Your brain is for having ideas, not storing them— David Allen

Write. Everything. Down.

Yeah, okay, not everything because I’m not even a fan of unnecessarily detailed class notes, for example. But everything else? Yes, please.

We forget things— and I’m a living testimony. It’s like my short-term memory is somewhat ‘selective’. And maybe I’m not the only one that forgets literally everything or gets overwhelmed by random thoughts and tasks from time to time.

On a general note, our minds can get quite busy and it is simply impossible to focus when you’re trying so hard to store information and your thoughts are all over the place.

Writing things down doesn’t have to involve a huge complex information database…
(If you have a busy life or you have to collaborate with people, Notion is always the better option anyway).

It can be something as simple as using Notes on your phone, pen and paper or even a private group on Telegram- just a place to write and monitor what’s going on in your life.

  • Do a brain dump from time to time.
    Whenever you get overwhelmed or simply feel you have a lot to do, just sit down and type (or write) out everything on your mind in no particular order.

Ideas, meetings, shopping lists, unresolved commitments, ongoing projects, plans for the future, to-dos, incomplete tasks- just everything that’s bothering you in the moment…

  • Create ‘should’ and ‘might’ -do lists.
    This is not your usual ‘15-things-I-must-do-today’ list. Because there’s either too much or too little to do, you might probably get nothing done or overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations.

Write out the major tasks you need to complete for each day. If you don’t have pressing deadlines, these should-do tasks could be from projects or interests you’ve had for a while- just so you can make some progress on them.

  • Document your ideas.
    Everyone gets ideas. In fact, because I work on content development and strategy, I get random ideas for content or campaigns at the weirdest times.

For you, this could be an idea for your social media, how to help someone or how to advance your career. Don’t just think about it, write it down in a space you might visit soon.

  • Write with no agenda.
    For you to get used to this kind of writing, you can decide to just start a journal to write about your emotions, habits or experiences that matter to you.

Write out life lessons and points from books, discussions or videos you come across. Find a way to store links of things you want to go back to. This way you’ll free up space in your brain to focus on the present.

We don’t default to writing things down because we tell ourselves we will definitely remember or automatically apply the crazy amount information we come across everyday.

The more you write, the more you develop a trusted system for storing information and that way, it gets easier to think of writing when you already know where it’s going.

I personally use GoodNotes with the Apple Pencil on my iPad because it is more intuitive and it’s very similar to traditional pen and paper. But I also believe you can never go wrong with Notion once you get used to the way it works.

You can always explore apps and digital devices as tools to help store some of the mental baggage you carry everyday.

You need more mental space as much as you need more time— there’s no need to try to remember everything.

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3 Responses

  1. Funke says:

    So interesting and educating is just like a scale of preference a Topic in Economics studies ,more grace to function 💟

  2. martin says:

    This is very important, It helps filter your thoughts so you know the most important and not just that but gives DIRECTION

    JOURNALING for me has been one principle that has helped and will sell in the future

    Thank you for giving value, I learnt alot from this.

  3. Awe Lucky says:

    This is written from a deep place of understanding. It is Well thought-out! Thank you. Learnt something.

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