Being productive is about working smarter, not harder. We all know that to be true, yet many of us get caught in the “busy” trap. We are constantly on the move and always seem to have something going, yet never seem to move forward. The 5 Minute Productivity Journal is a journal that will help you untangle your to-do list and find the most effective uses of your time – without taking too much of it with planning.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the 5 Minute Productivity Journal, to see if it’s right for you.
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- Guide to good habits – prioritize what matters most, set SMART goals, and establish positive sustainable habits.
- Little daily challenges – get inspired with these simple exercises that give you a gentle push to better yourself.
- Self-care and gratitude – daily reminders to not only work hard and be productive but also to take care of yourself and give thanks.
Parts of The 5 Minute Productivity Journal
Think of time management as the key that unlocks other areas of your life. The journal is designed to hone your focus, and make sure that your actions are aligning with your goals. We only have so much time. You are in charge of your life and your choices, including what you do with your time. What are you going to make happen today?
Part One: Your Best Life Starts Here
Think of part one as the part that sets you up for success instead of just throwing you into the journal entries as most journals do. While the journal entries are the main part of The 5 Minute Productivity Journal, getting things done does not help you reach your goals if you find yourself running in circles. This section is designed to help you hone your focus and first figure out where you are going before taking the steps to get there.
Getting Started With the 5 Minute Productivity Journal
You want your goals to be meaningful. For that to happen, you need to make sure that your goals, your values, and your priorities are aligned. In order to help you find a starting place, the Getting Started section presents you with 6 habits to examine. Look at what you are already doing, and which ones you can add. You are free to tweak them so they work best for you. The habits covered include:
- Setting SMART goals
- Finding a morning routine that works for you, not what everyone else says it should look like.
- Tackling your biggest task first thing in the morning
- Planning and prioritizing your tasks
- Reflecting and evaluating your goals
- Scheduling white space into your day.
Life Wheel Exercise
Our lives are beautifully multi-faceted. They are made up of categories such as family, professional life, social life, fitness, career, education, and many more. Trying to balance all these different parts of our lives can feel like you are spinning plates and trying desperately not to drop one.
The life wheel in the 5-Minute Productivity Journal gives you a visual representation of where you are in each of the areas of your life right now. Unlike most life wheels, this exercise encourages you to create your own with as many or as few categories as you need. The goal is not to get everything perfectly balanced, but to simply get everything at a place that you are happy with it. You will grow as you continue through the journal, so there are additional life wheels spaced through the book for you to re-evaluate.
Ready, Set, Goals
When you start a trip, the first thing you decide is where you want the end destination. Consequently, when we want to move our lives forward, we need to look at where we want our final destination to be and then create goals that will move us closer. Sounds easy enough, but many people get stuck on setting goals.
The reason that many people hate goals is because they don’t feel that their goals align with their life priorities or values. These are 10 short thought-provoking questions designed to help you hone your focus and make sure that you are focusing not only on productivity, but on moving your life forward in the direction you want to go.
Related Blog Posts:
- The Importance of a To-Do List
- How to Focus Your Mind on One Thing: 15 Ways to Beat Distractions
- Why You Need to Define Your Core Values
- What is a Future Goals List and Why Do I Need One?
- 10 Powerful Self-Motivation Techniques
- The Secrets You Need to Build Your Motivational Skills
- How to Set Your Priorities in Life
- Consequences of Choices: How Do You Find the Best Ones for Your Life
Part Two: Journal Entries in the 5 Minute Productivity Journal
As with any journal, much of it is composed of pages for journal entries. A journal is a tool designed for you to use. The best planner or the best journal in the world will not do anything for you if you don’t actually use it. These are all guided journal entries to give you the structure that you need to find your focus in the shortest time possible.
These are some of the questions in the journal entries and why I think they are significant:
I feel: ……. Why I feel this way…….
It is also the only journal of this type that I have seen that takes into account how you feel. My emotional state has a great deal of impact on my productivity. Sometimes we need to deal with our emotions first before we can completely focus on the task at hand.
How’d it go yesterday? …….. Yesterday’s productivity: ……. Today’s follow-through…………
Our tasks from day to day line up. What did not get done yesterday often bleeds into today. Likewise, if you have a very productive day on Monday, it generally makes Tuesday better. These questions hold you accountable for what you did or didn’t do the day before.
Yesterday’s act of self-care……. What would make today great? …… I’m grateful for……..
When I shift into productivity mode, I’m a beast slaying tasks one right after the other and taking care of everything… except myself. I often forget to take care of myself when I have an especially busy day. This first question makes me reflect on what I did yesterday to refill my cup.
Of all the questions in the journal entries, the one that makes me think the most is “What would make today great?” So often I don’t think about that at the beginning of the day. I just evaluate how the day was at the end of the day when my energy is running low. This question is big for shifting my focus.
Stating something that you’re grateful for is another mindset and happiness hack. It shifts your focus from what you don’t have to what you do. We all need to remember when the things we enjoy today were the dreams of yesterday.
My top priority today…. What I’ll do to support my top priority …. Workday stopping time…
After our mindset has been adjusted, now we set to work on what our top priority for the day should be along with 3 steps to take to support that top priority. This gives you a simple structure of a bigger overall goal for the day and 3 smaller steps you need to take in order to reach that goal.
You might be surprised to find a workday stopping time in the 5 minute productivity journal entries. Especially in a time when many of us find ourselves working from home, it’s tempting to not stop working. If I do not put a workday stopping time where I make myself walk away, I will end up working till way too late at night and dragging through the next day. There needs to be a definite time that your work stops so you can recharge and refocus for the next day. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
One of my non-negotiables in a journal of any sort is a space for free writing. This is your space for anything else that’s on your mind. You are free to use it however you want to. One of the benefits of journaling is that it gives you a way to unload your mind. That’s why this last part of the journal entry is so important.
For myself, I usually jot down the time that I stopped writing as well. It gives me a reality check of just how much time I actually spend journaling. Sometimes it feels that I am wasting time writing everything down, even though I know it saves a ton of time when I actually go to do something. Jotting down the time that I stop gives me a realistic snapshot of how much time the journal entry actually took. If I go into a lot of detail, my usual time is around 10 minutes. (I tend to like to write a lot and use many words.) I don’t beat myself up for taking those 10 minutes to plan, and it’s one of the times where the time that it seems like I spend is longer than the actual time spent.
Little Challenges in the 5 Minute Productivity Journal
Spaced throughout the journal entries in the 5 Minute Productivity Journal, you will see little challenges. These are color-coded into different categories. They are designed to give you just a little push or a chance to level yourself up while still being fun. A few examples of the challenges are:
- Write down your proudest moment of the past 24 hours.
- Reach out to a friend you’ve been meaning to check in with. Invite them for coffee.
- Identify and write down and underlying fear or limiting belief that’s holding you back from growing. Investigate why it’s there.
- Forgive someone for a past wrong.
- Take a trip somewhere you’ve never been. (This could be a local place, a day trip, or a longer vacation.)
Inspirational Quotes in the 5 Minute Productivity Journal
I have a fondness for inspirational quotes. They lift me up and encourage me when I’m down. Sometimes they bring me comfort and sometimes they light a fire under my tail. That’s why you will find them spaced all throughout The 5-Minute Productivity Journal.
Journaling Related Blog Posts:
- Journaling for Beginners: What You Need to Know
- Find the Perfect Type of Journaling for You
- Get the Most from Your Gratitude List
Do I have to use the 5 Minute Productivity Journal every day for it to work?
When I first started journaling, I always felt like I was failing when I didn’t use it every day. The beautiful thing about the 5 Minute Productivity Journal or any journal is although you CAN use it every day, you don’t have to. I find that one the days that I use it I am super productive, and I can focus and knock out tasks right and left.
Doing that every day is exhausting. You can’t always operate at peak performance. You would not drive your car 100 mph everywhere you went, would you? For one thing, it’s dangerous and I don’t know of any speed limits that high anywhere. For another thing, you would tear up your car. It could not always sustain such a high speed. My friend, you are the same way. You cannot always go all out every day.
There are some days that I take it easy that I do not use the journal. But on days that I feel overwhelmed with my to-do list, it helps me sort it out. I first use it to put my thoughts in order and focus my mind and then I knock out whatever it is I have to do.
Where can I get The 5 Minute Productivity Journal?
The 5 Minute Productivity Journal is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble Books, Target, BAM, and where ever books are sold.
Video Walk-Through of The 5 Minute Productivity Journal
Check out this video walk-through. It’s nothing fancy. It’s just you and me going through the journal. I took the video with my mobile phone, not fancy equipment. It starts a bit blurry, but clears up around the 45 second mark.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About The 5 Minute Productivity Journal
I am the author of The 5-Minute Productivity Journal, but I also use it. My friend, everything about this is designed to make you feel supported, cut through your overwhelm, and empower you to take the actions that you need to move forward, whatever your goals are.
Don’t forget to enjoy the little moments of your life in the here and now, but there is also nothing wrong with working to make your life better. Make sure that your goals fit with your priorities, and that you also take some time for white space in your life to rest and recharge. I hope that you have enjoyed this in-depth look at the 5-Minute Productivity Journal. If you have questions, feel free to leave me a comment! Is there anything you saw that really jumped out at you? I’d love to hear from you.