I’ve kept a journal since I was in the 5th grade, and I have never gone a day without writing for myself to myself since then. I write like I need air to breathe, and writing has definitely been the life source of my career and my freelance business success.

I’ve always told my students that journaling is the best gift you can ever give yourself because if you keep them, you can look back at your younger self and laugh. Or you can relish the memories and happier times when you’re feeling like life isn’t working out for you at the moment.

I’ve reminded them that there’s much value in handwritten memories. Journaling is much more intimate than taking countless pictures because your journals connect your thoughts with actions.

Most life-changing events can clutter your mind with the burden of making decisions, and putting your thoughts down on paper can be a breakthrough in critical thinking and problem-solving. Documenting your thoughts throughout the years help you heal, grow, and thrive. What better way to learn than reading from your own experiences! It’s definitely not just for lovesick teenage girls.

Other than its therapeutic benefits, Business Insider has reported that a Harvard Business School psychologist has encouraged career-minded folk to use journaling, or expressive writing, as a strategy to boost performance at work. In one field experiment, new employees who had 15 minutes to write and reflect at the end of the day performed 22.8% better than those who didn’t.

The reason for the higher performance?

According to Francesca Gino, a psychologist for the business school, it’s due to a “boost in self-efficacy.”

“They feel more confident to achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they’re doing and what they learn.”

Self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment. If you reflect on your work at work, you can identify best practices as they emerge. This sets you apart from the rest of the pack because you become a skilled problem solver.

Self-awareness is also important in learning, and we don’t teach this skill enough at school that it has become increasingly in short supply in the workplace. Journaling can give you a chance to reflect on your work as well as your purpose that you might otherwise have overlooked.

If you’re interested in starting a job journal, stick around and write a comment below! In my next post, I will share some of my “Power Think” journaling strategies that have helped me achieve some of my goals.

Sources: “The Power in Writing About Yourself.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.

“Why Writers Write.” Authors Promoter. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.

Baer, Drake. “’Expressive Writing’ Is A Super Easy Way To Become Way Happier.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 23 May 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.

Originally published at medium.com