Lately I’ve been doing so much research online that I felt like I ran out of brain storage space. I feel like my head is crammed with tonnes of useful (and not so useful) information and at some point there is going to be a breakdown and it’ll just shut down. Same happens with magazines, newspapers, the radio and the TV.
From the time I wake up and until I go to bed, I come across dozens of events, talks, news, lessons, people giving me advice or when I just get bored and start thinking about deep stuff.
My mum has always surrounded herself by notebooks of all kinds and told me to do the same, which I totally refused to do but in the recent months I must say that her advice has helped me immensely as I got more things done by having a plan written down rather than trying to remember all at once (and trusting my memory blindly!)
Have you ever felt like after writing something down you remembered it a lot easier, even without looking at the paper?
That’s because by visualising our ideas we store them into our long term memory, as well as being able to look back in time and remember things that otherwise we’d have forgotten or would only have a vague memory of.
Furthermore, consider the fact that sometimes ideas pop up in our minds in the strangest places and since we could be busy doing something at that point they might go as quickly as they came.
It’s also the best way to set your goals, remind yourself what to focus on along with helping you to think clearly: bullet points, key words, quick sketches, examples or quotes are easy and quick to put down on a piece of paper and if we lack of a pen, we can rely on our mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
Another way to get things done is by making a plan for the day or week and using it as a reference every morning to get rid of the feeling ‘Oh my day is wasted’.
After this, the most important part is to organise your written thoughts and store them somewhere (rather than using them as napkins) so you can come back to it when you need it.
You can store your ideas in a diary, notebooks, file folders, get a board for your post-its, organise the bookmarks section on your computer, use StumbleUpon to find material that matches your interests, get apps such as TeuxDeux or Evernote (which has 8 awesome sections that help you remember the people you met, food, etc), Stickr…
Find the right way that works for you and you’ll soon notice that you can achieve so much more than you ever expected.
As Sir Francis Bacon once said: “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”
And this is so true – you never know how brilliant an idea could be or how important a memory.