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Cutting thru the noise to get to the heart of it

"This changes everything," my client relayed to me as he finished describing what he had just learned at a conference.

"That's awesome. What are you going to do about it?" I asked with genuine curiosity.

"I knew you were going to ask me that. I don't know what to do or where to start...I guess I'm going to have to journal about it and figure it out." He replied slowly and thoughtfully.

"Great plan. Would you like me to share some personalized reflection questions for you to journal on about this?" I offered.

"Yes please! That would help so much." The excitement returned to his voice.

Everyday we are exposed to more information than our ancestors were in their entire lifetime. A lot of what we read and hear is ignorable. It's actually in our best interest to let it go in one ear and out the other. But sometimes, we come across information that's critical to our success.

Take my client's story. He was leading an innovative project. Discerning what new technologies to utilize and how was his responsibility. He also had to guide his team to work together to create the vision. He had to do this in addition to attending meetings, responding to emails, hiring new employees, writing reports and managing the budget.

This part of his job takes deep, intentional thinking.

When we met again the following month, I asked how it was going.

He responded enthusiastically, "Great! I journaled about it, figured out what I needed to do. Spoke to my team and everything is going smoothly."

In his gut, he knew he had to apply what he just learned to this project. But he didn't know how. Journaling helped him to cut out the noise, slow down his thinking and gain valuable, actionable insight.

Pausing to journal can be a fantastic way to save time, money, energy and emotional bandwidth. So often we have the answers within us, but we are too distracted by the noise to hear them. When we take the time to process new information and listen within, we give ourselves a great gift.

Part of the reason for this magic is that we tend to over-think or jump to conclusions. When we over-think, we make things more complicated. We struggle to communicate our ideas. And the now overly complicated goal is too cumbersome to make meaningful progress on.

When we jump to conclusions we leave out pertinent details. Completely avoidable problems arise. Deadlines get missed. Hiccups slow down our momentum. And doubt seeps in when things go soooooooo differently than expected.

Journaling helps leaders cut through the clutter and get to the heart of the matter. It's a method of self-advising and self-teaching that's extremely low cost, easily accessible and pays exponential dividends.

Experiencing the power of journaling isn't just about what you write. There are many instances where I gained clarity about a struggle while writing only to go back and not see anything specific about it in the pages of my journal. Indeed, that's because the quality of our thinking changes when we journal.

The next time you hear a new idea or information that inspires you, give yourself permission to pause. Write it down in your journal. Taking a few minutes to reflect, process, and identify actions will give you invaluable insight! Don't know where to start? Check out the video below.

Are you ready to experience a personal or professional transformation? One of the benefits of Journal Jams is the generous sharing from others - their experiences, ideas and practices are a valuable source of inspiration for your own journey. Check out our next Journal Jam and experience a profound shift with just 20 minutes of journaling. More information and registration is available online here.

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