Recently, I have been reacquainting myself with a TV series I loved as a teenager—Star Trek: The Next Generation. While watching an episode one evening, it occurred to me that there is at least one lesson we can take from the series (as well as the original series from the 1960s if that’s more to your liking) and incorporate into our professional—or personal—lives. If you’re a Star Trek fan, then you know that in every episode, the captain—and sometimes other members of the crew of The Enterprise—verbally enters reports into the ship’s log. In the show, the purpose of the log is to provide news and information to Starfleet, the governing body for the crew of The Enterprise. For viewers of the program, the logs deliver a narrative that moves the story along and offers summations from lengthy commercial breaks.
What I think that we can take from this act is to start a daily log ourselves. Whether you prefer to use pen and paper, a blog, or desktop notes doesn’t matter; what’s important is that you “download” your thoughts. Journaling is a great way to clarify and organize your thoughts (especially critical from a business perspective), to get to know yourself better, to reduce stress, and more. Not only are you likely to become better organized at your job and perhaps more productive, but you’ll be healthier too. Experts tend to agree that journaling has multiple health benefits.
I intend to start journaling myself—more so to help organize my thoughts than anything else. I juggle so many different tasks during my day, and usually I manage these tasks with Post-it notes and reminders in my iPhone. Plus, I often have other good ideas that I don’t bother writing down—article ideas, book ideas, etc. Usually, I tend to rely on my memory for these, which isn’t the most reliable means of preserving thoughts. So taking a cue from Caption Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise, I will be conducting a daily download to organize my thoughts, set my agenda, clear my head, and ultimately make myself a better editor and business professional.
Tell me, do you already have a daily download routine? What is your process? Has it helped you improve your work? I would love to hear from you. Tell me your story! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.