Most people spend their work life relentlessly responding to other people’s agendas. Just think about how your day begins. How long do you wait before checking your email? Did you take a breath before responding or did your day get hijacked before you even left your house?
One of the most powerful, high-leverage habits you can adopt to keep your agenda primary is journaling. The key benefits for your work life include creating greater clarity and focus, increasing creative flow, and helping you detach from work at the end of the day.
Use your journal to create and review your goals, assess your progress, and write your to-do list in the morning. It will help engage your conscious and subconscious mind in problem solving and doing so before the onslaught of requests from others reinforces the message that your agenda is your primary priority.
By the way, research has shown that writing down your notes helps you retain and discriminate between important and less critical information. You can go old school with an actual journal or use one of the numerous apps that give you that option on your devices.
At the end of the day, do a quick recap of how you’ve done. Don’t spend a lot of time—just jot notes that will help you when you pick it up in the morning. This ritual will help you “turn off” work at the end of the day so you can be more present for your friends and family.