Are you one of those smart people who don’t write things down because you can remember everything? I too was in that group who considered themselves smart. As my business grew, I found myself extremely frustrated because I was missing deadlines, forgetting important tasks, and making careless errors.
At that time, I realized if I want to get things done efficiently, then I need to stop lying to myself and start writing things down.
You see, there is no shame in taking notes. It doesn’t make you look stupid if you have a big white board to keep things organized. What does make you look stupid is when you forget a client meeting, or miss a major deadline because you forgot about the project.
Writing things down has many advantages. It has allowed me to improve my lifestyle as well as my business.
You can’t Prioritize without Organizing
Some people say that they don’t take notes because it’s a waste of time. Actually, its quite the opposite. If you want to manage your time better and get things done, then you need to learn how to prioritize.
You can’t prioritize without organizing. With so many things going on in life, business, internet, world, etc, it’s hard to organize things in your head.
I find that writing things down allows me to stay organized. By organizing and prioritizing, I can delegate tasks accordingly and make the best use of my time.
Don’t underestimate the power of Visual Reinforcement
When I picked up the habit of taking notes, I would take notes on a notepad. The other half of my notes lived in my computer Sticky Notes. To keep everything centralized, I then started using Evernote. While that helps, I think the best decision I ever made was to get a whiteboard.
My whiteboard allows me to visualize the tasks at hand. I positioned it, so every time I get off my office chair, I have to look at my whiteboard.
Every morning before I start working, I write down the to-do list for the day. As I get done with each task, I get the instant gratification of crossing it out. You can call this silly, but it is actually very rewarding.
Over the years, I’ve upgraded my whiteboard. Now I’ve a 8 feet wide whiteboard. All I can say is that the visual reinforcement has significantly impacted my productivity.
P.S. Don’t buy crazy expensive whiteboards. Just go to HomeDepot or Lowes and get a white panel board. It will cost around $35. See this video. Alternatively, you can also use the whiteboard paint.
Reminder to Make a Reminder
There are times when you don’t have the time to write things down. For example when you’re at a conference and someone mentions of a really neat resource. Thanks to Siri in my iPhone, I can set a reminder to remind me to write things down at the end of the day, so I can maximize my time networking rather than looking up resources and writing things down.
In short, writing things down allows you to stay on top of your game. You’re engaged, you can capture great ideas, solve problems faster, and most importantly better manage your time.
Are you lying to yourself or do you write things down? Share your methods by leaving a comment below.