Do you know spending 15 minutes every day will greatly help in your memory? Personal diary is the autobiography we can write every day without any release date. It captures the history of life we are leaving behind. Today our phone gallery stores more images of us than our brain can store. But do we really look at them after a week or so? They all lie in a corner and never gets touched unless we pay a visit to have a comparison between past and current. So does a diary, I will not look at it again and why should I write, you may ask. But do you stop taking photos just because you will look once or twice in year? Having a personal diary is similar to these cameras, but difference is it captures our thoughts and emotions that was happening through the day than static pixels of 0’s and 1’s.
What can writing a diary help us personally?
It can help in recollecting skills which can be of great help till our last phase of life. For a minute, Imagine yourself recollecting today’s happenings by closing your eyes. Your brain immediately flashes your vision you had when you woke up, rewinding every path your legs traced and the tables, bottles, desks, attics and drawers your hands reached for. Try best not to jump the vision, like, you wake up from bed and immediately your vision takes you to the brunch. As you progress, you end with your vision to the current position you are in. This is how recollecting your day works. Write all these one by one. This will register your happenings in diary as well in your brain until your physiology agrees to hold.
When I did this for first time, I was not able to recollect the full part. My vision was sloppy, I had random jumps. I was not able to go in sequence. Sometimes I was able to recollect everything from lunch till I sat to write diary, but morning till lunch was a struggle. As I was thinking to improve this, I thought of recollecting twice a day and writing them at end of the day. Immediately after lunch I would sit idle for 5 minutes and recollect from morning till lunch. It was frictionless. End of the day, I was able to recollect flawlessly the entire day that I had to write more now.
If there is something you have to remember to do at end of the month, bookmark that page and visit specific pages at the end of the month. This can be extended to weeks. And if you every wanted to recollect important events, you can favorite them and visit back at any time. At the end it is the memory we are testing to practise.
Diary helps in analyzing your day to day activities and identify areas of negative slope. It greatly helps in your planning for the next day. As you write you will know if the day was effective or not. What did you learn today? Sometimes I see I learnt the same concept I read few months ago and have this Deja-vu moment. Then I realized I have been learning same again and again that I forget I already learnt it before. We all read a lot but do we really know if it was the first time doing it? Writing diary can remind you that (Don’t tell me Google reminds me of the last time I visited a page, here I mean the concept and not the same page you are revisiting). Reading will be erased if not re-visited but writing has partial hints left over. Every Deja-vu moment when you write a diary has something in the past. Dig the history and correct the present.
Writing diary helps to improve vocabulary, making us search for alternate words as we write. I never understood the purpose of having vocabulary until I started communicating with outsiders. Impeccable – This word was new to me until I searched for equivalent word of “Perfect manners”. We can still write a sentence using “She has perfect manners”, but writing as “She is impeccable” is the personal improvement. Non-Native speakers have this struggle of understanding new words, it becomes important to get ourselves upgraded and have improved vocabulary.
Align Emotions and Actions (Better Reflexes)
I personally don’t talk what I think most of the time. If in a meeting I lose my temper on some senior guy showing his attitude, I will be muting myself or responding with a soft tone. Virtual-ity is helping us in not let other guys see our emotions. But when I write diary, I recollect everything from the thoughts I had verses words I spoke. Sometimes my wife tells me to speak what I had in mind, but professionally it would go wrong. When I write in diary, I will be recollecting what was I told and what I responded. It helps in upgrading myself with a better reply I can give without offending the speaker. This might seem unrealistic but it does help in improving my reflex reactions.
Helps to Log Tablets and Prescriptions
It might sound weird to mention this but every time I am prescribed a tablet, I just note it down in a separate sheet which will never go away with the diary. Every year this sheet will be moved to new diary. This will help on the tablet name and its purpose. Self-medication is not advised but can help in case of emergencies and unavoidable circumstances (PS: I don’t recommend or popularise in this post). I once got cold when I had an interview the next day. It was already late that I could not go outside. Luckily I had unused tables (not expired) in my shelves that I was not sure of the purpose of them. With parental guidance, I figured out the right tablet and was fortunate to attend the interview. It can also help to relate the medicines you get administered and the frequency so that you will have track on the medicine intakes.
While the list of benefits go on, I highlight top 5 I have felt through this journey. Just like reading books and writing blogs, writing my own life with me as the only reader gives an immense pleasure. Give a try and you will acknowledge the difference of writing a blog and writing your life.
Don’t have a diary yet? Get one and start from today.
Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.Pat Conroy