By Amber Hudson

Our “Spirit 32” team discovers a TON of cool, fun, quirky ideas on how to feel better, be more productive, reduce stress, and generally be a solid human being. We’re inspired by most, confused by some, and at times overwhelmed (“101 ways to reduce stress”…oh, come on now). Being the nice people that we are we thought we’d share these ideas through this blog series: Open Mind.  As in, give it a shot…try something new. Some things you might think um, no thanks. Others huh, cool.  Either way, have an open mind and see what happens! 

Have you heard of the 5 Minute Journal (or 5MJ in supercool lingo)? In our get ‘er done corporate culture, we often start our day banging out emails or attacking to-do lists only to end up feeling drained and unaccomplished. The 5MJ strategy sets out to end that nonsense. 

Here’s the idea. Each morning (or the night before) answer the question: What would make today great? Aside from things like “launch a new product that creates superior customer experiences” or “conduct qualitative research to discover disruptive innovations,” clearly list out the 3 or so things you’d like to focus on that day. It could be call mom, do yoga, don’t eat the free donuts in the lunchroom, or channel Tony Robbins when presenting your research and marketing report. Doesn’t matter what you write as long as it’s meaningful to you. You’ll, of course, still have to tackle that to-do list, but with the 5MJ you’ll feel better about it. 

In addition to answering that important question, try adding other prompts in your journal:

  • An inspiring quote
  • What am I grateful for
  • What did I learn today (reflect on this at the end of the day)
  • What would I do differently (more reflection) 

Here’s my journal and a recent entry at a time when I just wasn’t feelin’ it that day:

5 minute journal and an example written entry

Any format will do. There’s even a formal 5 Minute Journal (Indigo and Amazon have them). And yes, there’s an app for that on the iPhone and Android. With your new found focus, you just might find that you are actually better able to “launch a new product that creates superior customer experiences” or “conduct qualitative research to discover disruptive innovations.”

So have an open mind and give it a shot! And if you’ve learned something cool, let us know! We just might feature your idea here!