Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Friday, October 5, 2007

Importance of Writing it Down

I'm no neurologist, but there's something that happens in our brain when we write something down. It increases our ability to both remember it and put it "out of our head". If you ever have the same thought running over and over in your mind, and want the madness to stop, take a minute and write the item down. If it is a task to do, writing it down will both ensure you do it and release your brain from worrying about remembering to do it.

I try to have paper and pen readily available on all levels of our house. That way, if I think of something while getting ready in the bathroom or doing laundry, I can easily jot it down and then slip the paper in my pocket or bring it with me to my desk or calendar. Taking that extra 30 seconds is so helpful -- I do what I remembered to do. If you run out of something in the kitchen or bathroom, within a minute get to the grocery list and add it. There's no time like the present is apropos here.

Are you a list maker? I am, but not as much as I used to. Now I'm more of a scheduled item list maker, that is, I note when both tasks or events happen on my calendar. I can see where we're going, what we're doing, and what "to do" item I need to complete each day. Ultimately, scheduling time this way means I just have to focus on that day. It prevents feeling overwhelmed.

Tip: don't put big things on a list -- break it into tasks. For ex., put "purchase party supplies" and "call caterer" on your calendar or "to do" list; don't put "organize party". Going with that example, you'd write the date of the party on the calendar, and put all the specific things you need to do for the party either on a list or on days of the calendar prior to the party's date. If you like the satisfaction of writing a list and crossing off items, do so but be sure to tag each action item with a date it will be done.

Have something you need to do in the future but without a date? Pick a day on the calendar and write it in. For things that don't come with a due date, I choose reasonable time frames or pick days when I know I'll have more time. Use the calendar as a way to remind you of things -- actionable tasks -- and not just holidays, events and happenings. Time can be managed!