Submitted by GST
Lawyers in private practice have a distinct advantage in overcoming the resistance to establishing the habit of keeping a journal. After keeping track of your efforts for the day in six minute increments, taking a few minutes to log what happened on your own time isn’t that big of an imposition.
Nevertheless, I just got in the habit about 2 months ago. The only day I’ve so far missed was one day in which I didn’t come home but rather worked through the night and the following day to about 7 p.m. (The bigger problem was not missing the journal, but missing garbage collection.)
There is very little, if any, reflection in my journal. Mainly it’s a recap of what I spent my time doing that day: just a few hundred words about what I did at work, whether or not I rode my bike to work and the birds or other animals I observed on the ride, with whom I had lunch, any correspondence or telephone calls with particular friends, what I did with my kid in the evening, and what I read that day. I try to employ Pepysisms, like "Up betimes." In the back pages I keep track of correspondence chess games, and the accuracy of my mechanical watch against my quartz digital radio-calibrated watch. I don’t know if that’s the stuff that our Church authorities have in mind when they instruct us to keep journals, nor do I know whether it would be at all interesting to anyone but me. In fact, it’s not even that interesting to me. I don’t even know if this qualifies as a journal. Is it rather a diary? A log? A ledger?
The main benefit I have realized is that my productivity in virtually every area of endeavor (except work, which endeavor I was already recording in writing) has increased. I credit that to the fact that I am reluctant to waste time on things that I wouldn’t want to account for in my journal. Who wants to have to admit to his journal that he watched two back-to-back episodes of Magnum P.I., and then sat through Murder, She Wrote, for no better reason than inertia? Not me.