The Good Time Journal (PT 1)

good time journal

Booking under: Keith

Do you keep a journal? Whether you like to compose essays from your thoughts or just leave brief notes to remind yourself how your day went, a journal is a very important asset that helps us learn more about ourselves.

As I shared before, I already keep a variety of journals. I have a Bible-reading journal where I jot down short lessons learnt from my daily devotions. I keep a work journal where I write down the tasks I worked on each day and record any significant achievements. Finally, I keep a gratitude journal where I write down 5 things I am grateful for each day.

So how on earth would I manage a fourth journal? Well…

… I don’t. Instead of trying to juggle and commit to keeping four journals, I decided instead to modify my work journal so as to incorporate measuring my engagement and energy into my daily records. Here’s what I found:

Engagement

focused

A rough approximation of what I look like when I’m focused at work. Like really rough.

The thing I notice about engagement is that it largely has to do with the kind of task I am doing. For tasks that are challenging (but not overly so) and require some thinking, my engagement tends to be high. If the task is a mechanical one, my engagement tends to be lower but doesn’t drop as much if it is a relatively short task.

On a scale of 5, I find that my engagement these two weeks has hovered between a 3 and a 4. That’s because a lot of the work I’ve been doing has not been what I would ideally like to do. For example, while I enjoy tasks that require writing and creativity, most of my recent work items has been on analytics, which is useful for the business but not all that interesting to me. As a result, I find that my engagement has not been as high as it could be.

Energy

energy bungee

Will my work energy levels ever be like this? Here’s hoping…

As for energy, I find that this has a lot to do with how much rest I got the previous day. While Bill and Dave noted that certain work tasks can drain our energy or boost it, I find that my work does not particularly increase or drastically decrease my energy levels.

Why? I think this may be because my current work is not super engaging, therefore there isn’t anything out there to “energize” me. On the flip side, since I am mindful of taking occasional water/toilet breaks, I am able to recharge and make sure I am ready to keep working. I might not be able to control my work energy levels, but I can choose to be disciplined and try to be as productive as I can be.

SUMMING UP

notebook on desk

Keeping this Good Time Journal has been quite useful, since it’s allowed me to learn more about myself and what I think of my work. I’m interested in keeping up with this practice, and will take the insights I glean to see if I can shape my work to be more engaging and meaningful.

Have you kept a Good Time Journal to track your engagement and energy at work? What have you found? If you want to read another great example, tune in next week for Nicole’s sharing. Let’s see what goes into her GTJ!

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