From feelings to to-do lists to everything in between.
Recently I was watching a documentary with Jonah Hill called Stutz about his therapist and on of the valuable tools he talked about was the value and importance of writing things down.
I started researching it further and quickly found out it is a legitimate thing. In fact it can truly make people more successful.
I have been at hundreds of events and trainings over the years and oddly enough the most successful people I have met had a journal or notebook of some kind. Maybe even a good old fashioned yellow note pad.
In fact, here are a five thoughts around the value of writing things down that I found in a recent article at thepaperandplanco.com
Writing Things Down Clears Your Mind
We have so many thoughts per day, over 6,000 thoughts actually, so it makes sense that we feel overwhelmed or stressed throughout the day. How many times have you had a thought and promised you were going to remember it later or write it down, and then didn’t? And we guess it made you frustrated not being able to recall one of your 6,000+ thoughts.
Imagine a different world where you take pen to paper and write everything down from to-do lists to the sporadic middle of the night thoughts to a daily reflection. The relief you get from releasing everything you’re containing in your head is like a weightlifting off your shoulders. That’s only one of many benefits of writing things down.
Writing Things Down Makes You More Focused
In our society, we’re constantly bombarded with information that prompts more thoughts in your head. Counteract the information overload by writing things down! When you write things down, you’re forced to focus on one idea at a time. And when you’re able to dedicate the time each thought requires, you’re able to really flesh it out and get every thought related to it out of your system and your head. Your brain is meant for creating ideas, not storing them!
Writing Things Down Helps Clarify
One huge benefit to writing things down is the ability to clarify. Clarity is what helps people become successful because they’re able to clarify their goals, priorities, and intentions. It’s one thing to have goals, hopes, and dreams, but it’s another to have them written down. If they’re written down, then they’re real and require your attention if you want to make them true. Plus, once they’re written down, you can expand on them and make them more specific so they can become a reality.
Writing Things Down Makes You More Motivated
Just like keeping a food diary can help people lose weight, the same idea applies to writing things down. When things are written down you are able to clearly see if there’s progress. Especially if it’s related to those goals, priorities, and intentions we mentioned in the previous paragraph. Because even if you have the strongest goal, you need to document where you started, the journey along the way, and the ending. Writing down the journey can help you reflect on what’s working, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you spend your time and energy. Documenting the whole process will help you maintain your motivation and see progress.
Writing Things Down Promotes Self Reflection
A fun writing challenge we’ve seen people try is setting a timer for X-amount of time and writing continuously until the timer stops. Another challenge is setting a goal of writing 2 pages (or whatever number is attainable for you) and writing until you reach that goal. Whether it’s a writing challenge or just writing daily, taking the time to write down your thoughts, feelings, memories, and more helps promote self-reflection. When you take the time to write all of the things that make you human (thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc), you’re able to reflect on what you’re writing about and go deeper.
It’s also a form of release. Imagine you have a fight with a spouse or a friend. Instead of constantly thinking about how it upsets you, what you could’ve said instead, or why the fight happened in the first place, you can let it all go with one journal entry. You can take the time to release the emotions and thoughts the fight brings up and you’re able to see the situation more clearly. This applies to any negative experience or emotion.
When you have a clear mind and are able to focus, stay motivated, and self-reflect, you can conquer the world!