If I asked you the question, “What did you learn today?” would you be able to think of something you have learned recently or would this be a struggle? When we think about what we have learned, it is usually about something that we have learned from studying something, whereas in fact we learn something new everyday as we do our jobs and live our lives. In most cases we are simply not aware of it.
And it is all too easy to forget the experiences we have had in our daily lives that have taught us something, so this activity is about taking some time to pause and reflect on your work experiences in order to extract the learning from them. The reflection part is important, for as John Dewey says “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”
So this activity is for you to start a Work Diary (or Work Journal), where you will make a note of, and reflect on, your daily work experiences. Here are 5 reasons to keep a work diary.
WHEN you write in your work diary is ENTIRELY UP TO YOU, e.g.
(a) you might want to spend just 30 seconds to write down some of the most significant points from an article you have read or video you have seen, or a meeting or other work experience you have had
(b) you might prefer to spend 10 minutes at the end of your day to reflect on your workday: what you have learned from the day – in which case, Kick Off Your Daily Journaling Habit With This Simple Template.
HOW you do this, will be up to you, you could use.
- a paper notebook or diary
- a digital notebook (using a tool like Evernote or OneNote
- a digital journaling app – here are 5 smart journaling apps
- or even add entries into your Learning Log for this Challenge.
AFTER a week of keeping your work journal:
- Look back through your notes and jottings, and consider how useful it has been to record your daily learning experiences. How could you refine the process to make it more valuable to you?
- REMEMBER: building a new daily habit takes a good 30 days so you will need to keep at it for a while until it becomes second nature. So don’t give up on it too quickly just because it is hard!
- THINK about how you can turn daily tasks into opportunities for professional development.
NOW, in your Learning Log, write a short entry explaining how have you found the process of keeping a work journal and how you propose to continue to do so in the future
OVER THE COMING WEEKS, continue to maintain your Work Journal, as we will be returning to this Activity in Part B of the Challenge.