Even if you consider yourself a highly productive person, we've all had the experience of feeling like we just can't get anything done at one point or another.
Especially in an era when so many of us now work from home, there are distractions everywhere: Dinner that needs to be prepared, a garden that needs weeding, a playroom that needs organizing while the kids are at school...and the list goes on.
And then there are our phones, which can often serve as the ultimate form of distraction thanks to their incessant pings, buzzes, and all those videos and pretty images on our social media feeds.
If you feel like your productivity and time management skills could use a little (or big) reset, journaling can help—especially if you're equipped with the right journaling prompts. Here are 35 to start with.
35 Journaling Prompts for Productivity
1. What task on your to-do list feels the most overwhelming right now?
2. What time of day do you have the most energy, and what can you do to optimize that?
3. In general, how many hours of sleep are you getting per night? Could you be getting more?
4. What space in your home do you feel the most productive in?
5. What space in your home do you feel the least productive in?
6. If you work outside the home, do you feel more productivity in an office or at home?
7. Do you feel happy in your career?
8. What forms of exercise do you enjoy, and do you do them enough?
9. Do you feel a deep in your productivity or energy after eating certain foods?
10. What is your mood generally like when you first wake up in the morning?
11. Think about a time when you ate a really healthy diet, whether it was to lose weight or for another reason. What was your productivity like during that time?
12. What are the top things in your home that distract you?
13. Is there a particular person—a friend, a coworker, a family member—who distracts you from what you need to get done?
14. On a scale on 1 to 10, how would you rank your productivity on a good day?
15. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rank your productivity on a bad day?
16. What does "being productive" mean to you?
17. Do you feel you prioritize your self-care enough?
18. In general, would you consider yourself burned out?
19. If you do consider yourself burned out, what do you think is contributing to that burnout the most?
20. What does a "perfect" productive ay look like for you, from start to finish?
21. What did you accomplish today that you're proud of?
22. What are your top 3 priorities today?
23. How do you typically prioritize your tasks?
24. What are your most important goals for the week?
25. What are your big life goals, and do you feel you're on track to achieve them?
26. When you take time away from your phone, do you feel more focused and productive?
27. Think of your mood at the end of a really productive day. How do you typically feel? Do you sleep well?
28. How do you cope with stress?
29. What routines are important to you?
30. Name three things you want to accomplish this month.
31. What are the tasks you dislike most at work?
32. Name three things that can simplify your life.
33. What sparks your motivation?
34. What do you do to stay organized?
35. When you have a new idea, how do you keep track of it?
Why Journaling Can Help With Productivity
At first glance, journaling might not seem like the most, well, productive thing you can do for your productivity. Isn't it just another thing you're doing instead of the tasks on your ever-growing to-do list?
The benefits of journaling are well-studied, and one thing is clear: Journaling can help with just about everything, from our mental and physical health to, yes, our productivity.
When we're having lags in productivity and find ourselves procrastinating all the time, it's often because we're burned out. Sometimes, that burnout requires a physical tweak like more sleep, more exercise, more nutritious food—and less sugar, sorry—but sometimes, the shift requires more exploration and requires us to go a little bit deeper.
That's where journaling comes in. Journaling gives us the mental space to focus and re-center ourselves. It can help us identify why we're procrastinating so much, and can be an important first step in a much-needed physical change.
Sometimes, journaling for productivity can lead to a huge, life-altering revelation: Are you procrastinating because you don't like your job? If you work from home, maybe you need to go to a shared workspace for a bit more structure. If you stay home with your kids and have a hard time accomplishing tasks, maybe it's time to go back to work part-time, or volunteer.
No matter what the case is for you, a short journaling session may be exactly what you need for a productivity boost. And if all else fails, just remember to have fun with it!
Want more journal prompt ideas? Give these blog posts a read: