I always watched as my dad would always be writing some things down, planning, budgeting, cross checking some things on paper. He always did this before some decisions and giving you a grocery list when he sends us for shopping. I still remember some nights when he would just sit me down. He would go me through the planning and budgeting especially for my tuck (boarding grocery list). To be honest I was still a kid and most of the times I wouldn’t enjoy this. I thought I was just one genius kid who would always remember everything in his head. How could I forget what I need for my tuck?
One day I just thought I didn’t need the list and went on shopping without the list and the rest was history. I left out some important items and just to think of somewhere else to get them was unimaginable.
Fast forward to mid-2019 when I was working on some multiple projects, the load was too much. I felt exhausted ever end of day, I would wake up early and retire late to try cover up the schedule. All this wasn’t really working out. What pained me most was that I would forget a hell lot of important assignments and tasks.
The genius kid must have been going insane, I thought to myself. I trusted my mind so much, but little did “I believe that the faintest ink is indeed mightier than the longest memory”. I just believed I couldn’t forget such silly stuff and tasks but guess what? It was happening. Yes, a lot was happening in my mind, and I knew there was a solution.
I thought of my dad’s idea and believed you me. The results were amazing and now I know that we shouldn’t always despise the advice and strategies of our elders. Here I am experiencing the sweet of the painful training, ‘The Power of Writing Things Down’. Ok, enough of this story telling and let’s look at some of the powerful points on why you should definitely try writing things down.
FREE UP YOUR MIND
We always have different thoughts, considerations and different situations to ponder on in a day and sometimes in an hour. A lot is definitely going in your mind, you feel exhausted and confused. As you shift from one thought to another. We worried as we think through and feed our minds with perceptions and different realities of life. Most of the times we always in fear. Truth be told a lot is going in our minds and one of the worst things is to think on a lot of stuff without any results. To have a great mind workshop but results zero.
Productivity is all what we aim for and in everything we do, the greatest desire is to have something to show for it. Writing things down free ups your mind as instead of having all the thoughts in your head. The mind usually worries about the future and react to the present. The easiest way to free up your mind is to write it down and it will also help foster the idea into your head. According to David Allen in his ‘Core Dump’ writing things down helps deal with distraction and hectic demands and you should write things you want to remember and things you are going to check.
PRIORITIZATION & FOCUS
Everything in the world is fighting for our attention but we definitely can’t attend to them all. As a matter of fact, we only have 24h in a day and time is one of the most precious and limited resource we can have in life. To do all is to fail in all, we can’t be a jack of all trades as we do not want to be a master of none. As I wrote some ideas and plans of the day, sometimes I would notice that I could not do them all at once or with the available time meaning I had to pick out some and concentrate on a few. Then comes prioritization.
Life is a matter of priorities and as different things go through your mind, sometimes we feel confused and excited as we hope from one to another but the saddest of them, is that at the end of the day; we have nothing to show for it. Remember not all the things are important to you as the Book of Corinthians in Chapter 10 vs 23 talks about …… ““Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is edifying.”. We have to focus on the most important things in life.
Writing things down helps you to focus and prioritize important elements of your life, goals and aspirations. As you write your plans for the year, season, month or day, you will notice sometimes you still can’t do them all meaning you have to prioritize but even though when you prioritize and pick up the most important ones to work on. Even as you prioritize, you will notice that still you mind might be shift from one to another and you will need to focus on one dog at a time.
DEEP LEVEL OF THINKING
Many a time I thought I knew my business and projects very well as I trusted my mind so much, but I later noticed that I was just fooling myself.
I was that genius kid who remembered everything, understood everything of my mind from the head? I just noticed that I hadn’t had deep level thinking on my ideas. I would always hurriedly implement something, make some changes and decisions without really thinking but was just merely reacting to different situations as they come.
There is one person who changed me and she’s a coach and a friend and we were going through some WhatsApp coaching session if not a discussion and we had to plan on something. Trust me the experience was phenomenal. I had never had such deep level of thinking as she asked questions, and I typed back. I had an opportunity to think through the business model, plans and aspirations, some up with a strategy and action plan for the year and future days. All along I had been fooling myself that I knew it, or I had thought about it, but I was wrong. Writing things down helps you digest information or come up with well thought strategies and game plans.
How many of your this year’s plans have you achieved so far? Personally, I know the number, if you don’t know it’s probably that you did not write them down. Just like the little ‘genius kid’ who trusted his mind you have nothing to show because you don’t keep records. Record keeping is one of the most important things in a business and there is a common adage that says, “If it is not written down then it doesn’t exist”. Even with your life, you have to write your goals and plans down, strategize, and think through ideas and the creative process on paper or on screen.
This can work as your progress report to check where you currently standing, what you have achieved so far against what you would have planned. Writing things down act as your checklist on successes, challenges, threats etc. that you face in your projects and business.
Remember that the Chinese Proverb goes like “The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory”. You can’t always remember everything, and the greatest tragedy will be to forget a creative idea or some important stuffs. I remember when I would forget some important creative ideas or thoughts to work on, improve and modify my projects and business and all I would just say was I once thought of something, but I couldn’t tell what it was.
Nowadays I just write anything that comes to my mind and even for my blog topics. I just write them down as they come because there was a time I would think of many topics and ideas to blog about, but I would just forget everything when I sat down to write the post, why? It’s just because I was not writing it down. I now write blog ideas as they come, plan, research then compile and type them. Guess what, the results has been awesome. Writing things down also helps foster something’s into your memory, I think you have probably seen some people who write notes as they read or study. It helps information to sink in our heads. Why not try it?
No goal is too big and as you write your thoughts down, you feel challenged. Personally, I enjoy the challenge of my written thoughts. The dream may seem crazy, or the task may seem unbearable but believe you me the challenge is awesome. I remember at one point in time I just thought of selling thousands of copies of my book in a short space of time, but as I wrote it down, I felt challenged and was convinced that it was a great task and readjusted as I went through the SMART goal setting. Writing anything down can challenge you to take the necessary steps, so what are you waiting for? Let’s go and get challenged.
Remember motivation doesn’t last and you constantly need some doses of it every time, so how do you easily stay fired up? By writing it down. Write all your affirmations down, goals, personal quotes, etc. on paper, stick them somewhere and always constantly refer to them.
Even in business, the business plan is not some fancy document that you just stuff and wait to use for sourcing funds and investments. It is rather a tool that you should always use to stay motivated on the work. It reminds you of the vision, why you got started and where you headed. When you feel low then just go and refer to what you wrote down. It should help motivate you.
BETTER EMOTIONAL UNDERSTANDING
Are you like me who was usually quick to make emotional decisions? Then you got to try this out. Write it down and you will tell me this. Your decisions will never be the same again. Writing things down will help you think through situations and make informed decisions rather than rush through to make important decisions in life and business. It helps you to respond to situations rather than reacting to them as you think through and explore different alternatives before coming up to a decision.