish.
We know that the Pareto Principle is alive and well in business. So, focus your day by thinking about the most impactful things you can do for your business. You don’t need to focus on all the little details. Instead, you need to focus your attention where it will do the most good for growing your business.
The Five-Minute Journal forces you to prioritize your actions.
I like this because it helps me call out the most important things I can do for the day, and then it gives me something to focus on.
If I have time after I accomplish my “big three,” I can move on to smaller items on my list.
This type of focus can help you avoid getting sidetracked by less important tasks. Instead, you dedicate more energy to the things that really matter. Stay on top of those things, and you will be more likely to see better business growth and success down the road.
I have to admit that I struggle with affirmations. Really, really struggle. I know that a lot of people find them helpful. I just feel that sometimes they are silly.
However, the Five-Minute Journal has helped learn the value of affirmations. You can focus your day if you choose affirmations that make sense for you and your business.
A lot of the time, I choose an affirmation that has to do with a difficulty I’m facing at the moment. I also find that I use the same affirmation days in a row. That’s not a bad thing. It can help you focus your efforts and concentrate your thoughts.
Plus, affirmations can also help you break through some of your past barriers. It’s a way of overcoming psychological blocks that could be holding you back.
I still struggle with affirmations, but I now see their value. It’s a work in progress for me. But at least they help me start the day on a positive note.
End of the Day: List Amazing Things
While we pay a lot of attention to the beginning of the day, the end of the day often gets short shrift. However, if you want to focus your day and be more effective moving forward, your end of day routine matters, too.
The Five-Minute Journal asks you to spend some time reflecting on the day before you go to bed. You list three amazing things that happened. When I first started this exercise, I occasionally had a hard time identifying three great things from the day.
It’s become easier, though, because now I look for amazing things in my day.
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is the fact that you have setbacks. These can drag you down and make you feel like things aren’t happening for you or the business.
But when you look for the amazing in each day, you can overcome some of the negativity. This is important because negativity can have to suppress effect on your business efforts.
Instead of being negative, you need to think positively about what’s next. How can you turn a failure into a learning experience? How do you find the silver lining in that latest problem?
When you focus your day in a way that requires you to look for solutions and lessons, you are more likely to grow your business. You think creatively, solve problems, and are more likely to come out on top in the end.
Acknowledge What Could Have Been Better
Finally, the Five-Minute Journal has space for you to list what could have been better about your day. What is something that you can improve upon?
It’s a way for you to write down something that disappointed you and get it off your mind. This is a big deal. How many times have you stayed awake, just laying in your bed, recounting the stressful things that happened that day?
Instead of letting those thoughts run rampant, you get them out and get them down. This can help you sleep better at night. Sleep is an important way to focus your day. When you have enough sleep, you are more likely to be energetic, make better decisions, and have better connections with others. This helps your personal life as well as your business life.
More Balance for Your Life
If you are looking for a way to focus your day and to bring more balance into your life, the Five-Minute Journal can help. It can touch on items that will help you in your business and in your personal life. It can also allow you to identify when it’s time to quit working and experience the pleasures of life.
Use the Five-Minute Journal to help you improve yourself, focus your day as a business owner, and deepen your relationships. When you get in the regular habit of the things it encourages, you might be surprised at how much happier and more productive you are.
How the Five-Minute Journal Can Help You Focus Your Day was originally published on Due by Miranda Marquit.