Focus 101: Your Weekly Take-Charge Practice to Get Business Results - Christine Kane

One of the best practices for achieving this high energy level is to keep a business journal. Get business journaling prompts here.It’s all YOU!  You’re the one who leads your business. You’re the one who guides your team.

You’re a solo business owner, an entrepreneur… a small business owner and yes, you’re the one who makes the decisions— what to blog about; who to hire; your marketing strategy; how to deal with a “difficult” customer.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of the month in the fetal position, sniveling about how exhausting it is.

What it DOES mean, is that you must create habits that consistently (1) build your focus, (2) ignite your clarity, (3) amplify your trust in yourself, and (4) Uplevel your momentum, too.

One of the best practices for achieving this high energy level is to keep a business journal. Forbes, and Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile say– journaling is the #1 productivity tool to improve business performance. Numerous entrepreneurs have sworn by this practice… from Benjamin Franklin to Richard Branson.

Why is that? Here’s what’s behind my Focus 101 tip for entrepreneurs:

1. First off, the ritualistic act of uninterrupted writing teaches you how to focus.

2. Clarity comes from writing.  Nope, the many voices that constantly drone on and on in your brain is NOT thinking.  THAT would be noise.  When you write, you slow your mind down enough to acknowledge where you are, recognize what you’ve accomplished, and see what’s challenging you.  This level of clarity is vital.

3. Writing in your business journal is a self-trust builder.  It creates confidence in your ability to make quick decisions — a requirement in business.    Indecision robs you of much-needed energy and stops momentum every time.  Sure, most of us make daily decisions. But sometimes, when we face a decision we just don’t want to make because it may be painful or scary, we tend to put off deciding.  And, we (unconsciously) live in the land of “maybe” for days… weeks (sometimes months), not even realizing the energy suck this involves.

See, when you trust in yourself and function at a higher level of awareness, you no longer fear or put off decisions.  Keeping a business journal keeps you on track to successfully grow your business, by reminding you of the issues you need to deal with at the moment, and what decisions are on deck.

4. Writing Uplevels your experiences.  Most entrepreneurs have an entire lifetime of successes and failures – but they never consciously grow or learn from those experiences.  Or, if they do, there’s a vague recollection of unpleasantness or stress– but no real awareness as to why.

When you keep a business journal, you are deliberately recounting the lessons learned and the perspective gained in your business experiences. This is HUGE.

Ok– How do you keep a business journal?

I like to keep my business journal in my iPad. I use the world’s coolest stylus – the AluPen –  and write by hand into a digital notebook titled “Uplevel YOU.”

I use my iPad because I can have my journal at my fingertips when I travel– and great when I go to Dobra (my favorite Teahouse in Asheville, NC) on Fridays to journal, and assess my week.

With that said, I’ve also used actual pens with paper journals.   I still love writing by hand on paper.  And, studies have proven that writing by hand improves memory, cognitive ability, and goal achievement.

It’s up to you what your best business journal methodology is for you and your lifestyle. But the most important thing is to have ONE place where you write your journal.

Next, you must determine a schedule for keeping your business journal. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly.  It depends on your needs. I prefer to stick with a weekly ritual.

Final Question:  What should you write?

If you come to this with full intention and energy, but then suddenly feel a bit lost when it comes the writing, you’re not alone. It can be daunting to begin this practice!

Well, never fear.

I created a tool that gives you five Business Journal Power Prompts (with helpful explanations).  You can download it for free right here. Use these to help you get started, and to come back to when you need some direction.

You’ll soon discover your own structure and rhythm to your new ritual of keeping a business journal.

TIP:  The important thing isn’t about “getting it right.” Remember, perfectionism is the enemy of productivity.  What’s important, is to create this ritual and see for yourself how much your clarity increases and how you’ll massively build the momentum in your business – to continue to grow your business like the rock-star entrepreneur you were meant to be!


Now… SHARE YOUR WISDOM:  In the comments below, tell your fellow Uplevelers if you keep a business journal and how this has  helped you in your business.  Resistant? Just not for you? I’d love to hear why…

  • Carol Gould

    Always such great advice that I can use immediately. What digital notebook app is your favorite for the IPad? There are so many. I’d like one that is simple where I can use the “pen” so it will feel like writing not typing. Thanks again for being an inspired leader that walks your talk!!

  • Brenda

    Thanks so much for this post Christine.

    I especially love this statement…It creates confidence in your ability to make quick decisions — a requirement in business. Indecision robs you of much-needed energy and stops momentum every time.

  • Fiona Claire

    P.S. Love the Wednesday business focus – these keep me going especially when I feel like giving up during hard times – thanks for being so regular and reliably good Christine – grateful from Australia.

  • Fiona Claire

    Thanks Christine, it’s great to have the weird list, sparkly pen, business ideas, goals and feelings thing that I do most day validated as a “business journal”. I find it such an important touchstone throughout the week to keep me on track and focussed, to get my thoughts in order, see how far I’ve come and remind me of my values and goals. Not sure if my version is very business like, but it definitely keeps me moving forward and that fact that it can include drawings and feelings means that it doesn’t feel boring or dry but instead full of energy.

  • Erica Quam

    This is great Christine! I especially like the distinction between thinking and noise…because there is a lot of noise in my head…which is why I do yoga 🙂 I have had so much success journaling to come up with blog ideas and getting into a creative space. I haven’t used it as a practice like you’ve described. I think a weekly practice would be a good fit.
    For me, I have tried doing it on my ipad and I have found even more success with pen to paper. I did discover a great app that I’ve used on my desktop and I think you can also use on your ipad called, OMwriter. It eliminates all the other distractions on the desktop and you can even choose the noise you would like your keyboard to make. Thank you!

  • Teresa

    Thank you, Christine, I love the idea of a business journal! Being a daily journaler, I can see how a business journal with really help me gain clarity as well as sparking ideas and giving me direction. I am really enjoying UYB. Thank you!

  • Kristina

    Thanks, Christine, for the reminder to make journaling a regular ritual! I needed to hear this. I typically journal only as a last resort when my brain is splattered and I need some relief. Why wait until it even gets to that point? I’ll definitely be adding this practice into my weekly planning session.

  • Marina @DailyMysticLiving

    Hi Christine,

    I read your blogpost at work today and got totally inspired! Journaling about my biz just feels so right right now! I am including some cool and brand new services into my healing business which are actually taken from my (now) part time day job in Online Marketing.

    Healing work and online marketing do not go togehter? The way I’ll do it, they do. 🙂
    (Well, I know you know they go together perfectly…! ;-))

    Sorry, I just cant shut up about this new, execiting combination in my biz.

    Back to the journal: Just a couple of minutes ago I decided on a journal for my business. I am going to write by hand and use a beautiful journal I bought back in Vancouver.

    I used it as my idea/planning business journal before but I think it is a great idea to also write about how I feel, the achievements, challenges,.. and what‘s going on.

    Putting it all on paper on a consistent basis might just help me with the wording of my new ideas…

    So…, I will go to bed now and do some journaling on the exciting future of my biz with all the new possibilities that have opened up lately 🙂

    Thank you, Christine (for everything you do for us)!


    PS: And… thanks for the super-cool pdf!

  • Gina

    Sweet! I love this idea, definitely going on my calendar for a weekly ritual:-) What I’m doing right now is the gratitudes, gifts and gains (thanks Christine & UYL!) and I’ve added to it, I track what I’m doing with my Energy Leaks Repair List & Uplevel Your Energy and some other goals. I also write at the bottom of the page “Positive Action Tomorrow” and list something there, usually smallish, that I know I can do, and something that moves me forward. I try and write it write right before bed so it can percolate while I sleep. And then I look back the next day, and it’s something I can check off my list! 🙂

    And to everyone who’s in the startup process of journaling, it took me quite some time of stopping and starting before I finally got to the point of it being a given thing that I do everyday. So with that in mind, I know it may take me some time to get into the habit with the business journal, but I will keep at it until it does, the rewards are so great…so looking forward to starting this new ritual, thank you!

    • Christine Kane

      Gina – you definitely don’t have to do a business journal daily. (Especially if you’ve got your other journal going on too!) I find that weekly is the great clarifier!

  • Melanie

    Great! Thanks! Wow! I’m going to get this on my website ASAP, it’s that helpful. (And thanks to Anne Lamott for inspiring the great!thanks!wow!.)

  • Jenn

    I haven’t dedicated a specific journal to my business … yet. But I now intend to (thanks, Christine!).

    I have, on the other hand, journaled about my business, occasionally. I’ve been a journaller for years, and I love that it allows me to brain-dump, and to gain insight — as well as to go back and see where I’ve been, what worked, what didn’t, etc.

    Again, thanks for the tip, Christine! Looking forward to implementing this!


    • Christine Kane

      Let me know how it goes, Jenn! It’s a non-negotiable for me now!