Despite living in a technology driven society, where our digital devices allow us to multi-task at lightening speed, tangible printed diaries or planners remain popular today with many benefits, including to our minds and overall wellbeing.
It goes without saying that diaries and planners are a practical tool for staying organised, but in today’s fast-paced global society where “busy” is an all too common catch-cry, diaries can also help us to slow down, in order to function more efficiently and effectively.
According to an article that featured in the Harvard Business Review, there are 4 main reasons to keep a work diary:
(3) Planning, and
(4) Personal growth.
The Japanese would add to this list “clearing the mind“. In Japan staying organised with a paper and pen, is a long-held almost meditative cultural tradition know as “Techo (Planner) culture”. Techo – pronounced “tetch-oh”, means “handbook” and this popular tradition allows the individual to organise their thinking deliberately and even artfully. It is suggested that this practice of writing either early in the morning or at the end of the day is a helpful mind-clearing ritual, allowing us to identify priorities and reframe goals in a way that typing can’t.
While the act of calendar synching on digital devices is often mindless, writing in a diary or planner offers a moment of reflection, the opportunity for deeper thought and the chance to slow down and refocus. Some medical research has also shown that writing things down is a good cognitive exercise because the act of writing engages your motor-skills and memory.
Quite simply writing a list of to-do’s or goals on paper stops things from going round and round in our heads. So while diaries are a great asset for work life, they are also credited with reducing stress and promoting wellbeing.
Unlike digital devices there are a wide range of diary styles and formats to reflect your personal preferences – be it colour, size or social values. So make a note in your iCal or this year’s diary, to find the 2018 diary that looks right for you, as another means of slowing down and clearing your mind. In the meantime we wanted to leave you with this quote, which we think reinforces one of the many benefits of a diary, “Writing is clear thinking, made visible”.