The Journal Newsletter
- Tips & Tricks
- Writing Prompts
- Article: Overcoming Procrastination with The Journal
- Submission Information
Welcome to August 2008!
As it’s “Back to School” time once again, I wanted to remind everyone that The Journal offers a discount for students, teachers and educators at all levels. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. All available discounts for The Journal are listed here: Discounts Available
Raymond Champoux describes how he is working to overcome procrastination using The Journal, and we have a new tip (about spell checker dictionaries) and a new set of writing exercises.
Thank you for choosing DavidRM Software’s The Journal!
TIP: Spell Checker Dictionaries
The Journal includes both an American English and a British English spell checker dictionaries. The American English dictionary is active by default.
However, there are spell checker dictionaries available for a number of other languages, as well: Australian English, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
You can download these additional dictionaries from here:
Additional Spell Checker Dictionaries for The Journal
Installing the new dictionary:
1. Close The Journal.
2. Extract the dictionary file (*.adm) to the “Dictionaries” sub-folder where you have The Journal installed. The default location is:
C:\Program Files\DavidRM Software\The Journal 4\Dictionaries\
3. Run The Journal.
4. Click on the “User” menu and choose “User Preferences…”
5. Bring up the “Spell Checker” tab.
6. Under “Dictionaries”, make sure your new dictionary is listed, and checked.
Free Writing Prompt – Write for 20 minutes using the following as your starter: “Inadequate Plumbing”
Journaling Prompt – Have the “close calls” of your life prompted you to learn new skills or adjusted your attitude about anything? In what ways? Or does it take an actual accident or brush with bad luck to get your attention?
Memoir Prompt – Tell about the time you won the lottery. Or maybe it was just a raffle or a door prize. Have you ever been *really* lucky? That is, through no skill or choice of your own, you came out way ahead?
Overcoming Procrastination with The Journal
By Raymond Champoux
I am a chronic procrastinator. I can remember even as early as the 5th grade consistently delaying school projects until I’d have to be up into the early hours of the morning completing the work the night before it was due. I was voted Best Procrastinator in my High School Senior class of 500. And now, several years into my professional career, I still struggle.
I’ve had breakthroughs now and again. I’d have straight A’s some semesters in college even in classes that had a lot of homework. More recently, Merlin Mann’s (10+2)*5 hack proved very effective for awhile. Articles on the topic by personal development experts were enlightening and useful. But inevitably the following semester would be peppered with below average and failing grades. I’d struggle again to keep on top of my work in my career, even nearing termination from my job.
But now I think — I hope — that I’ve found a way to more lasting change.
I don’t know when it was that the thought occurred to me to use The Journal in my efforts to overcome procrastination. For weeks thereafter, though, I’d procrastinate just the same and all the while think to myself, “I need to start journaling about this problem.” Finally, I was able to bring myself to start recording a few thoughts after I had idled away my time. This led to some insights about my own personal patterns of when and why I procrastinate. Even greater still, it enabled me to begin to recognize the very moments when I was starting to procrastinate.
Now I could journal about what was happening and how I was feeling right in the moment. By just opening The Journal right then as I was feeling the grip of this chronic problem taking hold, I could break the cycle, identify some specific, immediate actions I could take, and return very quickly to doing meaningful work. I thought this was my silver bullet — and it yet may be — but my the part of my brain addicted to procrastination has finally caught on. These days, I still recognize the crucial moments I’m beginning to really procrastinate, but now writing that journal entry has become exactly what I procrastinate and desperately seek to avoid.
So here’s my plan: My recent journaling has been almost entirely just about this single issue. I believe that if I can successfully establish a daily habit of journaling about life, family, friends — anything and everything that goes into a daily journal — then I’ll be able to free myself to journal about procrastination again, gaining new insights about this problem and breaking the ugly cycle that has infringed on my health, wealth and happiness for too many years.
If you would like to contribute to the “How I Use The Journal”, “Writing Exercises”, or “Tips & Tricks” sections, or would like to submit an article about journaling, writing, or another The Journal-related topic, we would love to hear from you.
Submissions for the newsletter should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are submitting for a particular section, please indicate which one. Try to limit your submissions to 500-1000 words. Submissions may be edited for length and content.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, please state this in the email. Otherwise your name (but not your email) will be used in the article heading.
As always, if you have any suggestions for, or bug reports about, The Journal, please feel free to email them. Both are always welcome.