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Daily Recap

Daily Recap

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Definition

Daily recaps involves reflecting and summarizing on your daily experiences at the end of the day. Particularly focusing on your achievement and things that you could have improved upon for each day. This may benefit your mood and productivity. 

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How to Do It

On a regular basis recap your day in the evenings. 

Write down what you accomplished that day and what you could have done better. If you are trying to improve your mood also focus on your feelings. 

You can do this in a journal or an app such as Five Minute Journal. 

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Benefits

  • Improves mental health[1,2]
  • Helps you express emotion[4] and better deal with negative emotions[1]
  • May improve productivity
  • Can decrease stress[3]
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Time Commitment

5-10 minutes

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Why it works

  • Writing down your accomplishments each day will make you hold yourself more accountable thus more likely to accomplish something each day. 
  • Reflecting on what you could have improved in writing will make you more likely to improve it. Kind of like an athlete watching film after games. 
  • Daily recaps encourage a search for meaning in what you feel and what happens to you, which makes you more likely to find it. Having a higher perceived meaning in life is associated with good mental health. 
  • Expressing emotion more regularly helps you learn how not to bottle up emotions, which is good for your mental health and communication in relationships, for example.
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Suggested Frequency

Once a day

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Side Effects

It is possible that daily recaps may fuel rumination, although it generally does not[4]. It is important to avoid dwelling on the negative events of the day in order to see the benefits of daily recaps. Always think about what you could have done better and learn from it rather than dwell on it. 

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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Jennifer Aniston

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Lady Gaga

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Category Health/Productivity/Mood:

  • Mood
  • Productivity 
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Suggested Time of Day

At the end of the day

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Notes

  • This habit can be easily combined with a gratitude exercise by writing what you are thankful for as you recap the day.
  • You can try filming video recaps if you think it might be better for you. However, there is not as much research in this area, so it might not produce the same benefits.
  • One method that may have additional benefit is to change the way you write every now and then by saying ‘you’ or ‘he/she’ instead of ‘I’ when describing what happened. For example, “I went to work today”, becomes “you went to work today”, or “she went to work today”.

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Category

 Mood  Stress  Productivity  Focus
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