Always Think On Paper
With everything going on in the world and in our personal lives, it can sometimes be hard to fully collect our thoughts and wrap our minds around anything. One of the greatest things I have learned from my mentor David Byrd is to “always think on paper”.
‘Thinking on paper’ is extremely important because it helps get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper. I have come to find that people will collect just about anything — except their thoughts. This topic is so important to me because when I was young, I struggled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Throughout my life, I regularly notice that my thoughts are typically jumbled up in my head, you might even call me a scatterbrain. In today’s world of constant stimuli bombarding our brains, I recognize that certain things cause me to be more scatterbrained than others (television and social media).
Sometimes, when you find yourself completely overwhelmed by too many thoughts, the best thing I’ve found that you can do to cope is to write it out! Write down your whole day, every single day. Whether you choose your trusty planner like I do, or a simple spiral notebook, I promise you will notice a difference in how you conduct everything. My mentor David Bird told me, “Writing clarifies thought,” and I have to say that once I started writing down my daily goals and agenda — and then stuck to it — I got infinitely more accomplished. If you’re going through your day without an agenda and just “winging it,” I would suggest that you start with clarifying your thoughts and thinking on paper.
Think back to my post on sticking to your agenda (LINK) and start each day with writing down what you need to accomplish and then prioritize those goals. My general rule for prioritizing my day is to tackle the most important thing first and then go from there. When you start thinking on paper, you’ll be amazed at what you can get accomplished in just one day. You are actively freeing your mind of having to remember little things like your phone call at 2pm or your coffee meeting at 4 because it’s all written out right in front of you.
I know many of you are thinking, “Why not just type it out on my computer or cell phone?” And while those are useful tools, I firmly believe that going old school and taking pen to paper is the most effective way of clearing out your mind and getting to work. If you still would rather be digital, I suggest writing everything out in your notebook and then transferring to your computer or phone.
Thinking on paper is one of the most important things you can do on a daily basis. Once it becomes part of your regular routine, I know you will see incredible results for your effort.