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"They’ll likely find hours in their weeks—hours lost to activities that aren’t meaningful or enjoyable in any sense. Everyone has time that could be repurposed. Hours pass whether or not we are aware of where they go. Best to figure out where they go, so time—the ultimate limited resource—can be allocated to what matters, rather than what doesn’t."

Author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam says if you keep track of exactly how you’re spending your time, 15 minutes will seem like nothing.

Whenever you’re making a consequential decision … just take a moment to think, write down what you expect to happen, why you expect it to happen and then actually, and this is optional, but probably a great idea, is write down how you feel about the situation, both physically and even emotionally.

When asked how to improve decision-making skills, Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman recommended a ‘decision notebook’ where you can map out your choices

If Sarah Kauss turned back the pages of her journal to August 2010, she’d likely find an entry about a scorching day in the Sonoran Desert. With the sun beating down on her, all she wanted was a cold drink—but the water she carried was lukewarm from the heat. The experience gave her an idea that would change her life.

Two months later, a stylish, reusable bottle with the ability to keep liquid cold for up to 24 hours, otherwise known as the S’well bottle, was born.

Kauss still uses her journal every day, which serves as a reminder of the progress that she’s made over the years. With just a flip of a page, she can reflect on the highlights and learn from the hangups of her past, something that provides “a sense of positive momentum” as she moves forward.

How keeping a journal can help with productivity