Write in Your Personal Planner for Greater Productivity
Stress Less & Do More. The Power of Putting Pen to Paper.
Do you use a personal planner, a daily calendar, or some other note-taking system? If not, you should. When it comes to productivity tips, the humble act of writing down your tasks and goals may not seem novel or glamorous—but it’s highly effective. If you want to think more clearly, feel more organized, and get more done, get into the habit of putting your thoughts down on paper.
Writing things down has a powerful effect on your brain as well as great existential value. Not only does writing force your brain to focus on one thing at a time (something we’re not naturally good at), but it also helps you process, refine, and organize your ideas as you think on paper. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to keep all of your thoughts in order inside your head—but on paper you can literally move your ideas around, cross items out, make new connections that you didn’t see before, and group ideas into categories. Writing thoughts and tasks down allows you to let go of the stress and worry you feel when you’re carrying everything around with you, freeing you up to do better things with your time and your brainpower.
At Monogram Concierge, we believe in the power of the pen—and of never having a To-Do List again. That’s why we give new clients a Concierge Checklist to get them started, we focus on the nagging details that haven’t made it onto your To-Do List yet, and we encourage all clients to write and process their big, life-affirming goals rather than merely keeping track of daily tasks. Here are a few more benefits of making writing a daily and weekly habit:
How Writing It Down Makes You Feel Happy and Free
It’s been proven that writing down tasks and ideas makes people more productive, which is important—but life isn’t all about productivity. In addition to boosting your personal productivity, writing down your tasks, worries, fears, and hopes can also calm your brain, keep you stress-free, and make you feel happier and more fulfilled.
When you write, you:
Refine Your Ideas. When you write things down, you have to think in order to find the right words and figure out how to organize and express your ideas. This means that, instantly, the act of writing forces you to shape and sharpen your thoughts. Once your ideas are on paper, you can look at them objectively, slice your challenges down to size, make lists, prioritize—and even let some things go. Refining your ideas on paper puts you back in charge of your thoughts and your time rather than letting your worries control you.
Turn Abstraction Into Action. Most people don’t feel like an idea is real until they see it begin to take shape. If you aren’t in the habit of writing things down, it’s likely that you walk around with a lot of formless, abstract thoughts competing for space inside your head. Putting your ideas on paper is more than making a plan for taking action, it is taking action. It releases the same feel-good endorphins that any other accomplishment would release, whether you turn your writing into a prioritized To-Do List, a list of long-term goals, or a journal record for later use. In fact, you get the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment even if you throw the writing away and never think about it again.
Free Up Your Mental RAM. Despite myths about multitasking, our brains aren’t meant to do too many things at once. If you’re trying to do 2 or 3 things or remember a couple of items, that’s one thing. But what about those days when you have 20 tasks on your list and another 15 things to remember? You’re bound to forget, shut down, and wind up with several half-finished tasks. Since people tend to hang onto things when they don’t finish what they start, being mentally overloaded creates unnecessary stress and anxiety. However, by writing things down, you remove those items from your mental checklist, unburdening your mind. Feeling calmer and more relaxed isn’t only good for productivity, it’s good for your health, too.
Paper is to write things down that we need to remember. Our brains are used to think. ~ Albert Einstein
Get To Know Yourself. Our brains are tricky. We distort the truth about ourselves, focus on the wrong things, and tend to forget minor details as well as major life goals and desires. Writing things down and looking back over notes can be a fantastic tool for getting to know ourselves better and for course correction. Let’s say, for instance, that you like to think of yourself as a morning person—but looking back over your notes you realize that you’re getting your best work done in the afternoon. Or, perhaps you have made a commitment to spend more time with your kids, but a quick glance at last month’s calendar reveals that you didn’t schedule or prioritize this goal. If you don’t write things down, you’re less likely to see what makes you tick, where you’re sabotaging your own desires, or where seismic shifts are occurring in your life.
Processing Your Notes: The Secret Weapon
Of course, big braindumps free up your mind and make you feel less anxious, but they aren’t effective if you never look at your notes or organize them. The real power in writing down your tasks and life goals is in going back over your notes and reflecting. We recommend that you spend the last 10 to 15 minutes of your day processing your notes and preparing for the following day and the last 30 minutes of every Friday reflecting on your week, adding action items to your calendar, throwing away notes you no longer need, and reorganizing your tasks for the upcoming work week. Doing so will make your weeks more productive—and your weekends more relaxing.
You should also set up times to process your non work-related notes and determining what steps you need to take to achieve your life goals and prioritize your desires. Partnering with a personal concierge will also help you brainstorm, dream up new possibilities for your life, create long-term goals, process your notes, and keep track of your progress. If you’re ready for this next level of support and accountability, Contact Monogram Concierge for a complimentary consultation.