3 Benefits Of WRITING IT DOWN

When I was younger I had trouble paying attention. I’ve always been a spacey person, unable to hold on to a single thought for very long.

I’d tell a story, only to end up going on so many different tangents that I never reach any conclusions. At one point my teacher gave me a tape recorder to record his lessons because I couldn’t pay attention during class.

Being this way has its positives—it has made me a very fluid and creative person—but it has its negatives as well. For most of my life I have lacked all discipline and organization.

But, we all play the cards we are dealt, so I found a solution to my problem.

Write It Down

I started writing things down to help my memory, but I realized that there are a multitude of benefits that come from writing down your reminders, goals, and thoughts.

A thought is not something that you can grasp and it will often be forgotten, but when you write it down, you bring it into a tangible and permanent existence.

I have found three major ways to improve my life through writing. I’m confident that once you start writing things down, your life will move in the direction of your aspirations faster than it ever has.

And not only that, you’ll never forget to pick up the milk again—which brings us to our first point.

Write Lists And Notes For Memory

I have a horrible memory. I’ve actually forgotten my aunt’s and uncle’s names before. Don’t tell them I said that.

Remembering is hard work. Your brain has to encode information, then retrieve it at a later date. I don’t know about you but I like to give my brain a break whenever I can. It does literally everything for me so I feel like it deserves a break.

Before you go shopping, write a list. Better yet, write it throughout the week as you go. This way, when you leave the store you will know that you have everything you need.

Although it is embarrassing to forget the milk, that isn’t the only time notes are useful.

I write notes for just about everything. The books I read, YouTube videos I watch, the names of my neighbours, everything. Once I write something down it gives me a sense of relief. I no longer have to worry that I won’t be able to retrieve that information from the depths of my cluttered mind.

Writing notes and lists will make people think you have memory super powers. Try it out.

Write Schedules For Productivity

Just as writing a note helps you remember it, writing a schedule helps you stick to it.

When you get into the productive mood and you are thinking about all the things you are going to accomplish, it’s a great feeling. But if you are anything like me, that feeling doesn’t last forever.

You wake up the next day, and you don’t have that same enthusiasm. You are in a different mind-state and you can’t be bothered to think about all those things you wanted to accomplish.

Studies have shown that writing down a schedule helps you stick to your plans more so than if you don’t have specified times for tasks. It’s easy to understand why.

The first step to making any vision a reality—whether it’s a vision for your life, or just one for your day—is to give it permanence by writing it down. That way when your mood changes, you will have a reminder from yourself of what is important.

Write A Journal For Reflection

The last way I would encourage you to bring writing into your life is through a journal.

Notes and lists help you remember, schedules help you become organized and efficient, but journaling helps you to recognize patterns in your thoughts.

We have thoughts that come and go and we might not realize how often we go through certain thought patterns.

Journaling allows you to see the patterns in your thoughts over time and reflect on them.

If you have an issue that bothers you, you might not think it is a problem because you brush off the thoughts whenever they surface. But when you read through your journal, you realize that you have these thoughts frequently.

This ability to record your thoughts helps you see patterns in the otherwise fluid process which you cannot hold on to.

This type of reflection is a life changer. You discover the your innermost wants, fears, anxieties and values all through journaling.

I write every day, and each time I do it benefits me. I remember more, do more, reflect more and become more than I would without it.

If you are looking to get a big reward from a small practice, start writing everything down and watch your life transform.

You can thank me later.

The King of All Lists

I’ve been doing to-do lists for a long time. Every single morning, I wake up and write down exactly what I want to accomplish by the end of the day.

As I crossed things off that list, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. Crossing things of my goal list is extremely gratifying.

In my opinion, to-do lists are amazing. They give you an outline of the day. They allow you to complete your goals and promote generating/implementing a routine.

They’re built for people that use the common excuse; “I don’t have time,” which, I’ve discovered, is quite a large number of the population.

Outline Your Day

Wake up every morning and write down exactly what you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Keep it short and concise.

Long lists prevent you from completing them, which knocks you down a peg at the end of the day. Make you sure you keep it small.

Have a set of constant goals that you must achieve (more on this later). For me, it’s daily affirmations, learning Spanish, and going to the gym. These are my constant goals to attain each day.

Make Time

For all intensive purposes, I consider myself a busy person. I blog, make videos; attend school and work, and constant learn (or read) something, which sucks up most of my time.

“How do you have time?”

The answer is quite simple. I make time. This is something magical about the to-do list. Having those goals on my to-do almost force me to make time. I know the feeling of not completing that list.

I work to avoid that feeling! I don’t have any extra divine time. I just make sure I fit it in. The to-do list encourages me to complete everything.

Build a Habit

To-do lists help build a routine. As mentioned, I have certain things that stay constant. Gym was always a constant habit, which I internalized early on.

However, affirmations and Spanish was something that never came easy. I constantly forgot to complete them or decided to avoid it for just one day.

Here’s where the list came in. Including those things on my list gave me extra motivation to complete it. I couldn’t allow myself to sleep without completing my list, even though it included a difficult Spanish lesson and time-consuming affirmations.

Now, those things are a constant event on my list, but I don’t need them to be. I’ve built the habit. I know, even without including them on the list, that I have to complete them before the days’ end.

Now, including those goals are formalities. Use your to-do list to build and internalize new habits.

“To-Don’t” List

I used to have a terrible nail-biting habit. My earliest memories included my fingers in constant pain and bleeding. I can’t place any early memories before nail biting.

I’ve pretty much done it my entire life. This was a hard habit to break.

How did I do it?

To-Don’t lists to the rescue. I started my day by writing “Today, I will not bite my nails.” And every night that I didn’t bite, I crossed it off.

Boom. Instant gratification.

The problem with people and bad habits is that they visualize the distant future. They see one week or month into the future and breaking the habit seems almost impossible.

Not biting my nails for a FULL week? Not drinking for a FULL week? Not smoking for a FULL week? That seems torturous.

Instead, focus only on today. Today is the only day that matters. Get through today. And then, tomorrow, get through that today. Time doesn’t exist outside of today. Time is just a series of todays.

Similar to the to-do lists, not being able to cross it off at the end of the day, felt terrible. My decision always includes gratification and today I will achieve it.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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5 Tips for Effective Time-Management

I’ve had this current week completely off. I was working like a madman through the summer and I start school next week. I feel like I deserve a break after all that has happened through the summer.

The problem that has recently occurred to me is that school is starting soon. For many of us, that would seem a joy. For me, it’s terrible. During school, I have zero free time to do all the activities that I hold dear.

Reading, writing, and personal learning almost go out the window. I am most worried about how I will deal with school while juggling my many hobbies and goals.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

A) Sleep

In my opinion, it’s the cornerstone of everything ‘life.’ Without adequate sleep (I need 9 hours because I’m a hippo), your willpower plummets. You wake up with less willpower resulting in doing less.

Feeling lethargic kisses goodbye your time management skills. You don’t feel like doing much of anything and when you muster up the energy, it isn’t done well.

B) Plan out your day

As part of my daily morning routine, I make a to-do list. I usually do it over breakfast. Planning out the important tasks in the morning allows me to prioritize everything.

I am able to figure out exactly what I want to do during my day and it allows me to manage my time around the list. As an added sense of gratification, crossing something off the list feels amazing.

I recommend implementing a list of important ‘to-do’ tasks everyday. It will allow for better time-management and, as an added plus, will take something off your memory.

C) Cut out the Noise

The people that are closest to me know that I hate texting. I find it completely ineffective for communication purposes past single word answers. Having any sort of conversation via text is completely inefficient and a waste of time.

That being said, texting, to me, is considered noise. Noise is anything that eats away at your valuable time everyday.

This can include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (unless you’re learning or laughing), Instagram, television, or any other form of media that you can lose yourself in.

fire tweet_0Social media is not bad in extremely small doses, but once you start tuning out the world around to tweet, you may have a problem.

I consider everything in this category huge time-wasters that soak up your time like a dry sponge. Try to limit your usage to maximize your time.

D) Have ‘Do Not Disturb’ Time

As most of my frequent readers are aware, I’ve currently undertaken Spanish. I’m slowly discovering that learning a language, as with any learning; takes serious and intense concentration (Check out my article on learning here).

In that regard, you possess the ability to control your environment and its factors. If you have something that requires serious concentration, such as learning a new skill, modify the environment to your needs.

Go to quiet areas, tell friends/family not to bother you for X amount of time, turn off your cellphone, et cetera. This allows you to complete your task in the shortest amount of time possible, freeing up the rest of the time for your other tasks.

E) The List is a Guideline

Sometimes I do not complete everything on my list. Sure, it is disheartening, but it reminds me to properly prioritize everything for the next day.

Use your list as a framework for your day. If you do not complete everything on the list, don’t be discouraged. Aim to cross everything off of that list for the following day.

This Friday, I am embarking on another task. I’ll be launching a business with my mom. This will require a great deal of work and time from myself. Sometimes, I worry if I have too much on my plate.

With my fourth year of school, work, learning, reading, this blog, and that business, how will I ever have the time? Compiling this list brings a sense of ease for me because I know that I will be able to manage everything.

How do you manage your time? Do you have any helpful tips for my readers and I? Please leave a comment in the section below. My readers and I would love to hear from you.

Be bold, be free, and love on.