Write It Down

Today, for my work in self-improvement and therefore my business improvement, I’ve been listening to a bunch of TEDx talks by folks like David Allen and Jeff Sutherland and somebody whose name I’ve already forgotten.

That’s the point. I’ve already forgotten.

Our brains, as amazing as they are, simply can not hold all the information we need to stuff into them. Because it’s not meant to do that. It’s meant to come up with ideas. But we still try to stuff it full of things that have little to do with primal survival. Still, it tries. It’s very good at holding about four different important things at once, but if your “to do” list is longer than that (especially if you are juggling multiple projects), then you are going to drop things, no matter how well-intentioned.

So, here’s some things I’ve learned today that I will share with you (and save you a couple of hours of your valuable time in the process):

  1. Write it down. Just get it out of your head and onto either paper or a digital format that you can consistently use. You don’t have to do anything about it, but be writing it down, you’ve let your brain know that it has done its job and can move on to more creative thinking. So, put it down.
  2. Decide what to do with it. Sometimes, it may just need to sit there. Sometimes, it can be dealt with in 2 minutes. If it can be dealt with in 2 minutes… do it. Immediately. Now, that is done, you can mark it off your list and move on to the next thing. Other things may take a little time or a long amount of time. Beside each thing, decide whether you want to invest the time needed to do “the thing”.
  3. Ideas. Now you are going to come up with a bunch of ideas on how to solve the problem. Some of these will be good ideas. Some bad ideas. Every idea gets a place down on the page. Take just 2 minutes to write down all the ideas that spring to mind on how to solve the problem/task. From this a loose structure gets formed.
  4. Action steps. Based on what you just spent 2 minutes blasting out of your brain, what is the next, single, immediate thing that you can do to move towards progress. Do it. And then the next. Repeat. Repeat.

And that’s all I can remember at this moment, and proved my point. I’ve spent all morning listening to these things, taking notes, being diligent. You’d think it’d stay in my brain longer. After all, I am not a dummy.

So let’s start with what I do remember:

Write it down. We can get stuff done.

Bonus: this is the planner that I am using and am finding a useful tool. I was called a nerd yesterday when I showed it to a friend. I laughed. Yeah, I’ll take that. I’ll be a successful nerd. No problem.

Note: this is what a note written on my phone looks like with my pudgy fingers: seriously ridiculous, but I guess it’s better than trying to remember it. 😉

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