Do you journal? If not, you may want to start. Journaling helps improve mood, awareness, and motivation. And, as a result, your productivity increases. This has been shown over and over again. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and read as many of these articles on the benefits of journaling that you need to in order to believe me, and then come back and get ready to tackle 30 prompts to help you journal about your productivity.
Journaling prompts are simply meant to get you thinking about certain things and give you a direction when it comes to your journaling. Your realizations can help you make new discoveries about yourself, which can help you make better decisions and change the course of your life.
Seriously. It’s that’s awesome. So go ahead and use one journal prompt per day to get you thinking about your productivity and what you are or are not capable of doing.
1. What character traits do I have to help me be productive?
Your character makes up who you are. So if you want to be a productive person, you need to look at your character traits and which ones are helping or hindering your productivity.
The best way to discover which traits you have is to define yourself as others would. Are you honest? Are you responsible? Are you courageous?
Which traits of yours are helping you to be more productive in your day? Month? Life?
2. Which character traits would I like to develop?
Now that you know which character traits are working in your favor for productivity, define which character traits you would like to develop to be more productive.
Would you like to be more reliable? Self-disciplined? Organized? Patient?
Reflect on the character traits that you think would help you become more productive.
3. How can I develop the character traits from yesterday?
Now, sit down and write out things you can do to develop the character traits you desire. Jon Butcher, from Lifebook, says that you need to come up with a recipe to create what you want, and once you come up with the right recipe, it’s easy to produce the result over and over again.
So, if you want to be more reliable, a recipe may be writing down appointments and other reminders and following through on what you promise regardless of what else is happening.
4. What do I really have as a priority in my life?
Often, a lack of productivity comes from holding things that don’t matter as a priority. For instance, if you hold watching TV as a priority, then you may be missing out on a lot of time that could be used better.
Take a look at the things you hold as a priority in your life and whether or not they are hindering or helping your productivity.
5. Are my routines serving my productivity?
As said before, you need recipes to come up with the results you want. Your routines are recipes. They help you do what needs to be done and stay on track. Are your routines helping or hurting you? If you don’t have a routine, it may be time to create one and try it on for size.
6. Do I have a clear vision of what I want?
This is something I learned from Lifebook. When you get clear on your vision, not just in your career, but in every area of your life, you become more productive. Why? When you know what you want with complete clarity, you can’t help but do things that pull you towards your life vision.
For instance, if part of your life vision is to have a supportive peer group, then you may find yourself spending less time with people who make you upset in some way, which is a waste of time for so many reasons, and more time with people who support you and lift you up.
If you want more clarity around your life vision, so that you can figure out what you need to do each day to really be productive, I highly recommend taking Lifebook.
7. Do I use my free time wisely?
As you travel to and from work, do you zone out, worry, and complain? Or, do you plan out your day, listen to a podcast on a topic you are interested in, or listen to something motivating?
How you use your free time plays a huge part in how productive you are, so make sure you take some time to reflect on how you use it and whether or not you should change things up.
8. How can I minimize or eliminate my common distractions?
There are likely things that keep you from being as productive as you would like. If you work from home, like me, then your family or neighbors may be pulling your attention away from what you need to do. If you work in an office, then useless meetings or small talk may be keeping you from doing what you need to do.
Reflect on ways you can minimize or even eliminate distractions that you often run into.
9. Am I trying to be too productive?
Is your whole day divided up into hour-long segments that are dedicated to something productive? This can actually be counterproductive. It can cause burn out.
Breaks, where you spend time doing something fun, hanging out with friends, or just staring at the wall, are all important to your productivity. They give your brain a break and help you rebuild up energy.
So are you doing too much? If yes, then how can you relax a little?
10. Where am I caught up in perfection?
When I was young, I needed to be perfect when playing cards online. So much so that I would start a new account every time I lost a game. While other people were creating profiles that showed their dedication and experience, I looked like newbie almost every week and the experienced players wouldn’t play with me.
Where are you caught up in perfection? How is it holding you back from productivity?
11. Am I on social media too much?
Social media is a productivity killer. I once gave it up for a month and found that I had more than two extra hours in my day. Never would I have guessed that I was spending that much time on social media, but I was.
Are you on it too much? How can you reduce the time? What would happen if you did?
12. What’s my environment like?
Is the space where you try to be productive helping you be productive?
Your environment affects your mood and focus. If you are working in the basement with concrete walls, you will feel much more low-energy than if you are working in an office overlooking the ocean or some other scenery that you love. If you are working in a space where you can be distracted easily, then your focus is going to constantly be pulled away from what you are doing.
How can you improve your environment to make you feel good and focused?
13. Am I a positive or negative person?
A positive attitude is essential to productivity. When you feel good, you do good things. When you feel angry, upset, jealous, or hopeless, you have a hard time getting yourself up and moving, let alone doing productive things.
I know people who think it’s cool to be a negative person. They interact with other people by complaining and ranting. They don’t get a lot done because they are too busy being negative and expressing that negativity.
Are you negative or positive? How can you be more positive?
14. What habits do I need to let go of to be more productive?
Take a look at your habits – physical and mental – and decide what you need to stop doing if you want to be more productive. Get clear on why these things keep you from being productive.
15. How can I take better care of my health?
Your health and productivity are tied together. If you are sick, have no energy, or feel depressed, you will not be as productive as you want to be. There’s just no way.
Examine issues that you have, such as low energy, and then ask yourself how you can improve your health to tackle those issues.
16. Am I using tools to help me be more productive?
We live in a world of technology where apps and gadgets can make our lives easier. These are things that can help us get stuff done faster, use our time more wisely, and stay on track with our goals and habits.
For instance, I work out of my home where neighbors are busy living their lives. Their noise can affect my productivity, which is why use either my Echo or Noisli to play nature sounds that help me drown out the noise and stay focused.
If you have an issue that is keeping you from being productive, there’s probably an app or gadget for that. Do a quick search to find out.
17. Am I prioritizing my tasks properly?
Do you focus on getting the most important things done first, or do you diddle and daddle until you don’t have enough time or energy to do the important things anymore? If you haven’t heard of the big rock and sand analogy, watch the video below.
18. Do I do what’s really necessary?
Again, this comes down to your life vision. When you know what you want, you will spend more time doing things that are necessary to get you what you want and make you feel productive in your day.
So, is that thing you do during the morning, afternoon, or evening really necessary?
19. Do I give myself enough time in the day to be productive?
If you sleep until 8 am and then spend the first two hours of your day doing nothing, then you are taking hours away from productivity. If you woke up at 5 am, spent an hour on you, and then spent the next four hours doing productive things, you will have been productive by 10 am rather than unproductive.
Think about how you use your time in your day. Is it helping you be more or less productive?
20. Do I enjoy what I do?
This is another reason to create your life vision. If you don’t have it, then you may spend your time doing things that you hate doing. And when you do that, you are not going to be very productive.
It’s hard to be productive when you are complaining and wishing you were somewhere else.
If you are not enjoying life, how can you change it? How can you start working towards changing it? How can you productively start to work towards changing it?
21. Do I quickly start doing what I need to do?
Do you spend a lot of time overthinking things? Is it hard to make decisions and get to work? Are your thoughts affecting your productivity?
Mel Robbins has a 5-4-3-2-1 rule that you need to use. It will help you stop overthinking and get busy doing the things that you need to do.
22. Do I spend more time watching others being successful than myself?
Spending time watching Youtube or TV or listening to podcasts are just a few of the ways you can spend your day watching other people be successful instead of doing things that make you successful.
Some people recommend throwing out your TV, but is there something else you can do if this is your problem? Maybe give yourself a TV limit like you had when you were a kid? Or dedicate a specific time of day – when you are normally not productive anyway – to watching other people’s lives?
23. What would I put in a stop doing list?
Before Lifebook Online, there was a more basic aspect of Lifebook. In that program, Jon Butcher asked you to create a stop doing list without explaining what he meant. Soon, we all realized that we need to create a list of things we want to stop doing… things that were wasting our time.
What do you need to stop doing? Complaining? Putting up with other people’s shit? Putting off your fitness routine?
24. What can I outsource?
There are some things that you have to do in your day, but some of those things can be outsourced and free up your time to be more productive.
For instance, cleaning your home is something that everyone can outsource? I don’t know about you, but I can easily spend 12+ hours a week cleaning.
What can be outsourced depends on where you work and what you do with your free time. Just remember that if it’s soaking up your time but doesn’t equal a lot of value for you, there is probably someone who can help you take some or all of that task away.
25. What habits do I need to develop for more productivity?
You thought about what habits you need to let go of, now think about what habits you need to embrace. Eating better, exercising more, waking up earlier, meditating, going to sleep earlier, or drinking more water may all be habits that can help you be more productive.
26. Who do I need to be productive for?
Answering this question will help motivate you to be more productive.
A friend of mine has a husband who is sick and stressed from his job. She wants to create her business as fast as possible so that he can leave his job, if he chooses, and look for something new. He is one of the top reasons she wakes up each day and focuses on being as productive as possible.
Who is it for you?
27. How can I improve my focus?
Being able to focus on one thing at a time is crucial for productivity.
I’ve found that allocating tasks for certain time periods helps me focus. I set up my day and have a specific time slot for everything I need to do. My schedule allows me to focus on what’s at hand without worrying about something else, because I know I have time for it later.
If I think of something I want to remember, I either write it down in goal setting software, or I get my Echo to remind me of it at a time where I will not be doing anything.
28. Do I try to multi-task too much?
I believe that some multitasking can help you be productive.
A friend of mine valued multi-tasking when she worked at a dog kennel when she was younger. If she was making a trip to get food for a dog, she would also take their blanket to the washer to get washed and grab their medication if they needed it. That job required a lot of multitasking in order to get everything done.
But, most of the time, it can divide your attention up and cause you to be less productive than you should be. As a freelance writer, multitasking has caused me to spend way too much time doing things that don’t matter and way too little time writing.
Simpleology was definitely the eye-opener I needed to almost completely stop multitasking.
How is multitasking helping or hurting you? Are you doing it too much? Where should you stop doing it and start focusing on one thing at a time?
29. Am I depending on others to help me be more productive?
When I was younger, I worked at a hospital as a housekeeper… well, I didn’t really work unless someone was watching me and telling me to get to work. I was young, I was making decent money, and I had better things to do than clean.
When I was much younger, I had my parents to tell me to clean up after myself, get my homework down, and do other things that I needed to do. They were the reason I was productive in any area of my life.
Now, it’s a matter of depending on myself. I hold myself accountable and make sure that I do what I need to do in my day. It helps me feel accomplished at the end of the day. And, it helps me feel good about my abilities and direction in life.
Are you depending on your parents, boss, or spouse to be productive? If that’s the case, then you are missing out on many hours where you could take the initiative to do what you need to do.
30. What do I really want?
I’ve heard people say things like this: I want to be more productive, but I just want to watch TV or sleep all of the time.
Clearly, they think they want two things, but what they really want to do is watch TV or sleep, because that’s what they do.
You need to decide what you really want and then set up your life to remind you of that.
Whether you have motivational coffee cups that remind you to #beproductive or look at your vision each day, you need to remind yourself of what you really want so that you can stay focused and productive.
What do you really want?
Note: You can download this article as a PDF here if you want to keep these prompts and thoughts in a binder or just on your computer somewhere.