Many people take the view that writing things down is a sign of weakness – almost as though it’s admitting defeat, acknowledging that you are no longer ‘young enough’ to remember everything and you now have to resort to the old-fashioned methods of writing things down.
But the fact is that this commonly held misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Writing things down isn’t something that you have to start doing once you reach a certain age, or a sign that you’re not very good at remembering things. Instead, writing things down can be a tremendous gift to yourself – incredibly freeing and beneficial.
“Paper is to write things down that we need to remember.
Our brains are used to think.” – Albert Einstein
Organized people are organized because they have a system for remembering things – and it doesn’t involve trying to use their brain like a suitcase that collects random pieces of information and stores them until a later date. That’s simply not how our minds are meant to function. By putting things down on paper, you can free up your mind to focus on thinking, instead of constantly trying to remember things.
In a similar way, writing down not just your appointments and to-do lists but also your thoughts and ideas can be tremendously beneficial – allowing you to collect your thoughts, sort through things, and think in a more constructive, analytical way. It can even help you remember some of those great ideas that would otherwise just be forgotten – and motivate you on toward your goals.
It may sound unlikely, but jotting things down on paper can help you be more organized and productive, as well more focused with goal setting and planning. Let’s see how.
It helps you remember.
While it might sound basic, writing things down helps you remember your thoughts – in more than one way. Not only does it give you a visual reference that can help jog your memory every time you see it, but the simple act of writing actually engages a different part of your brain, which will make you far more likely to remember your thoughts. Fascinating!
It frees up your mind.
Your mind can only process so many things at a time, and when you’re busy trying to recall dates and appointments as well as thoughts and ideas, it can be difficult to think about anything else. When this happens, your thought process will slow down and you’ll find it more difficult to think up new ideas or solutions. Instead, free up your mind and your creativity by writing things down – and letting the paper remember them for you.
It helps you solve problems.
When you write something down, you have a visual of your thoughts and ideas. It’s often easier to handle something that you can see, rather than trying to untangle an abstract thought. If you’re confused about an issue or uncertain about something – try writing about it or journaling. Seeing it all out on paper will help you work through it more easily.
It helps you analyze your thoughts.
Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying that one of the keys to refining his ideas is writing them down. Similarly, Richard Branson, entrepreneur and CEO of the Virgin Group, says that one of his best possessions is a notebook. Writing can help you to not only get your thoughts out – but also analyze them – helping you think more clearly about your goals and plans. It enables you to prioritize, process your thoughts, calculate your responses, and process your emotions far better than you could by keeping things locked up inside your head.
It gives you motivation.
Writing out goals has been shown to be beneficial for motivation. Rather than simply imagining how you want your life to be – take the first step toward making it happen by writing it down. Putting things down on paper forces your ideas out of the concept stage and makes them real.
No matter what form your writing takes, the act of writing can help awaken something within us, helping us to gather our thoughts, and organize them. It will free you up from having to remember things on your own. It will increase your motivation, helping to keep you on-track and focused. Why not try it for yourself, and see how writing can help you think more clearly and purposefully – with fewer distractions.
Do you enjoy jotting down your thoughts?
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