The Reliable Power Of Journaling You Need to Know

This Week’s BIG Idea

Journaling has changed my life. I’ve always struggled with making decisions because once I make a decision, I keep thinking about the ones I ignore. Having numerous options paralyzes you and this is something the book The Paradox of Choice discusses at length. The main idea is that the more options you have, the worse you’ll feel. But since I’ve been journaling for mental clarity, making decisions is simpler when I have pen and paper and an extra hour to think. When you have several ideas floating in your head, moving forward seems difficult. But once you write down such ideas, they suddenly make sense, as if you’re turning something three-dimensional and abstract into something two-dimensional and concrete.

So for the past few days, I’ve been using journaling as a tool to make decisions related to my personal and professional life. In the past, I’ve been obsessed with making the “best” decision possible, but as I recently read in the book Designing Your Life, there isn’t such a thing. In life, you have multiple paths, each with its advantages and disadvantages, but there are so many unknown variables that you never know what’s going to happen. With that in mind, there isn’t such a thing as the “best” decision, so what we can do is make the decision that makes the most sense and move on.

What I’m Working on

As I said in the opening lines of this week’s newsletter, I’ve been using journaling to answer some questions related to my professional life. Google Keep is my notes app of choice and I have a note literally called “Things to Figure Out About the Website and Life” where I have a list of problems I want to solve. To do so, I usually schedule a block on my calendar where I journal and I let myself think about the problem for as long as I need. The solutions I come up with are remarkable when I let myself think about something without interruptions. The best part about it is that you need a notebook, a pen, and some time. As far as productivity hacks go, it doesn’t get simpler than that.

What I’m Listening to

As I’ve said in part newsletters, I’m still listening to the Deep Dive podcast. I recently went over some of my podcast subscriptions and made some changes. I only want to be subscribed to podcasts that I love and this turned into a form of experiment where I listen to a couple of episodes of a show and determine if it’s worth continue listening or now.

In case you’re interested, my podcast app of choice is PockeCasts which I’ve been using for a few years now and these are the podcasts I’m subscribed to:

  • Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal (Productivity)
  • The Jeff Gerstmann Show (Gaming)
  • The Knowledge Project (Productivity)
  • Nextlander (Gaming)
  • The Tim Ferris Show (Productivity)

As you can see, not every podcast on the list is related to productivity. I have a couple of gaming podcasts as well because I used to have a gaming blog years ago. While I don’t play many games these days, I like listening to podcasts to see what’s new in the industry. This list is likely to change soon since I tend to subscribe to new podcasts every once in a while.

What I’m Reading

  • Happy Sexy Millionaire by Steve Bartlett: the only thing I knew about this book before reading it was its premise. When he was a teenager, the author wanted to be a “happy sexy millionaire” by the time he was twenty-five. He achieves this and much more, but he feels empty and he realizes he was wrong about most things in life. This book is all about exploring all the lies that we often relate to happiness and the author suggests an unconventional roadmap to being happy. 

What I’m Watching

I enjoy seeing other people’s productivity systems and one that I’ve neglected is using a calendar. I know that apps like Fantastical and Google Calendar are powerful and convenient, but whenever I tried to use them I found them to be overwhelming. In the video above, Ali Abdaal shares his Trident Calendar System and maybe this is the final push I needed to run my life through a calendar.

This Week’s Quote

“This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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