July 29th, 2016
One of the negative impacts on our daily reliance on technology is that the art of handwriting is nearing extinction. Consider this- the majority of us usually only use a pen when writing a shopping list, a to-do list or signing our signature. In fact we're so reliant on technology that it has even impacted on sales of diaries as people will record their appointments in their phones. But is this right? Here we explain why writing things down is important and can help to increase your productivity.
1. To remember
On a basic level, once you have written something down, you now have a physical record of something that you felt was important enough to write down- an idea, a prompt, a reminder- whatever it is of you have it written on a piece of paper on your person or on your desk you are less likely to forget about it.
2. To engage with ideas
The process of writing things down forces your brain to process the information or the idea. You need to physically write something down in order to engage a different part of your brain than the one that you used to create the idea and that helps you remember it better and for longer.
3. Back up your 'mental RAM'
Think of your mind as an old computer- only having so much space and capacity to do so many tasks at a time. Once you write things down you have cleared some space up and can concentrate on the next task in hand rather than occupying brain space on remembering to make that phone call or pay that bill.
4. Gain clarity
Once you have written a problem down- whether it is a business or personal dilemma- things often seem clearer as the problem is now manifested as a physical thing and presented to you in black (or blue) and white rather than a thought that is held in your head. You can now engage with the problem and rationalise with it. Write down the facts to your problem and see it as an overview. What are the key notes here? You'll find it much easier to make the connections, rationalise the pros and cons and settle on the right solution.
For many this 4th reason is the most important reason for writing things down- you have now got a release and you can focus on solutions. Often Therapists will tell patients to address their problems on paper in order to gain focus and to get to know their selves better. You may laugh, but consider keeping a diary of your thoughts in order to have an outlet for all personal dilemmas. You may find this a productive tool which enables you to focus on solving any personal problems but also helps you to focus professionally and you will have less distractions and improved productivity at work.
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